Debris-covered glaciers are common features on the eastern Pamir and serve as important indicators of climate change promptly. However, mapping of debris-covered glaciers in alpine regions is still challenging due to many factors including the spectral similarity between debris and the adjacent bedrock, shadows cast from mountains and clouds, and seasonal snow cover. Considering that few studies have added movement velocity features when extracting glacier boundaries, we innovatively developed an automatic algorithm consisting of rule-based image segmentation and Random Forest to extract information about debris-covered glaciers with Landsat-8 OLI/TIRS data for spectral, texture and temperature features, multi-digital elevation models (DEMs) for elevation and topographic features, and the Inter-mission Time Series of Land Ice Velocity and Elevation (ITS_LIVE) for movement velocity features, and accuracy evaluation was performed to determine the optimal feature combination extraction of debris-covered glaciers. The study found that the overall accuracy of extracting debris-covered glaciers using combined movement velocity features is 97.60%, and the Kappa coefficient is 0.9624, which is better than the extraction results using other schemes. The high classification accuracy obtained using our method overcomes most of the above-mentioned challenges and can detect debris-covered glaciers, illustrating that this method can be executed efficiently, which will further help water resources management.
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