COMPARISON OF UAV-ENABLED PHOTOGRAMMETRY-BASED 3D POINT CLOUDS AND INTERPOLATED DSMs OF SLOPING TERRAIN FOR ROCKFALL HAZARD ANALYSIS
UAVs are expected to be particularly valuable to define topography for natural slopes that may be prone to geological hazards, such as landslides or rockfalls. UAV-enabled imagery and aerial mapping can lead to fast and accurate qualitative and quantitative results for photo documentation as well as basemap 3D analysis that can be used for geotechnical stability analyses. In this contribution, the case study of a rockfall near Ponti village that was triggered during the November 17th 2015 M w 6.5 earthquake in Lefkada, Greece is presented with a focus on feature recognition and 3D terrain model development for use in rockfall hazard analysis. A significant advantage of the UAV was the ability to identify from aerial views the rockfall trajectory along the terrain, the accuracy of which is crucial to subsequent geotechnical back-analysis. Fast static GPS control points were measured for optimizing internal and external camera parameters and model georeferencing. Emphasis is given on an assessment of the error associated with the basemap when fewer and poorly distributed ground control points are available. Results indicate that spatial distribution and image occurrences of control points throughout the mapped area and image block is essential in order to produce accurate geospatial data with minimum distortions.