INSIGHTS IN GROUNDWATER-SURFACE WATER INTERACTIONS FROM SMALL UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS USING HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGERY
Rivers are distributed indicators for surrounding landscape and groundwater-surface water (GW-SW) interactions for each drainage areas. Understanding processes at the GW-SW interface, however, remain difficult to apply across systems due to complex physical and morphological dynamics and the associated biogeochemical processes. This work highlights high-resolution imagery (1-10 cm scale) from small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) flown over a short reaches (500-1000 m) of East River (CO) and Devils River (TX), supplementing more traditional methods of examining GW-SW flow interactions. In East River, spatial normalized difference vegetation indices from a multispectral camera highlight potential patterns along meanders of the sinuous system likely indicating preferential lateral flows. In Devils River, a pre-calibrated thermal camera clearly identifies GW inputs from spring flow critical to fish habitat. For both sites, visible imagery were collected for digital surface model (DSM) creation through Structure from Motion software. We present preliminary DSM analyses for river bed topography and potential identification of pool-riffle sequences. The combination of increased reliability, sensor miniaturization, and continued research hope to highlight potential sUAS-collected imagery as tool for freshwater scientists and environmental monitoring.
Henry Pai (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Nevada, Reno; Global Water Center, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Scott Tyler ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Nevada, Reno, email@example.com;