Airborne laser scanning and usefulness for hydrological models
Digital terrain models form the basis for distributed hydrologic models as well as for two-dimensional hydraulic river flood models. The technique used for generating high accuracy digital terrain models has shifted from stereoscopic aerial-photography to airborne laser scanning during the last years. Since the disastrous floods 2002 in Austria, large airborne laser-scanning flight campaigns have been carried out for several river basins. Additionally to the topographic information, laser scanner data offer also the possibility to estimate object heights (vegetation, buildings). Detailed land cover maps can be derived in conjunction with the complementary information provided by high-resolution colour-infrared orthophotos. As already shown in several studies, the potential of airborne laser scanning to provide data for hydrologic/hydraulic applications is high. These studies were mostly constraint to small test sites. To overcome this spatial limitation, the current paper summarises the experiences to process airborne laser scanner data for large mountainous regions, thereby demonstrating the applicability of this technique in real-world hydrological applications.