Structure-from-motion photogrammetry analysis of historical aerial photography: Determining beach volumetric change over decadal scales
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Historical aerial photographs are an invaluable tool in shoreline mapping and change detection in coastal landscapes. We evaluate the extent to which structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetric methods can be applied to quantify volumetric changes along sandy beaches, using archival imagery. We demonstrate the application of SfM-derived digital surface models (DSMs) at East Beach and Lady Bay in southwest Victoria, Australia, using photographic datasets taken in 1969, 1977 and 1986, and compare them to LiDAR-derived DSMs acquired at both sites in 2007. The SfM approaches resulted in two entire and two partial suitable DSMs out of six datasets. Good-quality DSMs were spatially continuous with a good spread of ground control points (GCPs) near the beach at Lady Bay, whereas unsuitable DSMs were mostly restricted by poor distribution and number of GCPs in spatially segmented areas of East Beach, due to limited overlapping of images, possible poor quality of GCPs and also the propagation of errors in the derived point clouds. A volume of approximately 223 000 ± 72 000 m3 was deposited at Lady Bay between 1969 and 2007, despite minimal erosion observed near the breakwater. The partially suitable dataset of East Beach indicated that beach erosion of at least 39 m3 m−1 occurred immediately to the east of the seawall after 1977. We also discuss the drawbacks and strengths of SfM approaches as a benchmark of historical erosion assessments along sandy beaches. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.