Mapping Groundwater Table in Alberta’s Boreal Region Using Remote Sensing Techniques

Authors: Kirandeep Kaur Basran*, Applied Geospatial Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Gregory J. McDermid, Applied Geospatial Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Mir Mustafizur Rahman, Applied Geospatial Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Calgary
Topics: Remote Sensing, Environment
Keywords: groundwater table, remote sensing, LiDAR, optical, boreal
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Cabinet Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The purpose of this research is to develop a functional method for accurate mapping of Ground Water Table (GWT), over diverse boreal terrain, using airborne optical, and LiDAR data and photogrammetric techniques. The present study takes advantage of the fact that water bodies are abundant in the boreal forest and can be used as predictor of GWT. Feature extraction technique was applied on RGB-NIR layer to extract the open surface waterbodies. Then, water sample point across the site were selected using stratified-random sampling technique. The elevations of these water samples were then obtained from LiDAR data and then interpolated to generate GWT surface for the entire study area. A separate set of random water-points were also generated for accuracy assessment. Our method is expected to work well in open and low lying areas where surface water is visible and abundant and are tightly linked to groundwater, but might experience errors in regions with dense canopy/uplands. Information about GWT is crucial in understanding plant growth, forest productivity, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and other factors associated with forest restoration. This is further useful for developing models, based on GWT, for predicting other environmental variables.

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