The Chalk Cliffs debris-flow site is a small headwater catchment incised into highly fractured and hydrothermally altered quartz monzonite in a semi-arid climate. Over half of the extremely steep basin is exposed bedrock. Debris flows occur multiple times per year in response to rainstorm events, typically during the summer monsoon season. The frequency of debris flows, and the uniformity of the underlying rock, make Chalk Cliffs an ideal study catchment for translating mechanistic understanding of natural debris flows to other sites. A 2008 National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) Airborne LiDAR survey provides baseline topography for the site; however, heretofore there has been no systematic effort to collect repeat topography of the entire site. Starting in May 2018, we made repeat surveys of the basin with an unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The UAS-based imagery was processed into (x, y, z) point clouds using Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry. We geo-registered the point clouds using 12 ground control points placed within and around the study basin. In this study we compare the LiDAR with one SfM point cloud to assess topographic change over a 10-year time period. The difference map provides observational data relevant to understanding sediment provenance and transport at the Chalk Cliffs. The difference image indicates erosion of colluvial surfaces, with limited deposition in the survey area. Some colluvial hillslopes show spatially uniform erosion while others experienced concentrated erosion of up to three meters depth over a ten-year period.
|Title||Topographic change detection at Chalk Cliffs, Colorado, USA, using Airborne LiDAR and UAS-based Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry|
|Authors||Katherine R Barnhart, Francis K. Rengers, Ghent Jessica N, Gregory E. Tucker, Jeffrey A. Coe, Jason W. Kean, Joel B. Smith, Dennis M. Staley, William Kleiber, Ashton M Wiens|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Geologic Hazards Science Center; Geology and Geophysics Science Center|