Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

UAV-Supported Biogeomorphic Analysis of Restored Sierra Nevada Montane Meadows

Version 1 : Received: 31 December 2019 / Approved: 2 January 2020 / Online: 2 January 2020 (03:01:15 CET)

How to cite: Davis, J.; Blesius, L.; Slocombe, M.; Maher, S.; Vasey, M.; Christian, P.; Lynch, P. UAV-Supported Biogeomorphic Analysis of Restored Sierra Nevada Montane Meadows. Preprints 2020, 2020010004 Davis, J.; Blesius, L.; Slocombe, M.; Maher, S.; Vasey, M.; Christian, P.; Lynch, P. UAV-Supported Biogeomorphic Analysis of Restored Sierra Nevada Montane Meadows. Preprints 2020, 2020010004

Abstract

Assessment of meadow restoration benefits from understanding the connection between geomorphology, hydrology and vegetation, and multispectral imagery captured from unpiloted aerial vehicles (UAV) may provide the method most suitable in terms of cost, spatial resolution, support for vegetation indices, and frequency of acquisition. Our field studies of northern Sierra Nevada montane meadows (with <40 km2 watersheds) in various stages of restoration includes GPS + laser-leveling channel survey, laser-leveled cross section, aerial LiDAR, vegetation sampling, soil measurements, and UAV imaging using a sensor capturing calibrated blue (465-485 nm), green (550-570 nm), red (663-673 nm), near infrared (820-860 nm), and red edge (712-722 nm) bands at 5.5 cm resolution, providing multispectral false-color images and vegetation indices such as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and red-edge Chlorophyll index (Clre). This fine-scale imagery extends our morphometric assessment of post-restoration channel scouring exhibiting bedform patterns and sinuosity related to Carex-influenced soil properties and Salix copses, but also provided a view of groundwater-related drainage effects including sinuous Carex-vegetated zones evident from spring snowmelt images as well as NDVI and Clre in growing to senescent phenological stages. Carex in particular was significantly associated with low bulk density and high soil moisture, NDVI, and Clre at lower elevations.

Subject Areas

UAV; meadow; NDVI; geomorphology; restoration; vegetation; hydrophilic; change detection

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