A proof of concept study was recently conducted at the Amacuzac River in Mexico. The study focused on what is called “inclined lidar”. According to the abstract published at MDPI, inclined lidar “works based on the fact that a near-infrared Lidar mounted with a large incidence angle can detect suspended particles slightly below the surface, provided that the water is very turbid, something which is likely during flash floods.” The Amacuzac is known for its turbid waters “Secchi depth < 0.5 m” and therefore provided a useful starting point for study of this concept.
With the turbidity of the water at the Amacuzac, the lidar was able to successfully detect the water surface and provide useful data. This study proves that an inclined TOF Lidar can be useful in monitoring water levels during flood scenarios. The abstract also commented that their study indirectly proves that a Doppler Lidar could be helpful in monitoring water velocity.
With the increase in severe weather world wide, this could prove to be crucial for safety in flood risk areas.
Thanks to Serge Tamari and Vincente Guerrero-Meza for sharing their findings.