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Laser Scanning for the Environmental Sciences

George Heritage (Editor), Andy Large (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-5717-9
288 pages
April 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Laser Scanning for the Environmental Sciences (1405157178) cover image


3D surface representation has long been a source of information describing surface character and facilitating an understanding of system dynamics from micro-scale (e.g. sand transport) to macro-scale (e.g. drainage channel network evolution). Data collection has been achieved through field mapping techniques and the use of remotely sensed data. Advances in this latter field have been considerable in recent years with new rapid-acquisition methods being developed centered around laser based technology. The advent of airborne and field based laser scanning instruments has allowed researchers to collect high density accurate data sets and these are revealing a wealth of new information and generating important new ideas concerning terrain characterisation and landform dynamics.

The proposed book collates a series of invited peer revieved papers presented at the a conference on geoinformatics and LIDAR to be held at the National Centre for Geocomputation based in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Current constraints in field survey and DEM construction are reviewed together with technical and applied issues around the new technology. The utility of the data in process modelling is also covered. The book will be of great value to researchers in the field of geomorphology, geostatistics, remote sensing and GIS and will prove extremely useful to students and practitioners concerned with terrain analysis. The proposed work will:

  • Highlight major technological breakthrough in 3D data collection.
  • Feature examples of application across a wide range of environmental areas.
  • Critically evaluate the role of laser based techniques in the environment.
  • Detail theory and application of laser techniques in the natural environment.
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Table of Contents


List of Contributors.

1. Laser scanning – evolution of the discipline Andrew R.G. Large & G.L. Heritage.

2. Principles of 3D laser scanning G.L. Heritage & Andrew R.G. Large.

3. Issues in laser scanning Seamus Coveney & Timothy McCarthy.

4. Airborne LiDAR: instrumentation, data acquisition and handling Bernard Devereux & Gabriel Amable.

5. Geostatisical analysis of LiDAR data Chris Brunsden.

6. General data issues, data quality and protocols David Hetherington.

7. Terrestrial laser scanning to derive surface grain size facies character of gravel bars Neil S. Entwistle & Ian C. Fuller.

8. Airborne Laser Scanning – Methods for processing and automatic feature extraction for natural as well as for artificial (man-made) objects Christoph Straub, Yungsheng Wang & Octavian Iercan.

9. Numerical modelling of 3D flow using spatially distributed datasets of topography and roughness at different grid resolutions David J. Milan.

10. Airborne LiDAR Measurements to Quantify Change in Sandy Beaches Michael J. Starek, K. Clint Slatton, Ramesh L. Shrestha & William E. Carter.

11. LiDAR in the Environmental sciences: Geological Applications David Hodgetts.

12. Using LiDAR in archaeological contexts: The English Heritage experience and lessons learned Simon Crutchley.

13. Airborne and terrestrial laser scanning for measuring vegetation canopy structure F.M. Danson, F. Morsdorf & B. Koetz.

14. Flood mapping and vegetation mapping in large river systems Ian C. Overton, Anders Siggins, John C. Gallant, David Penton & Guy Byrne.

15. Laser scanning surveying of linear features: considerations and applications Michael Lim, Jon Mills & Nicholas Rosser.

16. Laser scanning – the future Andrew R.G. Large, G.L. Heritage


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Author Information

George Heritage


Centre for Environmental Systems Research

University of Salford

ManchesterM5 4DT

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