Dewberry is deploying a recently developed lidar system consisting of a Riegl VQ880G topo-bathymetric lidar sensor for data collection. The sensor is capable of collecting data through the water column so that flooded wetlands and open-water areas are accurately modeled as well as dry land. The system also includes an optical camera used to collect aerial imagery. Advanced lidar classification and post-processing will be accomplished by Dewberry’s geospatial analysts who are familiar with the Everglades landscape. This project resulted from a pilot project Dewberry performed in 2016 within the Everglades National Park for USGS and the National Park Service. The pilot project deployed various lidar sensors from several manufacturers in order to test and qualify the data produced from each sensor.

According to Dewberry Senior Project Manager Keith Patterson, “this project will support the National Park Service’s critical environmental management objectives to include response to sea level rise, increased predictive capability of hydrologic models and improved modeling, and understanding of the unique Everglades. The data will also support various scientific studies involving critical habitat for threatened and endangered species.”

The primary deliverable for the project will be a topographic-bathymetric digital elevation model (DEM) that will include above water-level bare earth and below water-level bathymetry.