Methodology for quantification of beach erosion volumes from UAV digital elevation models and ortophotos

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The Danish West Coast suffers from severe erosion, as the result of combined of chronic, acute and at least partially man induced erosion. The erosion is affecting private properties as well as ecosystems. The Management of coastal areas in Denmark is regulated by the PlanLaw, Coastal and Nature Protection Law by the State. Structural changes as well as law changes in 2017 and early 2018 have meant that the governance of the coastal stretches was moved from the State (Coastal Directory) to the Municipalities and landowners have now the possibility to suggest directly different coastal protection methods. This could result in an increase of private coastal protection across the Danish coastline.
and a need for fast, reliable and affordable spatial and temporal high resolution monitoring campaigns.
Often airborne Lidar is used for creating dense point clouds used for terrain-change analysis, but with high costs and tow temporal distribution. The usage of differential GPS measurements relies on manually measured points and the time required for creating a dense point cloud makes this method unsustainable.
We suggest a methodology of the use of UAVs as it is interesting in coastal science as it can be used monitoring and modelling of the beach and dunes. As it is lightweight, small and easily flown, 2 persons can conduct a survey on a day to day basis making it possible to measure both the day before and after a storm. The UAV can also be utilized for carrying a LIdAr scanner as presented in (Article reference), but for this article a low-cost drone is used for image acquisition which are later used for photogrammetric reconstruction of terrain and orthorectified image. Results showed model quality high enough for comparison with the national model, at it is therefore estimated as a very accurate volumetric measure of the actual erosion/accretion in the dry part of the profile.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Geography
Publication statusIn preparation - 2020



  • UAV
  • erosion

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