October 4, 2013

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Mark Ellard Presents LiDAR Paper at World's Largest Floodplain Management Conference

ATLANTA, Ga. — Mark Ellard, PE, CFM, presented his paper titled, "Hydro-enhancement of LiDAR Data to Support Floodplain Modeling," at the 2011 Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) national conference in Louisville, Kentucky on May 18, 2011. The world's largest and most comprehensive conference of its kind, AFSPM 2011 featured 200 experts conducting plenary and concurrent sessions and sharing state-of-the-art techniques, programs, and resources to accomplish flood mitigation, watershed management, and related goals.

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology for collecting topographical data provides floodplain professionals with a higher level of detail on which to base floodplain models. The increased level of surface detail allows more accuracy in defining conveyance and storage features which directly impact base flood elevations and flood ways. Proper representation of hydrographic features such as canals and ditches, vegetated lake shorelines, and linear break features such as roads or berms is critical to support accurate hydrologic and hydraulic modeling. A high degree of representation is particularly critical in Florida watersheds with flat terrains and an abundance of hydrographic features.

Mark's presentation provided background on many of the common issues with point classification of LiDAR data sets and their impact to hydrologic and hydraulic modeling for floodplain delineation. He discussed project examples where these issues were resolved through hydro-enhancement reprocessing of data sets to provide more representative data, as well as insight on how to better scrutinize LiDAR data for misrepresentations of ground surface. In his presentation, Mark also discussed methods used to enhance LiDAR data sets for more accurate modeling of hydrographic features, supported by project partner Aerial Cartographics of America.

Based in Geosyntec's Lake Mary, Fl., office, Mark provides project management and senior engineering for projects including watershed assessments, basin studies, stormwater retrofits, water quality assessments (pollutant loading modeling and BMP design), floodplain mapping, erosion control measures, and stormwater master planning. Mark also provides technical direction and engineering associated with QA/QC of field data collection and inventory, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, GIS data analysis, CADD production, permitting, public involvement, and construction inspection during projects. A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Civil Engineering, Mark also earned his M.S. in Science Water Resources Engineering from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.