Articles | Volume 14, issue 6
Research article
15 Jun 2020
Research article |  | 15 Jun 2020

Improving sub-canopy snow depth mapping with unmanned aerial vehicles: lidar versus structure-from-motion techniques

Phillip Harder, John W. Pomeroy, and Warren D. Helgason


Interactive discussion

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Peer-review completion

AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (review by editor) (28 Apr 2020) by Chris Derksen
AR by Phillip Harder on behalf of the Authors (29 Apr 2020)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish subject to technical corrections (05 May 2020) by Chris Derksen
AR by Phillip Harder on behalf of the Authors (06 May 2020)  Author's response    Manuscript
Short summary
Unmanned-aerial-vehicle-based (UAV) structure-from-motion (SfM) techniques have the ability to map snow depths in open areas. Here UAV lidar and SfM are compared to map sub-canopy snowpacks. Snow depth accuracy was assessed with data from sites in western Canada collected in 2019. It is demonstrated that UAV lidar can measure the sub-canopy snow depth at a high accuracy, while UAV-SfM cannot. UAV lidar promises to quantify snow–vegetation interactions at unprecedented accuracy and resolution.