Special Issue "Applications of Remote Sensing in Glaciology"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Anshuman Bhardwaj
Website
Guest Editor
School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, United Kingdom
Interests: remote sensing; glaciology; environmental monitoring; land cover changes; planetary science; cryosphere
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Lydia Sam
Website
Guest Editor
School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, United Kingdom
Interests: remote sensing; glaciology; cryosphere; physical geography; terrain modelling; land cover changes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Glaciers are well-established climate change indicators, and their continuous monitoring is imperative for understanding the complexities of glacio–climatic interactions. Although the importance of glaciers as climate proxies was first recognized in the latter half of the 19th century, the awareness about glacier monitoring for climate change assessment has persistently increased since 1990, after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) started to include glacier fluctuation data in their assessments. Large-scale shifts in the areal, altitudinal, and flow regimes of glaciers are bound to promote glacial disasters and hydrological irregularities at regional scales, necessitating their worldwide monitoring. Year-round, field-based glacier monitoring is limited by several factors, such as a hostile climate, poor approachability, and inadequate skilled labor and funding. In such scenarios, remote sensing is largely utilized as a practical alternative or a supporting technique to field studies, in order to meet the growing needs of glaciological research.

With the continuous advancements in imaging systems and remote sensing platforms, and enhancements in the computational efficiencies of hardware and related software programs, the number of research applications in glaciology has considerably increased in the recent years. Many universities have started dedicated programs or courses in glaciology, and well-known international remote sensing journals have increased the frequency of Special Issues covering glaciological or cryospheric research.

This topical collection invites multidisciplinary submissions pertaining to the use of remote sensing in assessing glacier changes and the associated impacts in high altitude/high latitude regions, and provides a wide scope so as to contribute in all areas of contemporary/future glaciological research. The Special Issue is not only limited to terrestrial glacial landforms, but will be equally interesting for planetary researchers working on the ice–debris complexes or other glacial geomorphological aspects of planets such as Mars. The topics can be related (but not restricted) to the use of spaceborne/aerial/terrestrial remote sensing for glacier mapping, glacier area changes, volumetric estimations, glacio-hydrology, glacier flow dynamics, glacial or periglacial geomorphology, glacial lakes, glacial seismology, lithological mapping in a glacial environment, glacial hazards, and synergy between glacier field work and remote sensing.

We look forward to your excellent contributions!

Dr. Anshuman Bhardwaj
Dr. Lydia Sam
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • remote sensing
  • glacier mapping
  • glacier area changes
  • volumetric estimations
  • glacio-hydrology
  • glacier flow dynamics
  • glacial or periglacial geomorphology
  • glacial lakes
  • glacial seismology
  • glacial hazards

