Drone power over Mount Pierre Creek

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Galeru Gorge is a picturesque locality on Mt Pierre Creek in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Almost 50 years ago, scientists set up a gauge immediately upstream of the gorge to measure flows from the small catchment. There are very few catchments in the Kimberley of this size where runoff is measured for important infrastructure and water resource development studies.

Recording streamflow depends on a defined and reliable flow rating. As the previous flow rating at Mount Pierre Creek was poorly defined and the flow record very uncertain, we used a hydraulic model to produce a more accurate flow rating.

This hydraulic model required a high resolution digital elevation model (HRDEM) to define the geometry of the gorge. In developing the model, we used a drone and image recognition technology to capture a point cloud (a set of data points in space) of more than 83 million ground points. We used GIS software to post-process the point cloud to produce an HRDEM suitable for our purposes.

The project team included members with skills and knowledge in hydrography, spatial and hydraulic modelling.

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