Integrating Terrestrial Time-Lapse Photography with Laser Scanning to Distinguish the Drivers of Movement at Sólheimajökull, Iceland

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Penelope How1, Mike R James2 and Peter Wynn2, (1)University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9, United Kingdom, (2)Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Glacier movement is attributed to a sensitive configuration of driving forces. Here, we present an approach designed to evaluate the drivers of movement at Sólheimajökull, an outlet glacier from the Myrdalsjökull ice cap, Iceland, through combining terrestrial time-lapse photography and laser scanning (TLS). A time-lapse camera (a dSLR with intervalometer and solar-recharged battery power supply) collected hourly data over the summer of 2013. The data are subject to all the difficulties that are usually present in long time-lapse sequences, such as highly variable illumination and visibility conditions, evolving surfaces, and camera instabilities. Feature-tracking software [1] was used to: 1) track regions of static topography (e.g. the skyline) from which camera alignment could be continuously updated throughout the sequence; and 2) track glacial surface features for velocity estimation. Absolute georeferencing of the image sequence was carried out by registering the camera to a TLS survey acquired at the beginning of the monitoring period. A second TLS survey (July 2013) provided an additional 3D surface. By assuming glacial features moved in approximately planimetrically straight lines between the two survey dates, combining the two TLS surfaces with the monoscopic feature tracking allows 3D feature tracks to be derived. Such tracks will enable contributions from different drivers (e.g. surface melting) to be extracted, even in imagery that is acquired not perpendicular to glacier motion. At Sólheimajökull, our aim is to elucidate any volcanic contribution to the observed movement.

[1] http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/staff/jamesm/software/pointcatcher.htm