Drainage Contractor

Virtual Event
North American Drainage Conference 2024
March 5, 2024 at 1:00pm EST

Agricultural drainage detection from multi-source remote sensing

Speaker: Ruijie Zeng

Agricultural tile drainages are widely implemented in low-relief landscapes in the Midwest U.S. to improve crop yields by removing excess water from the root zone. Despite their agricultural benefits, these on-farm practices can lead to hydrologic and environmental consequences at watershed scale, including flow regime changes and water quality degradation. However, current regional hydrologic models only represent natural river networks that are derived from coarse terrain data (e.g., 10-meter resolution) and don’t include the extensive agricultural drainage networks exhibited at meter scale resolution. In this study, we developed a noise-removing and feature-reservation method to detect the features (e.g., edge, slope, curvature) of agricultural drainage open ditches from sub-meter resolution terrain information from LiDAR. We also developed a simulation-based time window to facilitate in-situ unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) survey for subsurface drainage pipe detection. The detected agricultural drainage network provides detailed drainage information (e.g., layout, dimensions) for regional hydrologic simulation. In addition, the high resolution drainage open ditch structure can support natural-based solutions to enhance water quality and drought resilience for the heavily engineered landscape.