Remote Sensing, Volume 2, January 1, 2010, pages 1120-1141.
Copyright © 2010 Russell A. White, Brian C. Dietterick, Thomas Mastin, and Rollin Strohman; licensee Molecular Diversity Preservation International, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
LiDAR-derived digital elevation models can reveal road networks located beneath dense forest canopy. This study tests the accuracy of forest road characteristics mapped using LiDAR in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA. The position, gradient, and total length of a forest haul road were accurately extracted using a 1 m DEM. In comparison to a field-surveyed centerline, the LiDAR-derived road exhibited a positional accuracy of 1.5 m, road grade measurements within 0.53% mean absolute difference, and total road length within 0.2% of the field-surveyed length. Airborne LiDAR can provide thorough and accurate road inventory data to support forest management and watershed assessment activities.