1st phase: Study area selection and data collection (10/2013-12/2016)

  • because of limited funding we will select an adequate study area containing surface and subsurface karst relief forms and features. The selection of the study area will be based on several criteria including a good accessibility, availibility of older data and sufficient diversity of karst landscape with necessary surface and subsurface relief forms. Data collection will be done using several methods. Mainly it will be based on airborne and terrestrial laser scanning. Airborne laser scanning will be done with sufficient point density and in the period appropriate for relief mapping and vegetation cover. This mapping will be supplemented with GNSS and tachymetry measurements along with land and soil cover mapping, and selected climatic and hydrologic parameters with the aim to understand a spatial context in a 3D space and a system dynamics. Therefore we will do this mapping over longer period.

2nd phase: Analysis, design and implementation of new methods for processing 2D and 3D surface laser data (1/2015-12/2016)

  • collected data will be processed using various software tools and data files to interpolate surfaces will be prepared. One of key interpolation issues is spatially variable data density that leads to interpolation artifacts and inaccuracies that need to be eliminated. On the other hand a huge data files that are produced by laser scanning (tens of millions points) create a problem of time consuming processing. Therefore in this phase we will develop a methodology that will minimize interpolation errors caused by  variable data density. This methodology will based on the analysis of optimal data density, selection of points used in the interpolation process in order to keep the point coverage  with the sufficient information value. Subsurface relief forms scanned by terrestrial scanning wil be processed by new interpolation methods for 3D surfaces (in comparison to 2D surfaces such as relief surface). New 3D morphometric parameters will proposed for these 3D surfaces using differential geometry methods and tested using the test data set.

3rd phase: Parallelization of the selected interpolation and simulation methods (01/2015-12/2015)

  • massive data files acquired from laser scanning contain a huge number of input points, around tens to hundreds millions of points that is quite difficult to process using standard GIS methods. This development in the area of collection of data requires new approaches in the data processing including the use of multiprocessor (multicore) systems with the aim to increase the speed and efficiency of calculations. In this phase we will select 2-3 GRASS GIS modules in order to parallelize calculations in this modules. GRASS GIS is free, open-source geospatial software which can be modified according to our goals. Preliminarily, we consider several GRASS modules, such as interpolation with regularized spline with tension (v.surf.rst or v.vol.rst), simulation module for overland water flow using Monte Carlo method (r.sim.water) and module for solar radiation distribution (r.sun). These modules are quite computationally demanding and in case of massive data sets a problem of time and speed efficiency may arise. In this phase we will address this problem parallelizing specific procedures within module calculations.

4th phase: New tools for spatial analysis of karst landscape and modeling using 3D GIS (01/2016-09/2017)

  • the aim of this phase is to create a basic 3D model of the study area using existing data acquired by laser scanning or by other means (e.g., using sensors and data loggers) in order to perform selected spatial analyses for landscape components, processes and interactions in the karst landscape. Using digital elevation model representing surface relief forms we will apply overland water flow models to delineate small microwatersheds in order to make comparisons with surface forms of karst relief such as dolines or other known subsurface forms (caves). Similar analyses will be performed in relation to vegetation and soil cover properties. We will analyse the influence of soil wetness in dolines to vegetation cover and sedimentation. In the subsurface forms we will monitor selected microclimatic and hydrologic parameters in order to create 3D model of cave spaces and monitor their dynamics in relation to ongoing surface processes. This 3D landscape model  enable us to quantify spatial relations, make interactions with 3D data in order to better understand the system of karts landscape. We will apply some methods of multiscale analysis of surfaces (phenomena) because they can be observed and analysed in various scales (resolutions).
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