Woolpert Inc. and Fugro Pelagos Inc. completed a bathymetric LiDAR survey of the Yakima River for the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation.

The project involved the acquisition and processing of airborne LiDAR bathymetry data along approximately 16 miles of the Yakima River near Ellensburg, Wash. It represented the first time that airborne LiDAR bathymetry technology had been used successfully to map a shallow-water river environment. Sounding data was acquired from 0 meters through to the maximum river depth of 3 meters.

While airborne LiDAR bathymeters have been used on deep-water coastal mapping projects for over a decade, the project team used the latest-generation technology available-Optech's SHOALS-1000T-to collect bathymetry data in the river's shallow, clear-water environment. This approach provided river engineers with a complete representation of the river channel and floodplain, enabling them to study hydraulic conditions as they relate to fish habitat, sediment transport, flooding and levee configuration.

Woolpert and Fugro Pelagos have since teamed to provide similar data acquisition and processing services for the Bureau of Reclamation on the Trinity River in northern California.

Source: Woolpert, Feb. 23, 2005