Aerial surveys of river habitats

For ‘in river’ habitats APEM scientists have developed bespoke software specifically designed to derive riverine habitats from aerial imagery. The software can automatically classify important habitats such as salmonid spawning and juvenile habitat.

At the same time, the software also produces bathymetric maps of the river and maps showing sediment grain size distribution, allowing precise and auditable statistical data to be extracted from the imagery.

Aerial survey map showing habitat classification

This type of mapping is often used for low flow studies or as part of an environmental impact investigation.

Aerial surveys of coastal habitats

Aerial surveys and satellites are an ideal way to gather data in coastal and estuarine environments, which can be  inaccessible and dangerous.

Aerial and satellite data are used to map the extent and distribution of different sediment types, as well as other habitats including intertidal biotopes and features of conservation importance, such as intertidal Sabelleria reef and eel grass.

APEM often combines aerial surveys with ground validation surveys, which together provide a detailed and robust dataset. The aerial surveys mean that field teams on the ground can be targeted to where they are needed, making surveys more efficient and saving time.

  • Aerial image mapping various habitats and species
  • Aerial image mapping habitats in a river
  • Aerial map showing habitats in a river
  • Aerial Habitat Classification image Mapping of habitats

Aerial surveys of terrestrial habitats

Aerial surveys and satellite data are excellent for mapping terrestrial habitats, particularly if large areas need to be mapped, as collecting the data is quick and efficient.

A modified version of a phase one habitat investigation is carried out allowing classification of habitats to be automated using the imagery. This is often undertaken as part of a supervised classification, where training data for specific habitats is used to help the software ‘learn’ the various spectral properties associated with a particular habitat.

If you have any queries, please contact David Campbell, associate director.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.