Airborne LIDAR, Gulf of Carpentaria, 2017

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Link to the data

In August/September 2017, small footprint discrete return airborne LIDAR data were acquired alongside digital aerial imagery along a nominal 1 km strip along the coastline of the Gulf of Carpentaria that extended from Groote Eylandt, NT through to Weipa, QLD. The acquisitions focused on mangrove areas, including those that experienced dieback in 2015/16 but were not biased towards these areas. To achieve large comprehensive coverage of the coastal strips, multiple parallel flightlines were flown. At the Leichhardt River mouth, a 21-flightline grid was flown.


Abstract or Summary

To establish a baseline of mangrove extent and structure along the Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia, a consortium consisting of Airborne Research Australia, Queensland Herbarium, Charles Darwin University, The National Environmental Science Program (NESP) supported by TERN AusCover and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) coordinated the acquisition of digital aerial imagery and airborne LIDAR along a coastal strip extending from Weipa (Queensland) to Groote Eylandt (Northern Territory). The acquisitions were largely in response to the mangrove dieback event in 2015/2016, which affected large sections along the Gulf of Carpentaria coastline as well as other areas in northern Australia. The LIDAR data were acquired alongside digital aerial photography along a nominal 1 km strip although, for most areas, several parallel flights were conducted with this increasing the area of overlap. In others, multiple overpasses were flown, including inland from the coast along river estuaries. Over 7000 km of flightlines were flown with a NPS exceeding 0.5 m along the majority of the flightlines and often < 0.3 m. The LIDAR dataset was acquired alongside digital aerial photography and all data are freely available through TERN Landscape Assessment.

Sampling strategy

Extensive planning of the flight lines was undertaken with the coordinating and funding partners and attempted to capture a nominal 1 km swath along the coastline of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The initial flightlines were based on a 1 km distance inland from the documented coastline but this was amended subsequently with reference to RapidEye data supplied by PlanetLabs and acquired in 2014 and 2015. During the mission, some further adjustments to the flightlines were made based on visual observations from the aircraft. Maximum effort was made to ensure acquisitions at low tide and during periods of optimal solar illumination.


Data Licence and Access Rights

Point of contact

All questions and comments about the data, the data processing or capture strategies should be addressed, in the first instance, to Jorg Hacker.


The following organisations contributed to funding and coordinating the data collection. The flights were conducted by Airborne Research Australia (ARA), which is supported by the Hackett Foundation of Adelaide.

Spatial and Temporal extents

File names and descriptions

This dataset consists of:

  • Point clouds in the form of .las 1.2 files with decomposed discrete returns and intensity and all fields populated delivered as 1 km x 1 km tiles and/or strips along the coast.
  • Digital terrain models (DTMs) at 1m spatial resolution and canopy height models (CHMs) at 0.5 m spatial resolution.


  • The list and details of the CHMs and DTMs derived from the tiled data.
  • Georeferencing and other information on image dimensions

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