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Landsat-Based Estimation of the Glacier Surface Temperature of Hailuogou Glacier, Southeastern Tibetan Plateau, Between 1990 and 2018
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2105; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132105 - 01 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Glacier surface temperature (GST) is influenced by both the energy flux from the atmosphere above and the thermal dynamics at the ice–water–debris interfaces. However, previous studies on GST are inadequate in time series research and mountain glacier surface temperature retrieval. We evaluate the [...] Read more.
Glacier surface temperature (GST) is influenced by both the energy flux from the atmosphere above and the thermal dynamics at the ice–water–debris interfaces. However, previous studies on GST are inadequate in time series research and mountain glacier surface temperature retrieval. We evaluate the GST variability at Hailuogou glacier, a temperate glacier located in Southeastern Tibetan Plateau, from 1990 to 2018. We utilized a modified mono-window algorithm to calculate the GST using the Landsat 8 thermal infrared sensor (TIRS) band 10 data and Landsat 5 thematic mapper (TM) band 6 data. Three essential parameters, including the emissivity of ice and snow, atmospheric transmittance, and effective mean atmospheric temperature, were employed in the GST algorithm. The remotely-sensed temperatures were compared with two other single-channel algorithms to validate GST algorithm’s accuracy. Results from different algorithms showed a good agreement, with a mean difference of about 0.6 ℃. Our results showed that the GST of the Hailuogou glacier, both in the upper debris-free part and the lower debris-covered tongue, has experienced a slightly increasing trend at a rate of 0.054 ℃ a−1 during the past decades. Atmospheric warming, expanding debris cover in the lower part, and a darkening debris-free accumulation area are the main causes of the warming of the glacier surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Remote Sensing in Glaciology)
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Open AccessArticle
A Bidirectional Analysis Method for Extracting Glacier Crevasses from Airborne LiDAR Point Clouds
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(20), 2373; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11202373 - 13 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
A crevasse is an important surface feature of a glacier. This study aims to detect crevasses from high-density airborne LiDAR point clouds. However, existing methods continue to suffer from the data holes within the crevasse region and the influence of the undulating non-crevasse [...] Read more.
A crevasse is an important surface feature of a glacier. This study aims to detect crevasses from high-density airborne LiDAR point clouds. However, existing methods continue to suffer from the data holes within the crevasse region and the influence of the undulating non-crevasse glacier surfaces. Therefore, a bidirectional analysis method is proposed to robustly extract the crevasses from the point clouds, which utilizes their vertical and horizontal characteristics. First, crevasse points are separated from non-crevasse points using a hybrid-entity method, where the height difference and the nearly vertical characteristic of a crevasse sidewall are considered, to better distinguish the crevasses from the undulating non-crevasse glacier surfaces. Second, the crevasse regions/edges are adaptively delineated by a local statistical analysis method that is based on a novel feature of the Delaunay triangulation mesh of non-crevasse points in the horizontal plane. Last, the pseudo-crevasse points and regions are removed by a cross-analysis method. To test the performance of the proposed method, this study selected airborne LiDAR point clouds from two sites of Alaskan glaciers (i.e., Tyndall Glacier and Seward Glacier) as the experimental datasets. The results were verified by a comparison with the ground truth that was manually delineated. The proposed method achieved acceptable results: the recall, precision, and F 1 scores of both sites exceeded 94.00%. Moreover, a comparative experiment was carried out and the results confirmed that the proposed method achieved superior performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Remote Sensing in Glaciology)
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Review

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Cryosphere: Latest Advances and Prospects
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(6), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12060948 - 15 Mar 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Owing to usual logistic hardships related to field-based cryospheric research, remote sensing has played a significant role in understanding the frozen components of the Earth system. Conventional spaceborne or airborne remote sensing platforms have their own merits and limitations. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) [...] Read more.
Owing to usual logistic hardships related to field-based cryospheric research, remote sensing has played a significant role in understanding the frozen components of the Earth system. Conventional spaceborne or airborne remote sensing platforms have their own merits and limitations. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have emerged as a viable and inexpensive option for studying the cryospheric components at unprecedented spatiotemporal resolutions. UAVs are adaptable to various cryospheric research needs in terms of providing flexibility with data acquisition windows, revisits, data/sensor types (multispectral, hyperspectral, microwave, thermal/night imaging, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), and photogrammetric stereos), viewing angles, flying altitudes, and overlap dimensions. Thus, UAVs have the potential to act as a bridging remote sensing platform between spatially discrete in situ observations and spatially continuous but coarser and costlier spaceborne or conventional airborne remote sensing. In recent years, a number of studies using UAVs for cryospheric research have been published. However, a holistic review discussing the methodological advancements, hardware and software improvements, results, and future prospects of such cryospheric studies is completely missing. In the present scenario of rapidly changing global and regional climate, studying cryospheric changes using UAVs is bound to gain further momentum and future studies will benefit from a balanced review on this topic. Our review covers the most recent applications of UAVs within glaciology, snow, permafrost, and polar research to support the continued development of high-resolution investigations of cryosphere. We also analyze the UAV and sensor hardware, and data acquisition and processing software in terms of popularity for cryospheric applications and revisit the existing UAV flying regulations in cold regions of the world. The recent usage of UAVs outlined in 103 case studies provide expertise that future investigators should base decisions on. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Remote Sensing in Glaciology)
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