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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2017-33
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
30 May 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Determination of high resolution spatio-temporal glacier motion fields from time-lapse sequences
Ellen Schwalbe and Hans-Gerd Maas Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote sensing, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, 01069, Germany
Abstract. This paper presents a comprehensive method for the determination of motion vector fields of glaciers at high spatial and temporal resolution. These vector fields can be derived from monocular terrestrial camera image sequences and are a valuable data source for glaciological analysis of the motion behaviour of glaciers. The measurement concepts for the acquisition of image sequences are presented, and an automated monoscopic image sequence processing chain is developed. Motion vector fields can be derived with high precision by applying automatic sub-pixel-accuracy image matching techniques on grey value patterns in the image sequences. Well-established matching techniques have been adapted to the special characteristics of the glacier data in order to achieve high reliability in automatic image sequence processing, including the handling of moving shadows as well as motion effects induced by small instabilities in the camera setup. Suitable geo-referencing techniques were developed to transform image measurements into a reference coordinate system.

The result of the monoscopic image sequence analysis is a dense raster of glacier surface point trajectories for each image sequence. Each translation vector component in these trajectories can be determined with an accuracy of some centimetres for points at a distance of several kilometres from the camera. Extensive practical validation experiments show that motion vector and trajectory fields derived from monocular image sequences can be used for the determination of high resolution velocity fields of glaciers, for the analysis of the effects of tides on glacier movement, for the investigation of a glacier's motion behaviour during calving events, for the determination of the position and migration of the grounding line and for the detection of sub glacial channels during glacier lake outburst floods.


Citation: Schwalbe, E. and Maas, H.-G.: Determination of high resolution spatio-temporal glacier motion fields from time-lapse sequences, Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2017-33, in review, 2017.
Ellen Schwalbe and Hans-Gerd Maas
Interactive discussionStatus: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version      Supplement - Supplement
 
RC1: 'Reviewer comments', Anonymous Referee #1, 05 Jul 2017 Printer-friendly Version 
RC2: 'Review 2', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Jul 2017 Printer-friendly Version 
AC2: 'Author response Referee #2', Ellen Schwalbe, 31 Aug 2017 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
AC1: 'Author response Referee #1', Ellen Schwalbe, 31 Aug 2017 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
Ellen Schwalbe and Hans-Gerd Maas
Ellen Schwalbe and Hans-Gerd Maas

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Short summary
The simple use of time-lapse cameras as a visual observation tool may already be a great help for environmental investigations. However, beyond that, they have the potential to also deliver precise measurements with high temporal and spatial resolution when applying appropriate processing techniques. In this paper we introduce a method for the determination of glacier motion fields from time-lapse images but it might also be adapted to other environmental motion analysis tasks.
The simple use of time-lapse cameras as a visual observation tool may already be a great help...
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