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Regular version of the site

Article

UAV-Derived Data Application for Environmental Monitoring of the Coastal Area of Lake Sevan, Armenia with a Changing Water Level

Remote Sensing. 2020. Vol. 12. No. 22. P. 3821-3821.
Andrey Medvedev, Telnova N., Natalia Alekseenko, Koshkarev A., Kuznetchenko P., Asmaryan S., Narykov A.

The paper presents the range and applications of thematic tasks for ultra-high spatial resolution data from small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the integral system of environmental multi-platform and multi-scaled monitoring of Lake Sevan, which is one of the greatest freshwater lakes in Eurasia. From the 1930s, it had been subjected to human-driven changing of the water level with associated and currently exacerbated environmental issues. We elaborated the specific techniques of optical and thermal surveys for the different coastal sites and phenomena in study. UAV-derived optical imagery and thermal stream were processed by a Structure-from-Motion algorithm to create digital surface models (DSMs) and ortho-imagery for several key sites. UAV imagery were used as additional sources of detailed spatial data under large-scale mapping of current land-use and point sources of water pollution in the coastal zone, and a main data source on environmental violations, especially sewage discharge or illegal landfills. The revealed present-day coastal types were mapped at a large scale, and the net changes of shoreline position and rates of shore erosion were calculated on multi-temporal UAV data using modified Hausdorff’s distance. Based on highly-detailed DSMs, we revealed the areas and objects at risk of flooding under the projected water level rise to 1903.5 m along the west coasts of Minor Sevan being the most popular recreational area. We indicated that the structural and environmental state of marsh coasts and coastal wetlands as potential sources of lake eutrophication and associated algal blooms could be more efficiently studied under thermal UAV surveys than optical ones. We proposed to consider UAV surveys as a necessary intermediary between ground data and satellite imagery with different spatial resolutions for the complex environmental monitoring of the coastal area and water body of Lake Sevan as a whole