Using LiDAR to Understand Drought Effects

A recent article reports that three AgriLife Scientists at Texas A & M are using LiDAR to better understand the  ongoing effects of severe drought on trees in Texas.

“This drought’s severity and extent was greater than any other drought that had occurred in the region during the previous 500 years,” he said. “Our forests have suffered tree mortality that was about nine times above normal levels, and the largest trees of the region died at disproportionately high levels.”

Popescu said under the new grant-funded project, the rate of tree disintegration will be monitored through a combination of airborne, unmanned aerial vehicle lidar and terrestrial lidar scanning. Lidar, from Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing technology that uses laser light to measure the distance from sensor to target and create a three-dimensional model of forest vegetation, in this case.

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