Data from: Estimating dredge-induced turbidity using drone imagery


  • While maintenance dredging of port access channels is often required to maintain navigability, it can result in increased turbidity and the creation of sediment plumes. Unoccupied aircraft systems (UAS, or drones) are increasingly applied to study water quality due to their high spatial and temporal resolutions and are a particularly effective monitoring method for specific events in smaller areas. In this study, the use of drone imagery to monitor turbidity in the Morehead City Harbor during maintenance dredging was investigated. Drone flights were conducted concurrently with in-situ sampling during active dredging and post-dredging. Multispectral drone images were radiometrically calibrated, converted to reflectance and then turbidity using two separate pro-cessing methods and a single-band (red; 620nm-700nm) generic turbidity retrieval algorithm, and then compared to in-situ measurements. The first method of using average reflectance to retrieve a single turbidity measurement per drone image produced agreeable results when compared to the in-situ measurements (R2 = 0.84). This method was then used to generate turbidity maps and to extract surface plumes. While this could be considered a limited validation, the results indicate that realistic values can be obtained from drone imagery for low and high turbidity concentrations, making drones are a viable option for monitoring surface turbidity associated with dredging. ... [Read More]

Total Size
55 files (2.93 GB)
Data Citation
  • Hayes, M., Puckett, B., Deaton, C. & Ridge, J. (2021). Data from: estimating dredge-induced turbidity using drone imagery. Duke Research Data Repository.
  • 10.7924/r49z9756z
Publication Date
  • ark:/87924/r49z9756z
Collection Dates
  • July 17th 2020-August 12th 2020
Funding Agency
  • NC Division of Coastal Management through funds provided by NOAA's Office for Coastal Management Program
Grant Number
  • NA18NOS4190071
  • Data from: Estimating dredge-induced turbidity using drone imagery
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