Quantifying the eroded volume of mercury-contaminated sediment using terrestrial laser scanning at Stocking Flat, Deer Creek, Nevada County, California, 2010–13

Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5179
Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

High-resolution ground-based light detection and ranging (lidar), also known as terrestrial laser scanning, was used to quantify the volume of mercury-contaminated sediment eroded from a stream cutbank at Stocking Flat along Deer Creek in the Sierra Nevada foothills, about 3 kilometers west of Nevada City, California. Terrestrial laser scanning was used to collect sub-centimeter, three-dimensional images of the complex cutbank surface, which could not be mapped non-destructively or in sufficient detail with traditional surveying techniques.

The stream cutbank, which is approximately 50 meters long and 8 meters high, was surveyed on four occasions: December 1, 2010; January 20, 2011; May 12, 2011; and February 4, 2013. Volumetric changes were determined between the sequential, three-dimensional lidar surveys. Volume was calculated by two methods, and the average value is reported. Between the first and second surveys (December 1, 2010, to January 20, 2011), a volume of 143 plus or minus 15 cubic meters of sediment was eroded from the cutbank and mobilized by Deer Creek. Between the second and third surveys (January 20, 2011, to May 12, 2011), a volume of 207 plus or minus 24 cubic meters of sediment was eroded from the cutbank and mobilized by the stream. Total volumetric change during the winter and spring of 2010–11 was 350 plus or minus 28 cubic meters. Between the third and fourth surveys (May 12, 2011, to February 4, 2013), the differencing of the three-dimensional lidar data indicated that a volume of 18 plus or minus 10 cubic meters of sediment was eroded from the cutbank. The total volume of sediment eroded from the cutbank between the first and fourth surveys was 368 plus or minus 30 cubic meters.

Suggested Citation

Howle, J.F., Alpers, C.N., Bawden, G.W., and Bond, Sandra, 2016, Quantifying the eroded volume of mercury-contaminated sediment using terrestrial laser scanning at Stocking Flat, Deer Creek, Nevada County, California, 2010–13: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5179, 23 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155179.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results of Volume Calculations
  • Visualization of Changes
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Glossary

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Quantifying the eroded volume of mercury-contaminated sediment using terrestrial laser scanning at Stocking Flat, Deer Creek, Nevada County, California, 2010–13
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2015-5179
DOI 10.3133/sir20155179
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description vi, 23 p.
Country United States
State California
County Nevada County
Other Geospatial Deer Creek, Stocking Flat
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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