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Innovative methods for monitoring and inventory of Danube floodplain forests based on 3D technologies of remote sensing (INMEIN)
Start date: Aug 31, 2012, End date: Aug 30, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

During the period 1977 to 1992 the construction of water dam (WD) Gabcíkovo was carried out. The technical implementation caused fall of groundwater levels, which consequently put floodplain forest ecosystems into risk. A hydro-technical project has been implemented to ensure regulatory groundwater regime based on the biological needs of the floodplain ecosystems. State of these ecosystems has been regularly observed in the framework of Complex monitoring of the WDs environmental impacts since 1992 when WD Gabcíkovo was launched into operation. Data and methods of remote sensing has been used for evaluation of floodplain forests state since 1992. Firstly, infrared aerial images were used, but multispectral ones have been exploited since 2008. Despite the fact that it is an effective method for forest state monitoring, its deficiency is that it does not allow assessing interior structure and quantitative characteristics of a forest stand. This is particularly important when assessing status and development of indigenous forest communities, especially softwood floodplain forests. Recent development in the field of remote sensing addresses this deficiency by exploitation of 3-dimensional methods of data collecting and interpretation. The progressive technologies include methods such as digital photogrammetry and airborne laser scanning (LIDAR). However, their application is limited due to lack of technical and software infrastructure and underdeveloped 3-D data processing methodologies. Due to complexity of the problem, it is necessary to address the issues in cooperation. This cooperation is based on the use of existing know-how (Monitoring of the Danube: ERTI Sárvár, NLC Zvolen; methodological aspects of Lidar data processing: NYME Sopron) and new LIDAR equipment (NLC Zvolen). Through the outlined cooperation between university (basic) and applied research, we expect to generate new methodologies using 3-D data in described forestry applications as well as cost-effective solution for the data processing. Achievements: The project ensures the coordinated use of cross-border research infrastructure by the common use of lidar technology of the project Lead partner at the photography survey of inundation of the Danube. Other goals were the common methodological research of methods of lidar data evaluations, the harmonization in building software infrastructure and the sharing of algorithms developed for the processing of lidar data. The outcomes improve the monitoring the forest ecosystems and the inventory by preparing a proposal for a coordinated monitoring survey on forests affected by the hydropower of Gabčíkovo.
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