Next Article in Journal
Improvement of Hourly Surface Solar Irradiance Estimation Using MSG Rapid Scanning Service
Previous Article in Journal
Retrieval of Chlorophyll a from Sentinel-2 MSI Data for the European Union Water Framework Directive Reporting Purposes
Article Menu
Issue 1 (January-1) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(1), 65;

Operational Framework for Rapid, Very-high Resolution Mapping of Glacial Geomorphology Using Low-cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Structure-from-Motion Approach

Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University, Krygowskiego 10, 61-680 Poznań, Poland
Department of Geography, Durham University, Lower Mountjoy, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 1 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Geology, Geomorphology and Hydrology)
Full-Text   |   PDF [25537 KB, uploaded 1 January 2019]   |  


This study presents the operational framework for rapid, very-high resolution mapping of glacial geomorphology, with the use of budget Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and a structure-from-motion approach. The proposed workflow comprises seven stages: (1) Preparation and selection of the appropriate platform; (2) transport; (3) preliminary on-site activities (including optional ground-control-point collection); (4) pre-flight setup and checks; (5) conducting the mission; (6) data processing; and (7) mapping and change detection. The application of the proposed framework has been illustrated by a mapping case study on the glacial foreland of Hørbyebreen, Svalbard, Norway. A consumer-grade quadcopter (DJI Phantom) was used to collect the data, while images were processed using the structure-from-motion approach. The resultant orthomosaic (1.9 cm ground sampling distance—GSD) and digital elevation model (7.9 cm GSD) were used to map the glacial-related landforms in detail. It demonstrated the applicability of the proposed framework to map and potentially monitor detailed changes in a rapidly evolving proglacial environment, using a low-cost approach. Its coverage of multiple aspects ensures that the proposed framework is universal and can be applied in a broader range of settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAV; drone; GIS; glacial geomorphology; mapping; SfM UAV; drone; GIS; glacial geomorphology; mapping; SfM

Graphical abstract

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ewertowski, M.W.; Tomczyk, A.M.; Evans, D.J.A.; Roberts, D.H.; Ewertowski, W. Operational Framework for Rapid, Very-high Resolution Mapping of Glacial Geomorphology Using Low-cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Structure-from-Motion Approach. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 65.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top