Indirect Field Technology for Detecting Areas Object of Illegal Spills Harmful to Human Health: Application of Drones, Photogrammetry and Hydrological Models

The accumulation of heavy metals in agricultural soils is a serious environmental problem. The Campania region in southern Italy has higher levels of cancer risk, presumably due to the accumulation of geogenic and anthropogenic soil pollutants, some of which have been incorporated into organic matter. The aim of this study was to introduce and test an innovative, field-applicable methodology to detect heavy metal accumulation using drone-based photogrammetry and microrill network modelling, specifically to generate wetlands wetlands prediction indices normally applied at large catchment scales, such as a large geographic basin. The processing of aerial photos taken using a hexacopter equipped with fifth-generation software for photogrammetry allowed the generation of a digital elevation model (DEM) with a resolution as high as 30 mm. Not only this provided a high potential for the study of micro-rill processes, but it was also useful for testing and comparing the capability of the topographic index (TI) and the clima-topographic index (CTI) to predict heavy metal sedimentation points at scales from 0.1 to 10 ha. Our results indicate that the TI and CTI indices can be used to predict points of heavy metal accumulation for small field catchments.
photogrammetry, drones, topographic index, heavy metals soil pollution, health, Italy
Capolupo, A., Pindozzi, S., Okello, C., & Boccia, L. (2014). Indirect field technology for detecting areas object of illegal spills harmful to human health: application of drones, photogrammetry and hydrological models. Geospatial health, 8(3), S699-S707.