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Coastal cliff geometry derived from structure-from-motion photogrammetry at Stara Baška, Krk Island, Croatia

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Geo-Marine Letters
Issue number6
Volume34
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)555-565
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date15/08/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the capability of structure-from-motion photogrammetry in defining the geometry of cliffs and undercuts in rocks of complex geomorphology. A case site was chosen along pocket beaches near the village of Stara Baška on the Adriatic Sea island of Krk, Gulf of Kvarner, Croatia, where cliff erosion of 5 m in breccias was identified by comparison of aerial photographs from 1960 and 2004. The 3D point cloud was derived from approx. 800 photos taken on 9 January 2014 by a single camera from various elevations and angles, and processed using the online software ReCap (Autodesk). Data acquisition was found to be quick and the method easy to implement. The difference between the georeferenced 3D cloud points and an RTK-GPS survey was 7 cm, i.e. within the limits of RTK-GPS precision. Quantifying the spatial variation in undercut geometries revealed that the deepest and largest (17 m3) undercut was in the south-eastern sector of the beach. Reconstructing the detailed geomorphology of this 3.8-m-deep undercut convincingly demonstrates the high efficiency of the method. Such assessments of spatiotemporal changes in undercut and overhang volumes can prove useful for evaluations of cliff erosion risk. Coupled with the low cost and relatively simple application, this is evidently an attractive technique for meaningful geotechnical and coastal engineering monitoring in the future on the island of Krk and, for that matter, also on other Adriatic islands and in similar settings worldwide.