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USGS Flume Tests

Redefining Shallow Water Resolution

The USGS operates a scale model indoor river in their Geomorphology and Sediment Transport Laboratory in Golden, CO. It is used for sediment transport studies and flood modeling.

  • Because the water is extremely shallow (9 - 13 cm) they have difficulty mapping the flow patterns without draining the flume - which is time consuming and impacts the results of the test.

  • They used our LiDAR to map the shallow scale model river in real-time while water was flowing, resulting in high depth resolution under dynamic conditions.

  • The high resolution maps shown below represent 1cm depth resolution, and 1cm x 1cm horizontal resolution.

Note the fine detail, including small rocks on the surface of the water. 

9 cm Depth

13 cm Depth

Water Flow

ASTRALiTe mapped the bottom channel with 1 cm depth resolution under flowing water, detecting small objects beneath the water surface.

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The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Geological Survey.  Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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