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Automated tools to derive short-term glacier velocity from high-resolution commercial satellite imagery

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Author(s): Shashank Bhushan, David E. Shean, Oleg Alexandrov

Document Type: Presentation #C31B-1507
Publisher: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA
Published Year: 2019
DOI Identifier:
ISBN Identifier:

Image feature tracking with medium-resolution optical satellite imagery (e.g., Landsat-8) offers measurements of glacier surface velocity on a global scale. However, for slow-moving glaciers (<0.1 m/day), the larger pixel sizes (~15-30 m) and longer repeat intervals (minimum of 16 days, assuming no cloud cover) limit temporal sampling, often precluding analysis of sub-annual velocity variability. As a result, detailed records of short-term glacier velocity variations are limited to a subset of glaciers, often from dedicated SAR image tasking and/or field observations.

To address these issues, we are leveraging large archives of very-high-resolution (~0.3-0.5 m) DigitalGlobe WorldView/GeoEye imagery with ~monthly repeat interval and high-resolution (~3-5 m) Planet PlanetScope imagery with ~daily-weekly repeat interval for the period from 2014 to 2019. We are using automated, open-source tools to develop corrections for sensor geometry and image geolocation, and integrating new, high resolution DEMs for improved orthorectification, reducing the uncertainty of short-term (monthly to seasonal) velocity measurements.

These temporally dense records will be integrated with other velocity products (e.g., NASA ITS_LIVE), which will allow us to study the evolution of glacier dynamics, and its relationships with local climatology, geomorphology, and hydrology on a regional scale. In this study, we present initial results for surface velocity mapping for glaciers in Khumbu Himalaya, Nepal and Mt. Rainier, USA. We are using high-performance computing environments to scale this analysis to larger glacierized regions in High Mountain Asia and Continental U.S.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Bhushan and others (2019) or (Bhushan et al., 2019)

References Citation:
Bhushan, S., D.E. Shean, and O. Alexandrov, 2019, Automated tools to derive short-term glacier velocity from high-resolution commercial satellite imagery: Presentation #C31B-1507, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA,