Using UAVs and Photogrammetry in Bathymetric Surveys in Shallow Waters

Alexandre Almeida Del Savio, Ana Luna Torres, Mónica Alejandra Vergara Olivera, Sara Rocio Llimpe Rojas, Gianella Tania Urday Ibarra, Alcindo Neckel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Contribution to Journal)peer-review


The use of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) platforms and photogrammetry in bathymetric surveys has been established as a technological advancement that allows these activities to be conducted safely, more affordably, and at higher accuracy levels. This study evaluates the error levels obtained in photogrammetric UAV flights, with measurements obtained in surveys carried out in a controlled water body (pool) at different depths. We assessed the relationship between turbidity and luminosity factors and how this might affect the calculation of bathymetric survey errors using photogrammetry at different shallow-water depths. The results revealed that the highest luminosity generated the lowest error up to a depth of 0.97 m. Furthermore, after assessing the variations in turbidity, the following two situations were observed: (1) at shallower depths (not exceeding 0.49 m), increased turbidity levels positively contributed error reduction; and (2) at greater depths (exceeding 0.49 m), increased turbidity resulted in increased errors. In conclusion, UAV-based photogrammetry can be applied, within a known margin of error, in bathymetric surveys on underwater surfaces in shallow waters not exceeding a depth of 1 m.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3420
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 8 Mar 2023


  • UAV
  • bathymetry
  • photogrammetry
  • shallow waters


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