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Article

The Influence of Shadow Effects on the Spectral Characteristics of Glacial Meltwater

Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Pawińskiego 5A, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland
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Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13010036
Received: 27 October 2020 / Revised: 20 December 2020 / Accepted: 21 December 2020 / Published: 24 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV Application for Monitoring Coastal Morphology)
The phenomenon of shadows due to glaciers is investigated in Antarctica. The observed shadow effect disrupts analyses conducted by remote sensing and is a challenge in the assessment of sediment meltwater plumes in polar marine environments. A DJI Inspire 2 drone equipped with a Zenmuse x5s camera was used to generate a digital surface model (DSM) of 6 King George Island glaciers: Ecology, Dera, Zalewski, Ladies, Krak, and Vieville. On this basis, shaded areas of coves near glaciers were traced. For the first time, spectral characteristics of shaded meltwater were observed with the simultaneous use of a Sequoia+ spectral camera mounted on a Parrot Bluegrass drone and in Landsat 8 satellite images. In total, 44 drone flights were made, and 399 satellite images were analyzed. Among them, four drone spectral images and four satellite images were selected, meeting the condition of a visible shadow. For homogeneous waters (deep, low turbidity, without ice phenomena), the spectral properties tend to change during the approach to an obstacle casting a shadow especially during low shortwave downward radiation. In this case, in the shade, the amount of radiation reflected in the green spectral band decreases by 50% far from the obstacle and by 43% near the obstacle, while in near infrared (NIR), it decreases by 42% and 21%, respectively. With highly turbid, shallow water and ice phenomena, this tendency does not occur. It was found that the green spectral band had the highest contrast in the amount of reflected radiation between nonshaded and shaded areas, but due to its high sensitivity, the analysis could have been overestimated. The spectral properties of shaded meltwater differ depending on the distance from the glacier front, which is related to the saturation of the water with sediment particles. We discovered that the pixel aggregation of uniform areas caused the loss of detailed information, while pixel aggregation of nonuniform, shallow areas with ice phenomena caused changes and the loss of original information. During the aggregation of the original pixel resolution (15 cm) up to 30 m, the smallest error occurred in the area with a homogeneous water surface, while the greatest error (over 100%) was identified in the places where the water was strongly cloudy or there were ice phenomena. View Full-Text
Keywords: shadow; unmanned aerial vehicle; remote sensing; glacial meltwater; glacier shadow; unmanned aerial vehicle; remote sensing; glacial meltwater; glacier
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wójcik-Długoborska, K.A.; Bialik, R.J. The Influence of Shadow Effects on the Spectral Characteristics of Glacial Meltwater. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 36. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13010036

AMA Style

Wójcik-Długoborska KA, Bialik RJ. The Influence of Shadow Effects on the Spectral Characteristics of Glacial Meltwater. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(1):36. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13010036

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wójcik-Długoborska, Kornelia A., and Robert J. Bialik 2021. "The Influence of Shadow Effects on the Spectral Characteristics of Glacial Meltwater" Remote Sensing 13, no. 1: 36. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13010036

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