Lidar Time Series

One use of lidar data is to monitor changes over time.  Data can be collected and processed rapidly, so it is particularly valuable after natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes..

Coastal regions represent one area where long time series can be particularly useful.  These areas see hurricane erosion, annual storm and fair weather changes, and the longer term effects of sea level rise.  In the United States,  the  NOAA LIDAR coastal data web site has multiple data sets covering much of the US coastline, and these are freely available.  For example, Duck, North Carolina has at least 17 data sets covering the last 20 years.  Many of these data sets were acquired to monitor particular hurricanes.  The speed at which lidar surveys can operate, the swath width of the survey which means that just 1 or 2 swaths will capture the coastal strip most affected by the storm, and the increasing accuracy of hurricane path prediction means that a pre-storm data collection can be made before the storm, and a post storm collection can be made when there is less time pressure.

On the US West Coast, much of the erosion happens via cliff failure, typically during stormy El Nino years, and these can also be captured via lidar.

Electrical utilities can monitor their transmission lines, both for sag and vegetation encroachment.  Since this is a regular ocurrence, they will collect time series of data, but that will probably be proprietary.  It also covers only a narrow swath along the transmission line, so the data will have limited interest for other.

Time series analysis is probably most effective with grids created from the point clouds.


Last revision 11/23/2017