3D Laser Scanning Services Used to Map the Amazon Rainforest
Researchers Are Studying the Mortality of Trees
Learning about trees is incredibly important to the future of our world and the environment. They help remove air pollutants, carbon dioxide, and they help produce fresh air for us to breathe. Trees are powerful, and it is our job to protect them. This is why a group in Brazil has decided to use 3D laser scanning services to map out parts of the Amazon Rainforest to understand the mortality of the trees. They were able to uncover what causes the trees harm and what leaves gaps in the biggest parts of the rainforest.
They found that water stress, soil fertility, and human degradation are all factors that limit the tree’s lives. Understanding what causes harm to the trees is one of the first steps in solving an important problem. Tree growth was very limited in the western and southeastern parts of the rainforest.
The main method to scan over the Amazonian Rainforest was LIDAR. This is one of the most common types of 3D laser scanning but is also not the only way to get scans. They did more than 600 flights over the Amazon Rainforest to collect valuable information. This equipment is precise and more accurate than many other ways of collecting the data needed to analyze the entire rainforest. Without LIDAR equipment, this project would have taken years.
What is LIDAR?
LIDAR stands for light detection and ranging. It uses pulsing lasers to measure distances from the object. Everything is reflected back to the machine, and the lasers are being measured by the distance they travel. This is one of the best methods to create accurate maps of an area because the information collected can easily be converted.
The next best thing about using LIDAR is it has a very low cost considering the amount of information it can collect. It can go over a wide area, such as the Amazon Rainforest, and be more accurate than any human could. This tool can collect information about what is going on around the device and report back to the person who is collecting the information.
Why study the Amazon Rainforest?
The Amazon Rainforest is one of the biggest in the world, and it holds more diversity than you can imagine. There are over 12,000 trees in the Amazon Rainforest. Using 3D laser scanning services, everything can be documented about those trees.
Each tree needs a large amount of CO2 to grow and be healthy. This helps lower our greenhouse gas emissions. However, when there are so many gaps in a large rainforest like this, the surrounding area is gaining more pollution than fresh air. This can dramatically impact us in ways we don’t care to admit. So, using 3D laser scanning services, researchers can understand the mortality of trees and how to set a plan in motion to fill in those gaps.
Saving our planet should be our number one priority. Now with the help of 3D laser scanning services, it may be possible to do it faster and better than ever before. We can back up feelings with actual evidence and get more people on board with saving trees and filling in massive gaps in the rainforest.