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Immerzeel, Walter; Kraaijenbrink, Philip; Andreassen, Liss (2017)
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects:
Routinely and accurate monitoring of the outlines and surface mass balance of glaciers is essential. In this study an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was used in September 2015 on a mountain glacier (Storbreen) in Norway to map the glacier outline, snow line and to derive a digital elevation model (DEM) of the glacier surface. The generated DEM has a relatively high accuracy with maximum horizontal RMSE of 0.36 m vertical RMSE of 0.44 m and the Structure for Motion algorithm also proved to be suitable under low contrast, high saturation fully snow covered conditions. A well distributed set of markers, measured by GPS, was required to generate a high quality DEM under the yielding conditions. The final UAV DEM was compared to a laser based DEM of 2009 and the annual geodetic mass balance between 2015 and 2009 was estimated to be between −0.71 ± 0.1 m w.e. and −0.75 m ± 0.1 w.e., which is in good agreement with the glaciological mass balance of −0.80 m ± 0.18 w.e. a−1. An analysis of the glacier outlines reveal that the glacier has lost 1.2 % of its surface area between 2009 and 2015. These findings confirm the strong mass loss and retreat of continental glaciers in southern Norway.
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