Advancements in Shallow-Water Bathymetry Using a Novel Polarimetric LiDAR Technique
A topo-bathy lidar system designed using a polarimetric lidar technique is advancing bathymetric observation capabilities by providing concurrently, highly precise ranging measurements (< 1 cm) of water surfaces and bottom topologies in shallow-water regimes (< 5 m). This patented capability has led to unprecedented resolution in estimates of water depth, river cross-sectional area, seamless land-water transitions, detailed bottom topologies, and detection of objects submerged just below the water surface. This disruptive technology offers new possibilities for coastal zone mapping and surveying, bridge infrastructure inspection, and hydrologic modeling of waterways to name a few. This advancement is a lighter, cheaper, and yet more capable solution for routinely observing shallow-water regimes at high resolution from a variety of platforms. Notably, the LiDAR can be deployed over flumes or from bridges, UAS, fixed-wing aircraft, and boats, and the technique can be retrofitted to existing deep-water LiDAR to enable this critical shallow-water capability. The goal of the presentation will be to illustrate its utility as a breakthrough technology for use in a variety of water systems and applications. This presentation will demonstrate the measurement capability via several shallow-water LiDAR bathymetry experiments including scale-model river flume measurements for the US Army Corps and USGS, along with the wet cross sectional area of the South Platte River in Denver.