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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1563; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101563

Pléiades Tri-Stereo Data for Glacier Investigations—Examples from the European Alps and the Khumbu Himal

1
Institute of Geography, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2
Montanuniversitaet Leoben, 8700 Leoben, Austria
3
Institute for Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 June 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 29 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Glaciers at Global and Regional Scales)
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Abstract

In this study, we use Pléiades tri-stereo data to generate a digital elevation model (DEM) from the Pléiades images using a workflow employing semi-global matching (SGM). We examine the DEM accuracy in complex mountain glaciated terrain by comparing the new DEMs with an independent high-quality DEM based on airborne laser scanning (ALS) data for a study area in the Austrian Alps, and with ground control points for a study area in the Khumbu Himal of Nepal. The DEMs derived using the SGM algorithm compare well to the independent high-quality ALS DEM, and the workflow produces models of sufficient quality to resolve ground control points, which are based on Pléiades imagery that are of sufficient quality to perform high spatio-temporal resolution assessments of remote areas for which no field data is available. The relative accuracy is sufficient to investigate glacier surface elevation changes below one meter, and can therefore be applied over relatively short periods of time, such as those required for annual and seasonal assessments of change. The annual geodetic mass balance for the Alpine case derived from our DEM compares well to the glaciological mass balance, and multitemporal DEM analysis is used to resolve the seasonal changes of five glaciers in the Khumbu Himal, revealing that glaciological processes such as accumulation, ablation, and glacier movement mainly take place during the summer season, with the winter season being largely inactive in the year sampled. View Full-Text
Keywords: glaciers; Khumbu Himal; semi-global matching; Pléiades tri-stereo data; surface change; optical satellite data; DEM glaciers; Khumbu Himal; semi-global matching; Pléiades tri-stereo data; surface change; optical satellite data; DEM
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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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Rieg, L.; Klug, C.; Nicholson, L.; Sailer, R. Pléiades Tri-Stereo Data for Glacier Investigations—Examples from the European Alps and the Khumbu Himal. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1563.

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