High-resolution quantification of fluvial topography has been enabled by a number of geomatics technologies. Hyperscale surveys with spatial extents of <1 km 2 have been widely demonstrated by means of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) and structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry. Recent advances in the development and integration of global navigation satellite system (GNSS), inertial measurement unit (IMU) and lightweight laser scanning technologies are now resulting in the emergence of personal mobile laser scanners (MLS) that have the potential to increase data acquisition and processing rates by one to two orders of magnitude compared to TLS/SfM, and thus challenge the recent dominance of these technologies. This investigation compares a personal MLS survey using a Leica Pegasus Backpack that integrates Velodyne Puck VLP-16 sensors, and a multi-station static TLS survey using a Riegl VZ-1000 scanner, to produce digital elevation models (DEMs) and surface sedimentology maps. The assessment is undertaken on a 500 m long reach of the braided River Feshie. Comparison to 107 independent real-time kinematic (RTK)-GNSS check points resulted in similar mean error (ME) and standard deviation error (SDE) for TLS (ME = −0.025 m; SDE = 0.038 m) and personal MLS (ME = −0.014 m; SDE = 0.019 m). Direct cloud-to-cloud (C2C) comparison between a sample of TLS and personal MLS observations (2.8 million points) revealed that C2C distances follow a sharply decreasing Burr distribution (a = 2.35, b = 3.19, rate parameter s = 9.53). Empirical relationships between sub-metre topographic variability and median sediment grain size (10–100 mm) demonstrate that surface roughness from personal MLS can be used to map median grain size. Differences between TLS and personal MLS empirical relationships suggest such relationships are dependent on survey technique. Personal MLS offers distinct logistical advantages over SfM photogrammetry and TLS for particular survey situations and is likely to become a widely applied technique.
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Williams, R. D., Lamy, M.‐L., Maniatis, G., and Stott, E. ( 2019) Three‐dimensional reconstruction of fluvial surface sedimentology and topography using personal mobile laser scanning. Earth Surf. Process. Landforms, which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/esp.4747. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
- personal mobile laser scanning
- terrestrial laser scanning