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I was wondering if you might be willing to help me work out the best way to use LiDAR data for my thesis project. It involves altering the terrain to add low water crossings at various angles and seeing what effect they have on the floodplains and sediment transport (-the analysis portion should be able to be done using Hec-ras, using TINs or DEM input files).

I seem to keep getting stuck on which route is best to alter the data. I've been altering it via 1m contours and creating new TINs, however it seems to make a very choppy TIN and I am afraid it is altering more terrain than necessary to add this 5m wide crossing.

I would appreciate any and all insight you can provide me, I'm at a wits end here.

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How exactly do you propose to input the information about the "low water crossings" and angles (to what?) that they have? What format should the output have? Is there a reason you are trying to use contours (which are cumbersome and difficult to manipulate) instead of directly modifying a DEM? –  whuber Mar 4 '14 at 15:25

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