Assessment of UAV and ground-based structure from motion with multi-view stereo photogrammetry in a gullied savanna catchment

Koci, Jack, Jarihani, Ben, Leon, Javier X., Sidle, Roy C., Wilkinson, Scott N., and Bartley, Rebecca (2017) Assessment of UAV and ground-based structure from motion with multi-view stereo photogrammetry in a gullied savanna catchment. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 6 (11). 328.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (11MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Structure from Motion with Multi-View Stereo photogrammetry (SfM-MVS) is increasingly used in geoscience investigations, but has not been thoroughly tested in gullied savanna systems. The aim of this study was to test the accuracy of topographic models derived from aerial (via Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, ‘UAV’) and ground-based (via handheld digital camera, ‘ground’) SfM-MVS in modelling hillslope gully systems in a dry-tropical savanna, and to assess the strengths and limitations of the approach at a hillslope scale and an individual gully scale. UAV surveys covered three separate hillslope gully systems (with areas of 0.412–0.715 km2), while ground surveys assessed individual gullies within the broader systems (with areas of 350–750 m2). SfM-MVS topographic models, including Digital Surface Models (DSM) and dense point clouds, were compared against RTK-GPS point data and a pre-existing airborne LiDAR Digital Elevation Model (DEM). Results indicate that UAV SfM-MVS can deliver topographic models with a resolution and accuracy suitable to define gully systems at a hillslope scale (e.g., approximately 0.1 m resolution with 0.4–1.2 m elevation error), while ground-based SfM-MVS is more capable of quantifying gully morphology (e.g., approximately 0.01 m resolution with 0.04–0.1 m elevation error). Despite difficulties in reconstructing vegetated surfaces, uncertainty as to optimal survey and processing designs, and high computational demands, this study has demonstrated great potential for SfM-MVS to be used as a cost-effective tool to aid in the mapping, modelling and management of hillslope gully systems at different scales, in savanna landscapes and elsewhere.

Item ID: 64349
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2220-9964
Keywords: Digital Elevation Model (DEM); Digital Surface Model (DSM); gully erosion; point cloud; Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Copyright Information: © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Funders: Australian Government Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA), Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Projects and Grants: APA Program, MLA Postgraduate Award, CSIRO Postgraduate Scholarship
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2020 04:30
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 114
Last 12 Months: 10
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page