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Measuring Flume Surfaces for Hydraulics Research Using a Kodak DCS460

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A critical problem in hydraulics research is accurate measurement of fluvially worked sediments, both in the field and in scaled representations of field situations in laboratory flumes. Such measurement must provide information on individual grain characteristics, and their organisation into structures referred to as bedforms. Existing measurement approaches are based upon mechanical or laser profiling devices, which are both expensive and take considerable time to acquire data, particularly where information is required at very high densities. This paper demonstrates how conventional automated terrain model extraction software, combined with image acquisition using a Kodak DCS460 digital camera, has been effective in generating digital elevation models of complex bed morphology. This has reduced time spent collecting data in the flume and has allowed data collection at much higher spatial and temporal densities. Application of the method is illustrated by research carried out at Hydraulics Research Wallingford. Issues discussed include configuration of photographs and control coordinates; appropriate camera calibration methods; stability of inner orientation of the Kodak DCS460; and accuracies obtained. Comparisons with independent check data reveal that accuracies of ±2.5mm have been achieved using a camera-to-object distance of 4.2 m.

Keywords: DEM accuracy; camera calibration; close range photogrammetry; digital photogrammetry; river channel morphology

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Loughborough Universit, 2: CEH Wallingford, 3: University of Leeds

Publication date: 2001-04-01

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