Experts from WWF Poland, the University of Life Sciences in Poznan, and deepsense.ai joined forces to create an intelligent system to recognize oxbows, an essential element in the protection of Poland’s river ecosystems. This unique project is the first attempt to identify all oxbows in Poland using advanced AI technology.
deepsense.ai developed a method for the automatic identification of oxbows based on data pertaining to their shape and location. Instead of manually identifying oxbows, the system efficiently analyzed a large data set and distinguished oxbows from other natural and artificial water bodies. The process, which would typically require a team to undertake many months of intense work, was reduced to a few hours thanks to the implemented AI solution.
The development of the oxbow identification system was a multi-stage process that lasted over six months. The AI model was created using data from about 2,000 small water bodies in river valleys and was able to categorize water bodies into one of three categories: oxbows, natural non-oxbow water bodies, or artificial water bodies. The model considered various aspects, such as the shape of the analyzed object, its size, and the distance from the riverbed.
The AI-based recognition system will be used for comprehensive assessments of the natural state of river valleys to identify the most valuable rivers and valleys requiring protection, such as nature reserves. This evaluation will also enable the identification of rivers and sections which are suitable for renaturalization, leading to a significant improvement in degraded river ecosystems. In addition, the identification of oxbows can be used to help increase the resistance of rivers to natural disasters.