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COSTANZA DI STEFANO

Measuring rill erosion at plot scale by a drone-based technology

  • Autori: Carollo, F.; DI STEFANO, C.; Ferro, V.; Pampalone, V.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2015
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/194710

Abstract

The traditional direct method (i.e. metric ruler and rillmeter) of monitoring rill erosion at plot scale is time consuming and invasive since it modifies the surface of the rilled area. Measuring rill features using a drone-based technology is considered a non-invasive method allowing a fast field relief. In the experimental Sparacia area a survey by a quadricopter Microdones md4-200 was carried out and this relief allowed the generation of a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), with a mesh size of 1 cm and a resolution elevation equal to 2 mm, for three plots (L, G and C) affected by rill erosion. At first for the experimental L plot, which is 44 m long, the rill features were surveyed by a “manual” method which was carried out by drawing on the PC screen the rill paths obtained by a visual orthophoto interpretation. This manual method was not applicable for the plots in which rills of limited depth occurred and were not detectable. Then, for both L plot and the other experimental plots having a length ranging from 22 to 44 m, an “automatic” extraction method of rills from DEM was applied. Using an appropriate calculation routine, a vector coverage of transects orthogonal to the main flow direction (i.e., the maximum slope steepness path) was generated. The intersection of each plot DEM with the transect coverage allowed to obtain both the cross-sections and the main rill morphological features. For the L plot the comparison between the rill morphological features obtained by the two different methods (manual, automatic) was carried out. Finally, the length-volume relationship and the dimensionless one proposed by Bruno et al. (2008) were tested for all studied experimental plots.