Murray Darling Basin LiDAR

Friday, 17 February, 2017
Use Type 
Use Case

MDBA’s primary purpose for the acquisition of this LiDAR is to assist in the modelling of environmental water flows and consequent inundation of floodplains. As the models generated from the LiDAR need to accurately model the flow of water, investment must be made in aligning vertical control to the geoid.


Deliver high-resolution elevation products to the MDBA by establishing a working storage, processing and delivery system managed by Geoscience Australia. This system will build on existing investment in the National Elevation Data Framework and align to the Australian and New Zealand Foundation Spatial Data Framework, ensuring enduring discovery and access of

foundation elevation data for government, industry, research and community. Improve the content of the national elevation dataset by integrating existing and new LiDAR data acquired over high-priority areas from the Basin.

Use Case-Requirement Category 
Agency/Working Group or Committee 
Associated Stakeholder or System 
Murray Darling Basin Authority
How spatial Data Assists 

The acquisition of more accurate, granular and reliable higher-resolution elevation information than what currently exists will provide a more reliable base for various MDBA policies on

sustainable water management in the Basin. Successful implementation of the project will result in the MDBA being able to concentrate resources on delivering good science and policy for sustainable Basin management rather than on the acquisition and management of the underpinning data. 

GA’s role as a custodian of a national foundation elevation dataset will be strengthened. It leverages existing relationships with Commonwealth, state and territory agencies who may already hold, or are about to acquire, high-resolution elevation information suitable for MDBA’s requirements. It also builds upon work begun under the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework to build national digital elevation models for Australia, with vulnerable regions being mapped using very high resolution images.

The utilisation of existing data where possible, and the availability of higher-resolution elevation information under open licensing, will maximise the likelihood of the same information being used for decision-making by states and territories, the Commonwealth, and the community as a whole.

Benefit Realised 

Three-dimensional maps that will be used to accurately model water flows and the pattern of floodplain inundation.

The information will also be useful to local councils, engineers, Catchment Management Authorities and others with an interest in land and water management.

Implement a high-performance elevation data model and build discoverable and accessible services for point cloud (LAS) and gridded elevation data that allow for efficient discovery and maximises accessibility of national elevation and bathymetry data within the high-performance computational infrastructure at the ANU NCI. Develop a workbench to derive National blended DEM from best available data.

Associated Dataset