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Open AccessArticle

Analyzing Glacier Surface Motion Using LiDAR Data

National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping, University of Houston, 5000 Gulf Freeway, Building 4, Room 216, Houston, TX 77204-5059, USA
Department of Geology, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751, USA
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory Remote Sensing/GIS Center of Excellence, ATTN: CEERD-PA-H, 72 Lyme Road, Hanover, NH 03755-1290, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guoqing Zhou, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(3), 283;
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
Understanding glacier motion is key to understanding how glaciers are growing, shrinking, and responding to changing environmental conditions. In situ observations are often difficult to collect and offer an analysis of glacier surface motion only at a few discrete points. Using light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data collected from surveys over six glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica, particle image velocimetry (PIV) was applied to temporally-spaced point clouds to detect and measure surface motion. The type and distribution of surface features, surface roughness, and spatial and temporal resolution of the data were all found to be important factors, which limited the use of PIV to four of the original six glaciers. The PIV results were found to be in good agreement with other, widely accepted, measurement techniques, including manual tracking and GPS, and offered a comprehensive distribution of velocity data points across glacier surfaces. For three glaciers in Taylor Valley, Antarctica, average velocities ranged from 0.8–2.1 m/year. For one glacier in Greenland, the average velocity was 22.1 m/day (8067 m/year). View Full-Text
Keywords: terrestrial laser scanning; airborne laser scanning; LiDAR; morphology; glacier surface velocity terrestrial laser scanning; airborne laser scanning; LiDAR; morphology; glacier surface velocity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Telling, J.W.; Glennie, C.; Fountain, A.G.; Finnegan, D.C. Analyzing Glacier Surface Motion Using LiDAR Data. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 283.

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