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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(1), 67; doi:10.3390/rs8010067

Decadal Scale Changes in Glacier Area in the Hohe Tauern National Park (Austria) Determined by Object-Based Image Analysis

1
Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Fosswinckelsgate 6, Bergen 5007, Norway
2
Department of Geoinfomatics-Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, Schillerstrasse 30, Salzburg 5020, Austria
3
Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Postboks 1047 Blindern, Oslo 0316, Norway
4
GAMMA Remote Sensing, Worbstr. 225, Gümligen 3073, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Magaly Koch and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 14 October 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
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Abstract

In this paper, we semi-automatically classify clean and debris-covered ice for 145 glaciers within Hohe Tauern National Park in the Austrian Alps for the years 1985, 2003, and 2013. We also map the end-summer transient snowline (TSL), which approximates the annual Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA). By comparing our results with the Austrian Glacier Inventories from 1969 and 1998, we calculate a mean reduction in glacier area of 33% between 1969 and 2013. The total ice area reduced at a mean rate of 1.4 km2 per year. This TSL rose by 92 m between 1985 and 2013 to an altitude of 3005 m. Despite some limitations, such as some seasonal snow being present at higher elevations, as well as uncertainties related to the range of years that the LiDAR DEM was collected, our results show that the glaciers within Hohe Tauern National Park conform to the heavy shrinkage experienced in other areas of the European Alps. Moreover, we believe that Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA) is a promising methodology for future glacier mapping. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacier mapping; OBIA; landsat; change detection; Alps; snowline; classification glacier mapping; OBIA; landsat; change detection; Alps; snowline; classification
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MDPI and ACS Style

Robson, B.A.; Hölbling, D.; Nuth, C.; Strozzi, T.; Dahl, S.O. Decadal Scale Changes in Glacier Area in the Hohe Tauern National Park (Austria) Determined by Object-Based Image Analysis. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 67.

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