Processing and analysis of airborne full-waveform laser scanning data for the characterization of forest structure and fuel properties




LiDAR, terrestrial laser scanning, forest fuel, understory vegetation, processing tool


This PhD thesis addresses the development of full-waveform airborne laser scanning (ALSFW) processing and analysis methods to characterize the vertical forest structure, in particular the understory vegetation. In this sense, the influence of several factors such as pulse density, voxel parameters (voxel size and assignation value), scan angle at acquisition, radiometric correction and regression methods is analyzed on the extraction of ALSFW metric values and on the estimate of forest attributes. Additionally, a new software tool to process ALSFW data is presented, which includes new metrics related to understory vegetation. On the other hand, occlusion caused by vegetation in the ALSFW, discrete airborne laser scanning (ALSD) and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) signal is characterized along the vertical structure. Finally, understory vegetation density is detected and determined by ALSFW data, as well as characterized by using the new proposed metrics.


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Author Biographies

P. Crespo-Peremarch, Universitat Politècnica de València

Geo-Environmental Cartography and Remote Sensing Group (CGAT), Department of Cartographic Engineering, Geodesy and Photogrammetry

L.A. Ruiz, Universitat Politècnica de València

Geo-Environmental Cartography and Remote Sensing Group (CGAT), Department of Cartographic Engineering, Geodesy and Photogrammetry


Anderson, K., Hancock, S., Disney, M., Gaston, K.J. 2016. Is waveform worth it? A comparison of LiDAR approaches for vegetation and landscape characterization. Remo Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 2(1), 5-15.

Crespo-Peremarch, P., Ruiz, L.A., Balaguer-Beser, A., Estornell, J. 2018a. Analyzing the role of pulse density and voxelization parameters on fullwaveform LiDAR-derived metrics. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 146, 453- 464.

Crespo-Peremarch, P., Tompalski, P., Coops, N.C., Ruiz, L.A. 2018b. Characterizing understory vegetation in Mediterranean forests using full-waveform airborne laser scanning data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 217, 400-413.

Crespo-Peremarch, P., Ruiz, L.A. 2020. A fullwaveform airborne laser scanning metric extraction tool for forest structure modelling. Do scan angle and radiometric correction matter? Remote Sensing, 12(2), 292.

Crespo-Peremarch, P., Fournier, R.A., Nguyen, V.-T., van Lier, O.R., Ruiz, L.A. 2020. A comparative assessment of the vertical distribution of forest components using full-waveform airborne, discrete airborne and discrete terrestrial laser scanning data. Forest Ecology and Management, 473, 118268.

García, M., Danson, F.M., Riaño, D., Chuvieco, E., Ramirez, F.A., Bandugula, V. 2011. Terrestrial laser scanning to estimate plot-level forest canopy fuel properties. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 13(4), 636-645.

Hevia, A., Álvarez-González, J.G., Ruiz-Fernández, E., Prendes, C., Ruiz-González, A.D., Majada, J., González-Ferreiro, E. 2016. Modelling canopy fuel and forest stand variables and characterizing the influence of thinning in the stand structure using airborne LiDAR. Revista de Teledetección, 45, 41- 55.

Kükenbrink, D., Schneider, F.D., Leiterer, R., Schaepman, M.E., Morsdorf, F., 2017. Quantification of hidden canopy volume of airborne laser scanning data using a voxel traversal algorithm. Remote Sensing of Environment, 194, 424-436.

Mallet, C., Bretar, F. 2009. Full-waveform topographic lidar: State-of-the-art. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 64(1), 1-16.

Mell, W., McNamara, D., Maranghides, A., McDermott, R., Forney, G., Hoffmanm, C., Ginder, M. 2011. Computer modelling of wildland-urban interface fires. In: Fire & Materials. San Francisco, CA, USA.

Molina, J.R., Rodriguez y Silva, F., Herrera, M.A. 2011. Potential Crown fire behaviour in Pinus pinea stands following different fuel treatments. Forest Systems, 20(2), 266-277.

Pimont, F., Allard, D., Soma, M., Dupuy, J.L., 2018. Estimators and confidence intervals for plant area density at voxel scale with T-LiDAR. Remote Sensing of Environment, 215, 343-370.

Wagner, W. 2010. Radiometric calibration of small-footprint full-waveform airborne laser scanner measurements: Basic physical concepts. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 65(6), 505-513.






Doctoral theses