UAS-based Orthomosaic and Elevation Modeling for Montezuma Wetland Restoration Project, San Francisco Estuary

Description/Abstract:  Northgate Environmental Management, Inc., in collaboration with GeoWing Mapping, Inc., performed an aerial survey of the Montezuma Wetlands Restoration Project, an approximately 2,400-acre dredged sediment disposal, management, and reuse site located in the Suisun Marsh in the San Francisco Estuary.  The site was previously diked and drained for agricultural use over 100 years ago.  The project will allow the placement and reuse of dredged sediments from San Francisco Bay to restore approximately 1,450 acres of intertidal marsh, seasonal and managed wetlands, and shorebird habitat, and approximately 425 acres of transitional and upland habitat.  The purpose of the aerial survey was to generate an orthomosaic and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for three of the four planned phases (Phases I, III, and IV), comprising 2,022 acres of the site.  GeoWing operated the unmanned aerial system (UAS, or “drone”) to acquire the aerial images at the end of the dry season in September-October 2016, and Northgate analyzed the imagery to produce the orthomosaic, DEM, and GIS data products.  The planning, logistics, and acquisition of over 8,400 aerial images; challenges of data processing, storage, and transfer; model accuracy; and future uses of the data will be discussed.  The orthomosaic with 2.5-cm (1-inch) per pixel ground sample distance and the DEM with 19-cm (7.5-inch) grid spacing will be used to support ongoing construction, sediment capacity and volume measurements, geotechnical analysis, habitat monitoring, and biological assessments.

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Session Time Slot(s): 
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 17:00 to 17:30

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