NESP TWQ Round 5 - Project 5.10 – Development and application of automated tools for high resolution gully mapping and classification from LiDAR data

Accurately mapping gullies at high resolution and quantifying their key attributes is the critical first step in the process of prioritising and designing rehabilitation solutions. At least 40% of the accelerated erosion that is contributing to poor water quality in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Lagoon is sourced from gully erosion, demanding effective management and rehabilitation of these features. Current gully maps across the GBR are low resolution and overly simple, providing no differentiation between gully type. Airborne Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) is now widely recognised as being the best way to accurately map gullies at a landscape scale at a suitable resolution for management planning. Given the large volume of LiDAR data now becoming available, this project will develop and apply automated tools to enable the location of gullies to be extracted from LiDAR Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), along with key attributes of the gullies enabling them to be grouped into classes of similar gully types to aid prioritisation, management and catchment modelling.