Four new lidar datasets collected by the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) are now available on OpenTopography. These include a dataset covering 73 km2 of the Marble, Middle and East Forks of the Kaweah River in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. This dataset was collected in 2021 as part of an NCALM Seed Grant for Sophie Rothman at the University of Nevada, Reno to assess how self-generation and retreat of bedrock steps and waterfalls can alter river profiles.
A dataset covering approximately 943 km2 of the Middle Usumacinta region in eastern Tabasco, Mexico was collected in 2019 for Dr. Takeshi Inomata at the University of Arizona as part of the Middle Usumacinta Archaeological Project to examine the distribution of archaeological sites in the region.
In 2021, a lidar dataset covering approximately 3.6 km2 near North Adams, Massachusetts was collected as part of an NCALM Seed Grant for Jordan Fields at Dartmouth College. The dataset was used for a study to provide field validation of the virtual velocity approach for estimating bedload transport in gravel-bedded rivers.
Lastly, a lidar dataset covering approximately 557 km2 of the Rampart Range northwest of Colorado Springs, Colorado was collected in 2018 by NCALM for the NSF-funded project, "Topographic response to the transition from snowmelt- to rainfall- triggered extremes." The project uses lidar data to characterize hillslope and river network properties and understand how rainstorm and snowmelt runoff drive large floods, erosion, and the long-term evolution of landscapes.
NCALM is an NSF-funded center that supports the use of airborne laser mapping technology (a.k.a. lidar) in the scientific community and is jointly operated by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston and the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley. OpenTopography is the primary distributor of NCALM data.
Find the data here:
NCALM lidar data reveals large bedrock tors in the Rampart Range, CO. By complementing analyses of lidar data with drone surveys (credit: Joe McGlinchy, Earth Lab, CIRES, CU), the research team is quantifying how bedrock exposure systematically varies as a function of elevation and aspect in this setting. They hypothesize that spatial patterns in soil cover and bedrock exposure are fundamental to explaining when and where floods are triggered during large rainstorms.