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Article

High-Resolution Monitoring of Tidal Systems Using UAV: A Case Study on Poplar Island, MD (USA)

1
Engineering Department, University of Ferrara, Via Saragat 1, 44122 Ferrara, Italy
2
Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, 2020 Horns Point Road, Cambridge, MA 21613, USA
3
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Salisbury University, 1101 Camden Avenue, Salisbury, MD 21801, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alberto Canestrelli, Sergio Marconi and Alvise Finotello
Received: 2 March 2021 / Revised: 30 March 2021 / Accepted: 31 March 2021 / Published: 2 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV for High-Resolution Salt Marsh Monitoring)
Tidal processes regulating sediment accretion rates and vegetated platform erosion in tidal systems strongly affect salt marsh evolution. A balance between erosion and deposition in a restored salt marsh is crucial for analyzing restoration strategies to be adopted within a natural context. Marsh morphology is also coupled with tidal mudflats and channel networks and this makes micro-tidal systems crucial for a detailed assessment of restoration interventions. Here, we present a methodological approach for monitoring channel morphodynamics and vegetation variations over a time frame of six years in a low tidal energy salt marsh of the Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Project at Poplar Island (Maryland, USA). The project is a restoration site where sediment dredged from the shipping channels in the upper Chesapeake Bay is used to restore a tidal marsh habitat in mid-Chesapeake Bay. Aerial surveys with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) have been performed for the high-resolution mapping of a small tidal system. Flight missions were planned to obtain a Ground Sample Distance (GSD) of 2 cm. Structure-from-Motion (SfM) and Multi-View-Stereo (MVS) algorithms have been used to reconstruct the 3D geometry of the site. The mapping of channel morphology and an elevation assessment on the mudflat were performed using orthomosaics, Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) and GNSS survey. The results highlight that the workflow adopted in this pilot work is suitable to assess the geomorphological evolution over time in a micro-tidal system. However, issues were encountered for salt marsh due to the presence of dense vegetation. The UAV-based photogrammetry approach with GNSS RTK ground surveys can hence be replicated in similar sites all over the world to evaluate restoration interventions and to develop new strategies for a better management of existing shorelines. View Full-Text
Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV); salt marsh restoration; micro-tidal system; high-resolution monitoring; coastal geomorphology Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV); salt marsh restoration; micro-tidal system; high-resolution monitoring; coastal geomorphology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Taddia, Y.; Pellegrinelli, A.; Corbau, C.; Franchi, G.; Staver, L.W.; Stevenson, J.C.; Nardin, W. High-Resolution Monitoring of Tidal Systems Using UAV: A Case Study on Poplar Island, MD (USA). Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 1364. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13071364

AMA Style

Taddia Y, Pellegrinelli A, Corbau C, Franchi G, Staver LW, Stevenson JC, Nardin W. High-Resolution Monitoring of Tidal Systems Using UAV: A Case Study on Poplar Island, MD (USA). Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(7):1364. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13071364

Chicago/Turabian Style

Taddia, Yuri, Alberto Pellegrinelli, Corinne Corbau, Giulia Franchi, Lorie W. Staver, John C. Stevenson, and William Nardin. 2021. "High-Resolution Monitoring of Tidal Systems Using UAV: A Case Study on Poplar Island, MD (USA)" Remote Sensing 13, no. 7: 1364. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13071364

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