2008 Alum

Emanuelle A. Feliciano Bonilla

Emanuelle A. Feliciano Bonilla

Years participated in RESESS:
2007 →

An Overview

Terrestrial laser scanning study of gully erosion at West Bijou Creek, Arapahoe County, Colorado: An investigation on field acquisition and data processing

Academic Affiliation: Senior, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Geology
Science Research Mentors: Ann Sheehan – University of Colorado at Boulder; Gregory Tucker – University of Colorado at Boulder
Writing and Communication Mentor:David Phillips – UNAVCO


Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) or ground-based LiDAR (light detection and ranging) is a relatively new technology that digitally maps geological outcrops at centimeter-to-millimeter resolutions. This paper reports the results of a trial TLS project that has two main aims: collecting scans for monitoring gully erosion, and conducting a survey to connect field methods of TLS with geomorphology. The site of this TLS survey was located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, and data collection consisted of a three-day campaign. This project focused on a new approach to analyzing and measuring deformation and erosion in gully-dominated landscapes. Our approach to the survey consisted of going to the field with an Optech scanner to acquire the data, searching for different field acquisition strategies, practicing with data processing, and making a web page of the project for the scientific community. A preliminary terrain model was made in Polyworks software using only 20 percent of the scans; this provided insight into how the landscape model can look in the future. The long-term goal of this research is to keep track of the changes in the morphology of the gullies located at West Bijou Creek in Colorado using Real Time Kinematic GPS (RTK-GPS) and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS). Because applications of TLS in geology and geophysics are evolving rapidly, in this project a web page including a forum is provided to the scientific community with a summary of current field acquisition practices for sharing ideas and discoveries.