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Title: Morphology-based landslide monitoring with an unmanned aerial vehicle
Authors: Peppa, Maria Valasia
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcstle University
Abstract: Landslides represent major natural phenomena with often disastrous consequences. Monitoring landslides with time-series surface observations can help mitigate such hazards. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) employing compact digital cameras, and in conjunction with Structure-from-Motion (SfM) and modern Multi-View Stereo (MVS) image matching approaches, have become commonplace in the geoscience research community. These methods offer a relatively low-cost and flexible solution for many geomorphological applications. The SfM-MVS pipeline has expedited the generation of digital elevation models at high spatio-temporal resolution. Conventionally ground control points (GCPs) are required for co-registration. This task is often expensive and impracticable considering hazardous terrain. This research has developed a strategy for processing UAV visible wavelength imagery that can provide multi-temporal surface morphological information for landslide monitoring, in an attempt to overcome the reliance on GCPs. This morphological-based strategy applies the attribute of curvature in combination with the scale-invariant feature transform algorithm, to generate pseudo GCPs. Openness is applied to extract relatively stable regions whereby pseudo GCPs are selected. Image cross-correlation functions integrated with openness and slope are employed to track landslide motion with subsequent elevation differences and planimetric surface displacements produced. Accuracy assessment evaluates unresolved biases with the aid of benchmark datasets. This approach was tested in the UK, in two sites, first in Sandford with artificial surface change and then in an active landslide at Hollin Hill. In Sandford, the strategy detected a ±0.120 m 3D surface change from three-epoch SfM-MVS products derived from a consumer-grade UAV. For the Hollin Hill landslide six-epoch datasets spanning an eighteen-month duration period were used, providing a ± 0.221 m minimum change. Annual displacement rates of dm-level were estimated with optimal results over winter periods. Levels of accuracy and spatial resolution comparable to previous studies demonstrated the potential of the morphology-based strategy for a time-efficient and cost-effective monitoring at inaccessible areas.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Biology

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