The ISWC has made new progress in the research and development of monitoring technology for soil erosion underlying surface morphology

Update time:2023-06-02
Recently, the water and soil conservation monitoring and informatization research team of the Institute of Water and Soil Conservation published a paper entitled “A digital close range photogrammetric observation system for measuring soil surface morphology during ongoing rain fall” in the Journal of Hydrology. Jiang Yanmin, a doctoral student was the first author and the associate professor Shi Haijing was the corresponding author of the paper. The State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University was the first affiliation. 

Soil erosion is a hydro-geomorphic process occurring over the earth’ surface. The observation of soil surface morphology during ongoing rainfall at fine spatial and temporal scales are critical for the study of soil erosion. At present, there is still a lack of observational techniques and means which can observe soil erosion process from both spatial and temporal dimensions under continuous rainfall. Based on this, a set of observation system for dynamically monitoring soil surface morphology evolution processes under continuous rainfall was designed by coupling digital close-range photographic observation technology and wireless networking technology. The evolution of soil surface morphology was dynamically monitored by instantaneous image acquisition at different time intervals during ongoing rainfall. Noises on the images such as raindrops was removed by K-means clustering, digital point clouds were calculated and digital elevation model (DEM) was then generated. The results showed that the established system could dynamically monitor the evolution of soil surface morphology during continuous rainfall, and the temporal and spatial resolutions of the observation system were 1 minute and 2 mm, respectively. Compared with a runoff sediment collection method, the average relative error of the system for estimating soil loss was 5.63%, and the accuracy of single observation was up to 99.58%. The observation methods explored in our study provided a reliable way to monitor soil erosion processes, which was also helpful to analyze the role and influence mechanism of soil erosion in surface hydrological process.

The research was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Chinese Academy of Sciences frontier science key research project.
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