Thursday, April 25, 2024

New Otago maps will help identify natural hazards

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High-res mapping of 3935km2 of land in Central Otago complete.
This high-resolution LiDAR image, blended with aerial imagery, shows the view towards Graveyard Gully from the Alexandra Bridge.
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New high-resolution ground mapping data of parts of Central Otago will help identify and manage natural hazards, the Otago Regional Council says.

Mapping of the Manuherekia catchment and surrounding areas in Central Otago is now complete, covering 3935km2 of land.

“The completion of this geospatial data set mapping is an invaluable tool in identifying, mapping and managing natural hazards, be it flooding, erosion or landslips,”  ORC spatial analyst Andrew Welsh said.

Ground elevation data for the Dunedin and Mosgiel urban areas and Otago’s coastal catchments has already been completed. The combined data now covers more than 8190km2 of land in the region.

Welsh said the Central Otago segment completes the data capture for Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand’s (LINZ)  LiDAR Project in Otago. Co-funding from the Provincial Growth Fund, managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Kānoa Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit, is supporting a regional expansion of the programme.

The programme is based on partnerships between Toitū Te Whenua and 10 councils and is using LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology to capture high-definition data about the shape of the land.

“In terms of studying natural hazards, the LiDAR mapping is extremely useful for investigating and assessing the characteristics of natural hazards,” Welsh said.

“This will allow for a more detailed look at the shape and characteristics of the ground surface in the Central Otago.”

Toitu Te Whenua location data analyst Abbey Douglas said LiDAR can assist in dealing with flood prevention.

“LiDAR provides accurate, high-resolution elevation of the ground surface, which is essential for reliable river and stormwater flood modelling. Such models are critical for planning and developing infrastructure which is resilient to flood events,” she said.

Data for the Manuherekia Catchment in Central Otago is now available online via the LINZ Data Service and Open Topography web sites.

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