The glaciers climate change initiative

Methods for creating glacier area, elevation change and velocity products

Frank Paul*, Tobias Bolch, Andreas Kääb, Thomas Nagler, Christopher Nuth, Killian Scharrer, Andrew Shepherd, Tazio Strozzi, Francesca Ticconi, Rakesh Bhambri, Etienne Berthier, Suzanne Bevan, Noel Gourmelen, Torborg Heid, Seongsu Jeong, Matthias Kunz, Tom Rune Lauknes, Adrian Luckman, John Peter Merryman Boncori, Geir Moholdt & 5 others Alan Muir, Julia Neelmeijer, Melanie Rankl, Jeffrey VanLooy, Thomas Van Niel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Glaciers and their changes through time are increasingly obtained from a wide range of satellite sensors. Due to the often remote location of glaciers in inaccessible and high-mountain terrain, satellite observations frequently provide the only available measurements. Furthermore, satellite data provide observations of glacier characteristics that are difficult to monitor using ground-based measurements, thus complementing the latter. In the Glaciers_cci project of the European Space Agency (ESA), three of these characteristics are investigated in detail: glacier area, elevation change and surface velocity. We use (a) data from optical sensors to derive glacier outlines, (b) digital elevation models from at least two points in time, (c) repeat altimetry for determining elevation changes, and (d) data from repeat optical and microwave sensors for calculating surface velocity. For the latter, the two sensor types provide complementary information in terms of spatio-temporal coverage. While (c) and (d) can be generated mostly automatically, (a) and (b) require the intervention of an analyst. Largely based on the results of various round robin experiments (multi-analyst benchmark studies) for each of the products, we suggest and describe the most suitable algorithms for product creation and provide recommendations concerning their practical implementation and the required post-processing. For some of the products (area, velocity) post-processing can influence product quality more than the main-processing algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Volume162
Pages (from-to)408-426
ISSN0034-4257
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Accuracy determination
  • Algorithm selection
  • Glacier area
  • Glacier elevation change
  • Glacier velocity
  • Optical and microwave remote sensing
  • Round robin experiment

Cite this

Paul, Frank ; Bolch, Tobias ; Kääb, Andreas ; Nagler, Thomas ; Nuth, Christopher ; Scharrer, Killian ; Shepherd, Andrew ; Strozzi, Tazio ; Ticconi, Francesca ; Bhambri, Rakesh ; Berthier, Etienne ; Bevan, Suzanne ; Gourmelen, Noel ; Heid, Torborg ; Jeong, Seongsu ; Kunz, Matthias ; Lauknes, Tom Rune ; Luckman, Adrian ; Merryman Boncori, John Peter ; Moholdt, Geir ; Muir, Alan ; Neelmeijer, Julia ; Rankl, Melanie ; VanLooy, Jeffrey ; Van Niel, Thomas. / The glaciers climate change initiative : Methods for creating glacier area, elevation change and velocity products. In: Remote Sensing of Environment. 2015 ; Vol. 162. pp. 408-426.
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abstract = "Glaciers and their changes through time are increasingly obtained from a wide range of satellite sensors. Due to the often remote location of glaciers in inaccessible and high-mountain terrain, satellite observations frequently provide the only available measurements. Furthermore, satellite data provide observations of glacier characteristics that are difficult to monitor using ground-based measurements, thus complementing the latter. In the Glaciers_cci project of the European Space Agency (ESA), three of these characteristics are investigated in detail: glacier area, elevation change and surface velocity. We use (a) data from optical sensors to derive glacier outlines, (b) digital elevation models from at least two points in time, (c) repeat altimetry for determining elevation changes, and (d) data from repeat optical and microwave sensors for calculating surface velocity. For the latter, the two sensor types provide complementary information in terms of spatio-temporal coverage. While (c) and (d) can be generated mostly automatically, (a) and (b) require the intervention of an analyst. Largely based on the results of various round robin experiments (multi-analyst benchmark studies) for each of the products, we suggest and describe the most suitable algorithms for product creation and provide recommendations concerning their practical implementation and the required post-processing. For some of the products (area, velocity) post-processing can influence product quality more than the main-processing algorithm.",
keywords = "Accuracy determination, Algorithm selection, Glacier area, Glacier elevation change, Glacier velocity, Optical and microwave remote sensing, Round robin experiment",
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Paul, F, Bolch, T, Kääb, A, Nagler, T, Nuth, C, Scharrer, K, Shepherd, A, Strozzi, T, Ticconi, F, Bhambri, R, Berthier, E, Bevan, S, Gourmelen, N, Heid, T, Jeong, S, Kunz, M, Lauknes, TR, Luckman, A, Merryman Boncori, JP, Moholdt, G, Muir, A, Neelmeijer, J, Rankl, M, VanLooy, J & Van Niel, T 2015, 'The glaciers climate change initiative: Methods for creating glacier area, elevation change and velocity products', Remote Sensing of Environment, vol. 162, pp. 408-426. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2013.07.043

