Applications of remote sensing, GIS and GPS in glaciology: a review

Jay Gao, Yansui Liu
<span title="">2001</span> <i title="SAGE Publications"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" style="color: black;">Progress in physical geography</a> </i> &nbsp;
Remote sensing has served as an efficient method of gathering data about glaciers since its emergence. The recent advent of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) has created an effective means by which the acquired data are analysed for the effective monitoring and mapping of temporal dynamics of glaciers. A large number of researchers have taken advantage of remote sensing, GIS and GPS in their studies of glaciers. These applications are comprehensively
more &raquo; ... wed in this paper. This review shows that glacial features identifiable from aerial photographs and satellite imagery include spatial extent, transient snowline, equilibrium line elevation, accumulation and ablation zones, and differentiation of ice/snow. Digital image processing (e.g., image enhancement, spectral ratioing and automatic classification) improves the ease and accuracy of mapping these parameters. The traditional visible light/infrared remote sensing of two-dimensional glacier distribution has been extended to three-dimensional volume estimation and dynamic monitoring using radar imagery and GPS. Longitudinal variations in glacial extent have been detected from multitemporal images in GIS. However, the detected variations have neither been explored nor modelled from environmental and topographic variables. GPS has been utilized independent of remote sensing and GIS to determine glacier ice velocity and to obtain information about glacier surfaces. Therefore, the potential afforded by the integration of nonconventional remote sensing (e.g., SAR interferometry) with GIS and GPS still remains to be realized in glaciology. The emergence of new satellite images will make remote sensing of glaciology more predictive, more global and towards longer terms.
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="">doi:10.1177/030913330102500404</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">fatcat:opq6ew5etfhtpi6vaxa7fctxum</a> </span>
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