Potential of a Non-linear Full-Waveform Stacking Technique in Airborne LiDAR Bathymetry: Demonstration of Full-Waveform Stacking Techniques on Data from the Elbe River

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Airborne LiDAR bathymetry is an efficient measurement method for area-wide acquisition of water bottom topography in shallow water areas. However, the method has a limited penetration depth into water bodies due to water turbidity. This affects the accuracy and reliability of the determination of water bottom points in waters with high turbidity or larger water depths. Furthermore, the coverage of the water bottom topography is also limited. In this contribution, advanced processing methods are presented with the goal of increasing the evaluable water depth, resulting in an improved coverage of the water bottom by measurement points. The methodology moves away from isolated evaluation of individual signals to a determination of water bottom echoes, taking into account information from closely adjacent measurements, assuming that these have similar or correlated characteristics. The basic idea of the new processing approach is the combination of closely adjacent full-waveform data using full-waveform stacking techniques. In contrast to established waveform stacking techniques, we do not apply averaging, which entails low-pass filtering effects, but a modified majority voting technique. This has the effect of amplification of repeating weak characteristics and an improvement of the signal-noise-ratio. As a consequence, it is possible to detect water bottom points that cannot be detected by standard methods. The results confirm an increased penetration water depth by about 27% with a high reliability of the additionally extracted water bottom points along with a larger coverage of the water bottom topography.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-158
Number of pages20
JournalPFG - Journal of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

External IDs

Scopus 85107558664
ORCID /0000-0001-7662-8572/work/141556262



  • LiDAR, Bathymetry, Full-waveform processing, Full-waveform stacking, DECOMPOSITION