Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based monitoring of a landslide: Gallenzerkogel landslide (Ybbs-Lower Austria) case study

Environ Monit Assess. 2017 Dec 19;190(1):28. doi: 10.1007/s10661-017-6402-8.


In the present study, UAV-based monitoring of the Gallenzerkogel landslide (Ybbs, Lower Austria) was carried out by three flight missions. High-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs), orthophotos, and density point clouds were generated from UAV-based aerial photos via structure-from-motion (SfM). According to ground control points (GCPs), an average of 4 cm root mean square error (RMSE) was found for all models. In addition, light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data from 2009, representing the prefailure topography, was utilized as a digital terrain model (DTM) and digital surface model (DSM). First, the DEM of difference (DoD) between the first UAV flight data and the LIDAR-DTM was determined and according to the generated DoD deformation map, an elevation difference of between - 6.6 and 2 m was found. Over the landslide area, a total of 4380.1 m3 of slope material had been eroded, while 297.4 m3 of the material had accumulated within the most active part of the slope. In addition, 688.3 m3 of the total eroded material had belonged to the road destroyed by the landslide. Because of the vegetation surrounding the landslide area, the Multiscale Model-to-Model Cloud Comparison (M3C2) algorithm was then applied to compare the first and second UAV flight data. After eliminating both the distance uncertainty values of higher than 15 cm and the nonsignificant changes, the M3C2 distance obtained was between - 2.5 and 2.5 m. Moreover, the high-resolution orthophoto generated by the third flight allowed visual monitoring of the ongoing control/stabilization work in the area.

Keywords: DoD; Landslide monitoring; M3C2; SfM; UAV.

MeSH terms

  • Aircraft*
  • Austria
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Landslides / statistics & numerical data*
  • Remote Sensing Technology*