Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-10-1211-2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-10-1211-2022
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02 Dec 2022
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 02 Dec 2022

Size, shape and orientation matter: fast and semi-automatic measurement of grain geometries from 3D point clouds

Philippe Steer, Laure Guerit, Dimitri Lague, Alain Crave, and Aurélie Gourdon

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Latest update: 16 Apr 2024
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Understanding how sediment moves in rivers is fundamental to the shape of our landscapes and how they evolve. A key part of this understanding is measuring the size and shape of cobbles, pebbles and grains in the bed of a river. Often this measuring task is laborious and carried out by hand. However, this paper presents code and describes a method for measuring this using 3d point cloud data (from a laser scan for example) enabling the automation and rapid measurement.
Short summary
The morphology and size of sediments influence erosion efficiency, sediment transport and the quality of aquatic ecosystem. In turn, the spatial evolution of sediment size provides information on the past dynamics of erosion and sediment transport. We have developed a new software which semi-automatically identifies and measures sediments based on 3D point clouds. This software is fast and efficient, offering a new avenue to measure the geometrical properties of large numbers of sediment grains.