Demonstrating the Capabilities of Topobathymetric LiDAR Mapping in Support of DOT Project Planning and Implementation


This project focuses on leveraging Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to efficiently monitor soil erosion and bathymetric changes resulting from dam removal. The recently removed Ward’s Mill Dam on the Watauga River in Western North Carolina serves as a case study. The project aims to compare UAV-based pre/post-removal data to understand how southern Appalachian river systems respond to the removal of dams of similar type and size.

The introduction of Bathymetric Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) enhances data collection precision. The project assesses the accuracy of UAV-based LiDAR and optical data to detect changes in riverbanks and riverbeds post-dam removal. Furthermore, the study evaluates the potential of combining different UAV-based sensors (e.g., LiDAR and optical camera) for surveying topography and bathymetry in various waterbodies.