These maps show countries that do not have a unified vertical datum to match water elevations relative to land.
The Galápagos Islands is also missing a unified vertical datum for its tide gauges.
Our team used UAVs (drones) and GPS/ GNSS site survey equipment to record aerial survey information of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno’s shoreline and ravines.
Over a four-day period, our team collected approximately 20 hectares of high accuracy, high resolution survey data, including the tide gauge location and elevation.
Through our survey work, tidal elevations can now be measured relative to land. This will enable INOCAR to more accurately assess past and future tides and storms.
The height of San Cristóbal’s terrain is presently calculated through satellite imagery (top). When corrected with our survey data (bottom), the extent of possible future storm surge over land is much higher than if modeled with satellite elevation data.
Galapagos UAV Mapping
The archipelago’s tidal gauges lack a consistent and unified vertical datum. Without this benchmark, tides cannot be accurately referenced to the land, making past analysis and future projections impossible. The Oceanographic Institute of the Navy in Ecuador (INOCAR) requested our assistance in data collection and modeling. Using UAV technology and GNSS/GPS survey equipment, we modeled the shore of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristóbal, including the tidal gauge location. The georeferenced data will enable INOCAR to establish an accurate topo-bathy model and unified vertical datum among the islands’ tidal gauges. This information will assist with sea-level rise and tsunami modeling and assess the potential impacts on the town.
Led By: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys Team: Michael Luegering and Michael Tantala