• laser scanning;
  • LiDAR;
  • river morphology;
  • TLS;
  • mobile mapping


The boat-based, mobile mapping system (BoMMS) with a laser scanner allows the derivation of detailed riverine topographical data for fluvial applications. Combined with data acquisition from static terrestrial LiDAR (light detection and range) or mobile terrestrial LiDAR on the ground, boat-based laser scanning enables a totally new field mapping approach for fluvial studies. The BoMMS approach is an extremely rapid methodology for surveying riverine topography, taking only 85 min to survey a reach approximately 6 km in length. The BoMMS approach also allowed an effective survey angle for deep river banks, which is difficult to achieve with aerial or static terrestrial LiDAR. Further, this paper demonstrates the three-dimensional mapping of a point-bar and its detailed morphology. Compared with the BoMMS surface, approximately, 80% and 96% of the terrestrial LiDAR points showed a height deviation of less than 2 cm and 5 cm, respectively, with an overall standard deviation of ± 2·7 cm. This level of accuracy and rapidity of data capture enables the mapping of post-flood deposition directly after a flood event without an extensive time lag. Additionally, the improved object characterisation may allow for better 3D mapping of the point bar and other riverrine features. However, the shadow effect of the BoMMS survey in point bar mapping should be removed by additional LiDAR data to acquire entire riverine topography. The approach demonstrated allowed a large reach to be surveyed compared with static terrestrial LiDAR and increased the spatial limit of survey towards aerial LiDAR, but it maintains the same or even better temporal resolution as static terrestrial LiDAR. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.