MOOREA AVATAR - PHYSICAL ECOSYSTEM MODELING OF A TROPICAL ISLAND

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Research areas:
Year:
2017
Type of Publication:
Article
Keywords:
Environmental modeling, multi-sensor data, DSM generation, satellite imagery, data integration
Authors:
Armin Gruen, Tao Guo Sultan Kocaman
Abstract:
The Moorea Island Digital Ecosystem Avatar (IDEA) project has been initiated in 2013 by a group of international researchers to build a virtual representation of Moorea Island. The main aim of the project is to model an entire ecosystem, observe the changes through it and be able to predict future changes reliably. The Moorea IDEA project incorporates observations, experiments, data, and theory across a coupled 3-D marine-terrestrial landscape to model, where physical, chemical, biological, and social processes interact to shape the island’s phenotype. In order to generate the 3D physical model of the Island, multi-sensor data with varying accuracies, timestamps and spatial resolutions need to be processed and fused. High resolution optical satellite images (Pleiàdes), LIDAR data over land and water, existing DTMs, aerial film photography extracted and scanned from archives, underwater sonar measurements for modelling the bathymetry, underwater photogrammetry for monitoring the coral growth, UAV flights for accurate building reconstruction and recording of archaeological sites are among the data being processed in the project. This presentation describes some of the aspects of the project in detail and addresses the processing methods and the problems encountered during the processing of multi-sensor and multi-resolution data. High resolution DSMs and orthoimages have already been generated by image matching using Pleiàdes images with 70 cm pan resolution acquired over Moorea and Tetiaroa in summer 2014. A DSM and a DTM of Moorea have been generated by manual measurements. Tetiaroa has been scanned by a green laser. This allows us to compare the different techniques with each other. High resolution bathymetry data from green Lidar flights of both Moorea and Tetiaroa is available and will also be integrated into the generated DSM. We also measured in Moorea the footprints of the houses and a single height and the roads in 3D from the Pleiades images. The final physical 3D model, amended by landuse data and other semantic information will provide a presentation and a geospatial analysis platform to the project participants from many other disciplines. Building on the Moorea Island Digital Ecosystem Avatar (IDEA) platform (http://mooreaidea.ethz.ch), our overall goal is to develop data-driven models of the spatio-temporal dynamics of all processes of relevance on land and in the sea. Advanced computational simulations will be developed.
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