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High resolution measurement of morphodynamics: Transitioning from methodological application to geomorphological insight (co-organized)
Convener: Julian Leyland  | Co-Conveners: Daniel Parsons , David Milan 
Tue, 25 Apr, 17:30–20:00

This is a special evening workshop designed to bring together those with interests in all aspects of high resolution monitoring of morphodynamic processes and change. We plan a series of invited talks and open discussion with the aim of a) producing a series of collectively driven targets that the geomorphological community should strive to achieve within the next five years and b) producing a special issue from the workshop that addresses the state of science and current state-of-the-art in scientific advances from this type of data.

Over the last 10 years there has been a step-change in the quality, spatial scale, and spatial and temporal resolution of data capture of geomorphological landforms and processes. This has largely been driven by technological developments in sensor hardware and computing power. For example we can now survey large river reaches (km scale) on a daily basis using terrestrial LiDAR, with grain-scale (mm) resolution. Similar advances have been made in the use of high-resolution acoustic systems such as multi-beam sonars and in the use of structure-from-motion techniques to capture morphodynamics rapidly in a range of environments. These developments have been feeding into parallel advances in morphodynamic modelling, which require high quality morphological and roughness data for setting initial boundary conditions, and for subsequent validation.

These technological advances present unprecedented opportunities for geomorphologists, yet there has been a tendency for advances in the methodological application of new technologies to dominate over the substantive advances in fundamental understanding. The advances in what to do with the data have not kept pace with ability to acquire it. To fully exploit the temporal and spatial richness of these datasets requires new methods of analysis, not simply the application of older methods to ultra-resolution datasets. For example, high resolution, three dimensional data is often analysed using raster based methods developed for sparse two dimensional data.

There is a need for geomorphologists from different parts of the discipline to share knowledge on these technologically-driven advances in morphodynamic measurements. To this end, we intend to bring together a broad spectrum of Geomorphologists to a) discuss the current state of the science from a technological perspective, and b) produce a series of collectively driven targets that the geomorphological community should strive to achieve within the next five years.