Automatic Detection and Mapping of Dolines Using U-Net Model from Orthophoto Images

Polat A., Keskin İ., POLAT Ö.

ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, vol.12, no.11, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/ijgi12110456
  • Journal Name: ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, INSPEC, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: deep learning, doline segmentation, geocomputation, orthophoto images
  • Sivas Cumhuriyet University Affiliated: Yes


A doline is a natural closed depression formed as a result of karstification, and it is the most common landform in karst areas. These depressions damage many living areas and various engineering structures, and this type of collapse event has created natural hazards in terms of human safety, agricultural activities, and the economy. Therefore, it is important to detect dolines and reveal their properties. In this study, a solution that automatically detects dolines is proposed. The proposed model was employed in a region where many dolines are found in the northwestern part of Sivas City, Turkey. A U-Net model with transfer learning techniques was applied for this task. DenseNet121 gave the best results for the segmentation of the dolines via ResNet34, and EfficientNetB3 and DenseNet121 were used with the U-Net model. The Intersection over Union (IoU) and F-score were used as model evaluation metrics. The IoU and F-score of the DenseNet121 model were calculated as 0.78 and 0.87 for the test data, respectively. Dolines were successfully predicted for the selected test area. The results were converted into a georeferenced vector file. The doline inventory maps can be easily and quickly created using this method. The results can be used in geomorphology, susceptibility, and site selection studies. In addition, this method can be used to segment other landforms in earth science studies.