Bathymetry from Images, LiDAR and Sonar

PFG - Journal of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Science
Special Issue: Bathymetry from Images, LiDAR, and Sonar

Guest editor: Gottfried Mandlburger

Call for papers:

Precise knowledge of underwater topography, also referred to as bathymetry, is of high social, environmental, and economic relevance. Up-to-date nautical charts are a prerequisite for safe ship navigation in coastal as well as inland water areas, and the underwater geometry of rivers and coastal waters is the prime input for flood simulations. In archeology, bathymetry data enables the detection of submerged pile dwellings and remains of ancient harbors. Environmental applications include eco-hydraulics, habitat modelling, river restoration, and monitoring of fluvial morpho-dynamics and littoral vegetation. Furthermore, bathymetry is also key in power industry for the management of dammed reservoirs and checking the structural integrity of offshore facilities.

For area-wide, high-resolution mapping of bathymetry, the following active and passive techniques have proved suitable: Sonar (Sound Navigation And Ranging), LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging), multimedia stereo-photogrammetry, and spectrally based depth estimation. All these fields are progressing fast, concerning sensor technology, platforms, and data processing methods. Prominent trends in sensor technology include increased measurement rates and spatial resolution. Miniaturization of sensors and platforms influence data acquisition with a clear trend towards unmanned, remotely piloted systems. Sonar sensors are operated either from conventional survey ships or from unmanned platforms like remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) and autonomous surface resp. underwater vehicles (ASV, AUV). The same applies to optical sensors, which are either operated through-water when mounted on manned as well as unmanned aerial platforms or in-water via diving or from underwater vehicles. Concerning data processing, deep learning based approaches are gaining importance but also sophisticated geometrical modelling (e.g., water surface reconstruction, refraction correction) and full waveform analysis plays a major role.

This special issue focuses on current trends for the derivation of bathymetry based Sonar and optical remote sensing. Contributions describing scientific advancements in one of the above-mentioned fields are welcome. This also includes interdisciplinary work (Sonar and optical, active and passive, bathymetry with applications in limnology, ecology, morphology, risk analysis, hazard mapping, disaster prevention, etc.). Relevant topics are:

  • New sensors (underwater Sonar and LiDAR, bathymetric UAV-LiDAR, Single Photon LiDAR, multi- and hyperspectral cameras)
  • New platforms and respective acquisition strategies (UAV, ROV, etc.)
  • New strategies for fusion of hybrid bathymetry data (active and passive optical data, joint processing of Sonar and optical data, etc.)
  • New or improved data processing techniques (refraction correction, robust underwater object detection, sophisticated waveform processing, semantic segmentation, etc.)
  • Quality analysis and accuracy assessment of bathymetric data (total vertical and positional uncertainties)
  • New applications (mapping of small objects, grain roughness measurement, turbidity estimation, infrastructure monitoring, etc.)
  • Reports on large-scale bathymetric mapping applications (e.g. country-wide or territorial acquisition)
  • Review articles in one of the above fields

All submitted manuscripts undergo peer-review according to the PFG-standards. The deadline for submitting papers is December 31, 2020.