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Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1750; doi:10.3390/s16101750

A Low-Cost Optical Remote Sensing Application for Glacier Deformation Monitoring in an Alpine Environment

1
GeoHazard Monitoring Group—Institute of Research for the Geo-Hydrological Protection—National Council of Research of Italy, 10135 Turin, Italy
2
Fondazione Montagna Sicura, 11013 Courmayeur, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Assefa M. Melesse
Received: 19 July 2016 / Revised: 13 October 2016 / Accepted: 17 October 2016 / Published: 21 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Abstract

In this work, we present the results of a low-cost optical monitoring station designed for monitoring the kinematics of glaciers in an Alpine environment. We developed a complete hardware/software data acquisition and processing chain that automatically acquires, stores and co-registers images. The system was installed in September 2013 to monitor the evolution of the Planpincieux glacier, within the open-air laboratory of the Grandes Jorasses, Mont Blanc massif (NW Italy), and collected data with an hourly frequency. The acquisition equipment consists of a high-resolution DSLR camera operating in the visible band. The data are processed with a Pixel Offset algorithm based on normalized cross-correlation, to estimate the deformation of the observed glacier. We propose a method for the pixel-to-metric conversion and present the results of the projection on the mean slope of the glacier. The method performances are compared with measurements obtained by GB-SAR, and exhibit good agreement. The system provides good support for the analysis of the glacier evolution and allows the creation of daily displacement maps. View Full-Text
Keywords: image matching; glacier kinematics; low-cost equipment; monitoring; remote sensing image matching; glacier kinematics; low-cost equipment; monitoring; remote sensing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Giordan, D.; Allasia, P.; Dematteis, N.; Dell’Anese, F.; Vagliasindi, M.; Motta, E. A Low-Cost Optical Remote Sensing Application for Glacier Deformation Monitoring in an Alpine Environment. Sensors 2016, 16, 1750.

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