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dc.contributor.authorMölg, Nico
dc.contributor.authorBolch, Tobias
dc.identifier.citationMölg , N & Bolch , T 2017 , ' Structure-from-motion using historical aerial images to analyse changes in glacier surface elevation ' , Remote Sensing , vol. 9 , no. 10 , 1021 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 258135861
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: fdaeb3be-d5dc-49c6-98f2-85b886623314
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85032866967
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-8201-5059/work/55379138
dc.descriptionThis study was performed within and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation project No. 200021 169775.en
dc.description.abstractThe application of structure-from-motion (SfM) to generate digital terrain models (DTMs) derived from different image sources has strongly increased, the major reason for this being that processing is substantially easier with SfM than with conventional photogrammetry. To test the functionality in a demanding environment, we applied SfM and conventional photogrammetry to archival aerial images from Zmuttgletscher, a mountain glacier in Switzerland, for nine dates between 1946 and 2005 using the most popular software packages, and compared the results regarding bundle adjustment and final DTM quality. The results suggest that by using SfM it is possible to produce DTMs of similar quality as with conventional photogrammetry. Higher point cloud density and less noise allow a higher ground resolution of the final DTM, and the time effort from the user is 3-6 times smaller, while the controls of the commercial software packages Agisoft PhotoScan (Version 1.2; Agisoft, St. Petersburg, Russia) and Pix4Dmapper (Version 3.0; Pix4D, Lausanne, Switzerland) are limited in comparison to ERDAS photogrammetry. SfM performs less reliably when few images with little overlap are processed. Even though SfM facilitates the largely automated production of high quality DTMs, the user is not exempt from a thorough quality check, at best with reference data where available. The resulting DTM time series revealed an average change in surface elevation at the glacier tongue of -67.0 ± 5.3 m. The spatial pattern of changes over time reflects the influence of flow dynamics and the melt of clean ice and that under debris cover. With continued technological advances, we expect to see an increasing use of SfM in glaciology for a variety of purposes, also in processing archival aerial imagery.
dc.relation.ispartofRemote Sensingen
dc.rights© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
dc.subjectArchival aerial imagesen
dc.subjectDigital terrain modelen
dc.subjectGlacier elevation changeen
dc.subjectHigh mountain terrainen
dc.subjectStereo photogrammetryen
dc.subjectEarth and Planetary Sciences(all)en
dc.titleStructure-from-motion using historical aerial images to analyse changes in glacier surface elevationen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Geography & Sustainable Developmenten
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Bell-Edwards Geographic Data Instituteen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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