Publication Details

Morgan, M, Indraratna, B, Papworth, W, Aney, P & Perry, J, Applications of Airborne Laser Scanning to manage coastal acid sulfate soils within the Broughton Creek floodplain, in Woodroffe, CD and Furness, RA (eds), Coastal GIS 2003: an integrated approach to Australian coastal issues, Proceedings of a workshop, 2003, 401-414, Wollongong, Australia: Centre for Maritime Policy, University of Wollongong.


Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) Was first used in 1993 by Geodan Geodesie B. V. as a cheaper alternative in the collection of spatial information than traditional survey methods and photogrammetry. ALS has become important in creating Digital Terrain Models (DTM) with high precision at a far lower cost to other methods. Shoalhaven City Council employed ALS in May 200 I for the purpose of obtaining detailed survey information within budgetary constraints. The aim Was to determine the effectiveness of using ALS for coastal and environmental management by testing the accuracy of ground level points against traditionally surveyed points.

Coastal Acid Sulfate Soils are widespread throughout the Australian low- lying coastal areas. Shoalhaven City Council has received funding to improve the quality of affected land and waterways withing this hotspot. In groundwater conditions has lead to the development of management works. Due to the success that these research methods have had on the current field sites, a proposal to implement more of these structures across the floodplain has been formulated.

In order to determine the most suitable sites that would benefit most from such structures, Shoalhaven City Council employed a pilot Airborne Laser Scanning project to generate highly accurate ground elevation spot heights.

With this information, a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) was generated and used to determine the areas with the greatest likelihood of benefiting from engineering remediation works. This high-resolution imagery has aided in decision-making in managing Acid Sulfate Soils, and the DTM and digital photographs have been used in other projects within and outside of Council. This paper will further discuss the benefits sought after when deciding to use Airborne Laser Scanning instead of traditional survey methods and how it has been useful in managing Acid Sulfate Soils.