The Photogrammetric Record

Cover image for Vol. 31 Issue 154

Edited By: Stuart I. Granshaw

Impact Factor: 1.622

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 9/24 (Imaging Science & Photographic Technology); 14/28 (Remote Sensing); 29/49 (Geography Physical); 96/184 (Geosciences Multidisciplinary)

Online ISSN: 1477-9730

Virtual Issue: Environmental Applications of Photogrammetry and Lidar


The use of both airborne and terrestrial photography and, more recently, laser scanning to measure the surface of often fragile environments is one of the most interesting applications of these geomatics techniques, often requiring novel methods when using these non-contact technologies in challenging situations. This virtual issue focuses on three main areas that can benefit from the use of photogrammetry and lidar: (i) soil erosion due to rainwater; (ii) the retreat of glaciers; and (iii) erosion and changes in coastal morphology.

An understanding of soil erosion due to rainwater runoff requires a model of the microtopography of the soil surface. In this issue Rossi and Ares use close range photogrammetry to model the surface and rectified video imagery to monitor and quantify surface water movements in the northern Patagonia region of Argentina. Peter Heng et al. investigate the use of non-metric cameras for soil surface topography and morphology, concluding that accuracy problems need to be addressed. Gessesse et al. look at similar problems in Ethiopia where the frequent tillage of the land near the start of the rainy season causes soil erosion and deposition during extreme rainfall when there is little vegetation cover. Rather than field studies, Rieke-Zapp and Nearing apply digital photogrammetry to laboratory experiments to determine millimetre-scale erosion rates using 60 different digital elevation models.

Some of the most vivid illustrations of the consequences of global warming are depicted by the retreat of glaciers. Two papers illustrate the use of photogrammetry for measuring receding glaciers in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Triglav and Čekada demonstrate the use of non-metric panoramic photography to quantify the retreat of the Triglav glacier in Slovenia at three-yearly intervals from 1976 to 2009. Fox and Cziferszky demonstrate that errors of under 2m can be achieved in using archival photography of Antarctic Peninsular glaciers to measure changes in glacier ice thickness at five dates from 1947 to 2005.

The monitoring of changes in coastal environments is essential to an understanding of the processes involved in coastline modification around the world. Two papers evaluate the use of photogrammetry and lidar to produce quantitative data demonstrating the morphological changes facing marine cliffs over time. The paper by Lim et al. uses an example of hard rock cliffs in North Yorkshire, UK, whilst Adams and Chandler investigate soft cliffs in Dorset, UK. In contrast, the Dutch coastline consists primarily of sandy beaches which protect the low-lying hinterland. Since 1990 it has been Dutch government policy to maintain the coastline at its 1990 position by applying artificial sand every year. How this sand is transported by the wind is investigated in the paper by Lindenbergh et al., where a series of 25 terrestrial laser scans taken over an 88 hour period demonstrate changes in beach morphology with changing weather conditions.

The final paper in this virtual issue, by Rieke-Zapp et al., concentrates on how the field scientist in any environment can undertake a mapping survey when no specialist, and heavy, survey equipment have been factored into the party’s supplies. Using a camera which the team would normally have, plus a light-weight laser distance measurer, it is possible for the non-specialist to undertake an adequate survey (quantifying a rock outcrop is used as an example) where this was not expected at the outset of the expedition. It is hoped that this virtual issue of 10 papers published in The Photogrammetric Record over the past decade will indicate the valuable contribution that photogrammetry and laser scanning can make to measurement of the environment, often over long periods of time where change detection is the focus of the research.

Stuart Granshaw, Editor, The Photogrammetric Record


Close range photogrammetry and video imagery analyses in soil ecohydrology modelling
Maria Rossi and Jorge Ares
March 2012:

Applying close range digital photogrammetry in soil erosion studies
Peter Heng, Chandler and Armstrong
September 2010

Assessment of erosion, deposition and rill development on irregular soil surfaces using close range digital photogrammetry
Gessesse, Fuchs, Mansberger, Klik and Rieke-Zapp
September 2010

Digital close range photogrammetry for measurement of soil erosion
Rieke-Zapp and Mark Nearing
March 2005

Acquisition of the 3D boundary of the Triglav Glacier from archived non-metric panoramic images
MihaelaTriglav-Čekada, Dalibor Radovan, Matej Gabrovec and Mojca Kosmatin-Fras
March 2011

Unlocking the time capsule of historic aerial photography to measure changes in Antarctic Peninsula glaciers
Adrian Fox and Andreas Czifersky
March 2008

Combining digital photogrammetry and time-of-flight laser scanning for monitoring cliff evolution
Michael Lim, David Petley, Nicholas Rosser, Robert Allison, Anthony Long and David Pybus
June 2005

Evaluation of lidar and medium scale photogrammetry for detecting soft-cliff coastal change
James Adams and Jim Chandler
April 2002

Aeolian beach sand transport monitored by terrestrial laser scanning
Roderick Lindenbergh, Sylvie Soudarissanane, Sierd de Vries, Ben Gorte and Matthieu Schipper
December 2011

A photogrammetric surveying method for field applications
Rieke-Zapp, Rosenbauer and Schlunegger
March 2009