Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Ramirez-Avila, John J.

Committee Member

Freyne, Seamus

Committee Member

Corcoran, Maureen K.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) instrumentation is becoming more diverse in our world of today. One challenge in scaled physical hydrodynamic models in a laboratory setting is obtaining high resolution water surface elevation data while maintaining accuracy requirements. Accurate water surface elevations are a primary parameter in hydraulic models as they are a means of controlling/monitoring the physical model’s boundary conditions, analyzing model experiment results, and informing model conclusions. This study focuses on laser scanners that have ranging accuracies of at least +/-10 millimeters (mm) or better for the purpose of attaining LiDAR water surface elevation measurements in scaled physical hydrodynamic models in the laboratory setting using different materials on the water surface. While the current available methods have acceptable accuracies, the resolution is extremely limited. The objective of this research to improve the spatial coverage of water surface elevation measurements by using LiDAR instrumentation while maintaining acceptable error ranges.