Articles | Volume 22, issue 8
Technical note
07 Aug 2018
Technical note |  | 07 Aug 2018

Technical note: Bathymetry observations of inland water bodies using a tethered single-beam sonar controlled by an unmanned aerial vehicle

Filippo Bandini, Daniel Olesen, Jakob Jakobsen, Cecile Marie Margaretha Kittel, Sheng Wang, Monica Garcia, and Peter Bauer-Gottwein

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Cited articles

Alsdorf, D. E., Rodriguez, E., and Lettenmaier, D. P.: Measuring surface water from space, Rev. Geophys., 45, 1–24,, 2007. 
Bagheri, O., Ghodsian, M., and Saadatseresht, M.: Reach scale application of UAV+SfM method in shallow rivers hyperspatial bathymetry, Int. Arch. Photogramm., 40, 77–81, 2015. 
Bailly, J.-S., Kinzel, P. J., Allouis, T., Feurer, D., and Le Coarer, Y.: Airborne LiDAR Methods Applied to Riverine Environments, in: Fluvial Remote Sensing for Science and Management, edited by: Carbonneau, P. E. and Piégay, H., 141–161, 2012. 
Bailly, J. S., le Coarer, Y., Languille, P., Stigermark, C. J., and Allouis, T.: Geostatistical estimations of bathymetric LiDAR errors on rivers, Earth Surf. Proc. Land., 35, 1199–1210,, 2010. 
Bandini, F., Jakobsen, J., Olesen, D., Reyna-Gutierrez, J. A., and Bauer-Gottwein, P.: Measuring water level in rivers and lakes from lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, J. Hydrol., 548, 237–250,, 2017. 
Short summary
Water depth observations are essential data to forecast flood hazard, predict sediment transport, or monitor in-stream habitats. We retrieved bathymetry with a sonar wired to a drone. This system can improve the speed and spatial scale at which water depth observations are retrieved. Observations can be retrieved also in unnavigable or inaccessible rivers. Water depth observations showed an accuracy of ca. 2.1 % of actual depth, without being affected by water turbidity or bed material.