Application of Airborne LiDAR to the Determination of the Height of Large Structures. Case Study: Dams




airbone LiDAR, low density LiDAR, dam height, accuracy


The best way to determine the height of dams is to level the top of the dam applying a geometric leveling, nevertheless this task is very demanding and expensive. The accuracy potential of LiDAR data has significantly improved, these systems can provide accuracy about 2-3 cm level, which could be enough to be applied in the determination of the height of dams. The point acquisition density is an important factor that is involved in the process of determining the height using LiDAR technique. Finally, due to LiDAR technique is based on ellipsoidal heights, it is necessary to transform the coordinates to the official orthometric system. This paper shows the results obtained using low density airborne LiDAR data (0.5 pts/m2) and their validation with post-processed GPS observations. Test results have shown LiDAR can be accurate enough (10-25 cm) to determine the height and to be applied in many civil engineering activities.

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Author Biographies

Rubén Martínez Marín, Polytechnic University of Madrid

Professor of Land Engineering attached to the Department of Land Engineering and Morphology of the E.T.S. of Civil Engineers belonging to the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM).

Juan Gregorio Rejas Ayuga, Polytechnic University of Madrid

Engineering and Terrain Morphology Department.

Miguel Marchamalo Sacristán, Polytechnic University of Madrid

Engineering and Terrain Morphology Department.


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How to Cite

Martínez Marín, R., Rejas Ayuga, J. G., & Marchamalo Sacristán, M. (2014). Application of Airborne LiDAR to the Determination of the Height of Large Structures. Case Study: Dams. Revista Facultad De Ingeniería Universidad De Antioquia, (70), 45–53.

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