King Salmon Gravel Pit Survey

Conducted for Bristol Bay Native Corporation

We were asked to conduct an aerial survey of two gravel pits in King Salmon, Alaska for Bristol Bay Native Corporation. They have sub-surface mineral rights and are interested in measuring how much material is taken for jobs, as well as the remediation of the gravel pit slopes.

BBNC's south gravel pit at King Salmon, Alaska. Over 20 acres of features captured in 25 minutes.

Ground Survey History

Traditionally, this work is done with ground surveys. Speaking with the team, those surveys would generally take over 5 hours to conduct on foot taking manual measurements. These measurements would also take quite a bit leg work since the slopes in this gravel pit are over 30 feet high and too steep to easily traverse.

Furthermore, the ground stockpiles seen in the center of the pit require more individual attention and effort, whereas with our aerial method they are included in our simple fly-over.

Conducting Our Aerial Survey

Aerial Survey ResulT

Below is the 3D model we generated from one of our two data gathering flights over the South Pit, which you can explore using your mouse. The embedded file below is an OBJ file and can be viewed with any web browser. However, we can also export as 3D PDF and LAS point cloud data which may be used with traditional GIS platforms.

We can also create ortho-rectified imagery, digital surface models, and contour maps.

Hit the 'play' button below to load the model, walk through the annotations, and explore the model.

Example measurement: Gravel Stockpile

We selected the stockpile shown at top-right as our example measurement. After defining the outline of the pile we measure up from the ground plane. This method creates the digitized pile shown at bottom-right. Finally, our software crunches the total volume measurement. For this stockpile, we have measured the volume to be 48,561 cubic feet of material.

Once the model is built, simple measurements such as these can be done in minutes. More complex measurements may take longer, but can still often be completed same day.


Our client at the BBNC was very pleased with our flight and how much faster the survey was completed. As you can see in the interactive model above, we have good resolution that lets us measure the stockpiles, the gravel pit slopes, and more to sub-foot resolution and accuracy.

We don't have to set foot on every piece of ground in order to get an accurate, repeatable measure of it. Give us a call to find out how we can help you measure and quantify your remote assets.

CONTACT US for a quote or to learn more