Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

Ewertowski, Marek, Tomczyk, Aleksandra, Evans, David J A, Roberts, David H & Ewertowski, Wojciech Operational Framework for Rapid, Very-high Resolution Mapping of Glacial Geomorphology Using Low-cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Structure-from-Motion Approach. Remote Sensing. 2019;11:65.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This study presents the operational framework for rapid, very-high resolution mapping of glacial geomorphology, with the use of budget Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and a structure-from-motion approach. The proposed workflow comprises seven stages: (1) Preparation and selection of the appropriate platform; (2) transport; (3) preliminary on-site activities (including optional ground-control-point collection); (4) pre-flight setup and checks; (5) conducting the mission; (6) data processing; and (7) mapping and change detection. The application of the proposed framework has been illustrated by a mapping case study on the glacial foreland of Hørbyebreen, Svalbard, Norway. A consumer-grade quadcopter (DJI Phantom) was used to collect the data, while images were processed using the structure-from-motion approach. The resultant orthomosaic (1.9 cm ground sampling distance—GSD) and digital elevation model (7.9 cm GSD) were used to map the glacial-related landforms in detail. It demonstrated the applicability of the proposed framework to map and potentially monitor detailed changes in a rapidly evolving proglacial environment, using a low-cost approach. Its coverage of multiple aspects ensures that the proposed framework is universal and can be applied in a broader range of settings.

Department of Geography