Analysis of Airborne Lidar Bathymetry (ALB) Bottom Return Waveforms

TitleAnalysis of Airborne Lidar Bathymetry (ALB) Bottom Return Waveforms
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
AuthorsEren, F, Birkebak, M, Pe'eri, S
Conference Name17th Annual JALBTCX Airborne Coastal Mapping and Charting Workshop
Conference DatesJuly 19-21
Conference LocationSilver Spring, MD

Airborne Lidar Bathymetry (ALB) could provide information about the laser beam interaction with the environment (water surface, water column and seafloor) during its travel from air to the seafloor. These interactions are time recorded as waveforms and could be assessed to obtain useful information about the environment. Using water surface and bottom (seafloor) returns in the ALB waveform, it is possible to calculate the water depth. In addition to bathymetry, the bottom return provides information on the seafloor characteristics. The characteristics of the bottom return depends mainly on bottom characteristics, such as, bottom slope, roughness, vegetation, and mineral composition of the seafloor. In this study, the ALB bottom return waveform was analyzed spatially and temporally for seafloor characterization. A system-agnostic approach was developed in order to distinguish between the spatial variations of different bottom characteristics. The ALB data collected in the Merrimack River Embayment, Gulf of Maine was used as the study site. The results demonstrated good correlation to acoustic backscatter which was collected in the same area.