ResearchCurrent projects
Wissenschaftliche Monitoringkonzepte für die Deutsche Bucht (WIMO) (2015)

Scientific monitoring concepts for the German Bight (WIMO) (2015)

Team:  A. Schmidt
Year:  2010
Is Finished:  yes

Sub-project: Monitoring of topography in Wadden Sea areas with airborne laser scanner data



Climate change and human activities cause morphological changes in the Wadden Sea. The wide-ranging consequence for the ecosystem of the North Sea requires a sustainable development in the next years. In particular, the definition of significant environmental parameters and their relationship as well as the observation of German Bight's condition becomes essential and are task of a project called WIMO, a cooperation of universities and institutes in Lower-Saxony, Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein.

Airborne laser scanning became a standard technology for topographic data acquisition in coastal areas of the North Sea. The accuracy of these data depends on a number of various factors. In water regions topographic data acquisition is limited to the water surface since the commonly used near-infrared laser pulse hardly penetrates water. Therefore, the elevation model deviates from the actual terrain and requires water surfaces detection for the generation of a digital terrain model (DTM).


The aim of the project is to develop new methods for the automatic derivation of a digital terrain model in order to delineate the topography and its dynamics in Wadden Sea areas. In particular, water surfaces remaining in tidal trenches even during low tide have to be detected automatically and considered for the DTM modelling. We focus especially on the development of new algorithms and the analysis of full waveform data in regard to crucial classification features. For the evaluation of our methods we use data from the German Wadden Sea.