The glaciers climate change initiative : Methods for creating glacier area, elevation change and velocity products. / Paul, Frank; Bolch, Tobias; Kääb, Andreas; Nagler, Thomas ; Nuth, Christopher; Scharrer, Killian; Shepherd, Andrew; Strozzi, Tazio; Ticconi, Francesca; Bhambri, Rakesh; Berthier, Etienne; Bevan, Suzanne; Gourmelen, Noel; Heid, Torborg; Jeong, Seongsu; Kunz, Matthias; Lauknes, Tom Rune; Luckman, Adrian; Merryman Boncori, John Peter; Moholdt, Geir; Muir, Alan; Neelmeijer, Julia; Rankl, Melanie; VanLooy, Jeffrey; Van Niel, Thomas.

In: Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 162, 2015, p. 408-426.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The glaciers climate change initiative

T2 - Methods for creating glacier area, elevation change and velocity products

AU - Paul, Frank

AU - Bolch, Tobias

AU - Kääb, Andreas

AU - Nagler, Thomas

AU - Nuth, Christopher

AU - Scharrer, Killian

AU - Shepherd, Andrew

AU - Strozzi, Tazio

AU - Ticconi, Francesca

AU - Bhambri, Rakesh

AU - Berthier, Etienne

AU - Bevan, Suzanne

AU - Gourmelen, Noel

AU - Heid, Torborg

AU - Jeong, Seongsu

AU - Kunz, Matthias

AU - Lauknes, Tom Rune

AU - Luckman, Adrian

AU - Merryman Boncori, John Peter

AU - Moholdt, Geir

AU - Muir, Alan

AU - Neelmeijer, Julia

AU - Rankl, Melanie

AU - VanLooy, Jeffrey

AU - Van Niel, Thomas

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Glaciers and their changes through time are increasingly obtained from a wide range of satellite sensors. Due to the often remote location of glaciers in inaccessible and high-mountain terrain, satellite observations frequently provide the only available measurements. Furthermore, satellite data provide observations of glacier characteristics that are difficult to monitor using ground-based measurements, thus complementing the latter. In the Glaciers_cci project of the European Space Agency (ESA), three of these characteristics are investigated in detail: glacier area, elevation change and surface velocity. We use (a) data from optical sensors to derive glacier outlines, (b) digital elevation models from at least two points in time, (c) repeat altimetry for determining elevation changes, and (d) data from repeat optical and microwave sensors for calculating surface velocity. For the latter, the two sensor types provide complementary information in terms of spatio-temporal coverage. While (c) and (d) can be generated mostly automatically, (a) and (b) require the intervention of an analyst. Largely based on the results of various round robin experiments (multi-analyst benchmark studies) for each of the products, we suggest and describe the most suitable algorithms for product creation and provide recommendations concerning their practical implementation and the required post-processing. For some of the products (area, velocity) post-processing can influence product quality more than the main-processing algorithm.

AB - Glaciers and their changes through time are increasingly obtained from a wide range of satellite sensors. Due to the often remote location of glaciers in inaccessible and high-mountain terrain, satellite observations frequently provide the only available measurements. Furthermore, satellite data provide observations of glacier characteristics that are difficult to monitor using ground-based measurements, thus complementing the latter. In the Glaciers_cci project of the European Space Agency (ESA), three of these characteristics are investigated in detail: glacier area, elevation change and surface velocity. We use (a) data from optical sensors to derive glacier outlines, (b) digital elevation models from at least two points in time, (c) repeat altimetry for determining elevation changes, and (d) data from repeat optical and microwave sensors for calculating surface velocity. For the latter, the two sensor types provide complementary information in terms of spatio-temporal coverage. While (c) and (d) can be generated mostly automatically, (a) and (b) require the intervention of an analyst. Largely based on the results of various round robin experiments (multi-analyst benchmark studies) for each of the products, we suggest and describe the most suitable algorithms for product creation and provide recommendations concerning their practical implementation and the required post-processing. For some of the products (area, velocity) post-processing can influence product quality more than the main-processing algorithm.

KW - Accuracy determination

KW - Algorithm selection

KW - Glacier area

KW - Glacier elevation change

KW - Glacier velocity

KW - Optical and microwave remote sensing

KW - Round robin experiment

U2 - 10.1016/j.rse.2013.07.043

DO - 10.1016/j.rse.2013.07.043

M3 - Journal article

VL - 162

SP - 408

EP - 426

JO - Remote Sensing of Environment

JF - Remote Sensing of Environment

SN - 0034-4257

ER -