New Tools in Process-Based Analysis of Lidar Topographic Data - NSF Workshop

posted Mar 3, 2010, 8:37 AM by Joseph Wheaton   [ updated Apr 14, 2010, 12:46 PM ]


You are invited to participate in an NSF-sponsored workshop called “New Tools in Process-Based Analysis of Lidar Topographic Data,” to be help June 1-2 at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. This workshop is a follow-up to one held in 2008 called “Workshop on Studying Earth Surface Processes with High-resolution Topographic Data” ( The goal of this year’s workshop is to provide researchers in Earth surface processes with an opportunity to gain hands-on knowledge in new methods for analyzing high-resolution topographic data. Participants should have active research projects using lidar data (airborne or ground-based). Graduate students are encouraged to attend.

The format over the two days will include four three-hour workshop timeslots (with two workshops running concurrently in each), two plenary lectures by interdisciplinary experts in analysis of lidar data (Michael Lefsky and TBA), and short presentations and posters by all workshop participants.

New Tools in Process-Based Analysis of Lidar Topographic Data

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

Boulder, Colorado, USA

June 1-2, 2010


Workshop sessions

1.      Title:  The River Bathymetry Toolkit

Leaders: Jim McKean and Dave Nagel, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Boise, Idaho; and Philip Bailey, ESSA Technologies Ltd.

Description: This workshop presents the River Bathymetry Toolkit (RBT), which processes high-resolution DEMs of channels and calculates standard measures of hydraulic geometry and aquatic habitat at user-defined locations. (Note: this workshop will be presented twice.) See here for more detail.

2.     Title:  Filtering and quantitative analysis of lidar data

Leaders:  Steve Martel (University of Hawaii) and Taylor Perron (MIT)

Description:  This workshop will present methods for filtering and smoothing lidar data to detect and remove outliers, to diminish noise, and to detect and enhance signals.

3.     Title:  Identifying and mapping landforms and quantifying fault displacement with lidar digital topographic data

Leaders:  Ramon Arrowsmith (ASU); Kurt Frankel (Georgia Tech); and perhaps Ralph Haugerud

Description:  A hands on and applied workshop on mapping, designed to bridge from academic to agency and industry communities. Workshop will include reference to activities underway by California Geological Survey and Oregon DOGAMI.

4.     Title:  Extracting landscape metrics for tectonic interpretation

Leaders:  George Hilley (Stanford University) and Ramon Arrowsmith (ASU)

Description:  This workshop includes the wavelet analysis of high resolution digital topography and the calculation of area-slope based metrics across DEMs with different spatial resolutions.

5.     Title:  1D hydraulic modeling with lidar data

Leaders:  Noah Finnegan (UC- Santa Cruz)

Description:  This workshop will present the basics of 1) generating input files from lidar data for use with the 1D hydraulic modeling package HEC-RAS, and 2) Performing simple lidar-based open channel flow calculations in HEC-RAS.

6.      Title:  Meaningful Change Detection and Sediment Budgeting from Repeat Topographic Data

Leaders: Joseph Wheaton (Utah State University)

Description: As repeat topographic data sets become an increasingly popular form of scientific monitoring, the need grows for robust methods of quantifying and accounting for uncertainties in those data to reliably distinguish between calculated changes likely to be real versus those changes one cannot distinguish from noise. Once the uncertainties in repeat topographic data sets are accounted for, the more interesting question of how to interpret the data and use it to test specific hypotheses remains. In this session, participants will learn how to use the DEM of Difference Uncertainty Analysis Software to do both an uncertainty analysis of repeat topographic datasets and interpret the data in terms of sediment budgets.

More Information:

7.     Title:  GeoNet: A computational tool for channel extraction from lidar


Leader:  Paola Passalacqua (National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics, University of Minnesota)


Description:  GeoNet is an advanced methodology for channel network extraction, which incorporates nonlinear diffusion for the pre-processing of the data and geodesic energy minimization for the extraction of channels.  This 3-hours workshop will combine a lecture with hands-on practice. The lecture will introduce the theoretical background, and the hands-on portion will focus on the application of GeoNet to basins of different geomorphologic characteristics. 



Plenary lectures


1. Title: TBA


Presenter: Michael Lefsky (Colorado State University)




2. Title: TBA


Presenter: TBA