A connectionist-geostatistical approach for classification of deformation types in ice surfaces

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 3:25 PM
Lukas R Goetz-Weiss1, Ute C Herzfeld2,3, Robert Griffin Hale4, Elizabeth C Hunke5 and Jessica Bobeck1, (1)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)Univ Colorado Boulder, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Boulder, CO, United States, (4)Sierra Nevada Corporation, Broomfield, CO, United States, (5)Los Alamos National Laboratory, T-3 Fluid Dynamics and Solid Mechanics Group, Los Alamos, NM, United States
Deformation is a class of highly non-linear geophysical processes from which one can infer other geophysical variables in a dynamical system. For example, in an ice-dynamic model, deformation is related to velocity, basal sliding, surface elevation changes, and the stress field at the surface as well as internal to a glacier. While many of these variables cannot be observed, deformation state can be an observable variable, because deformation in glaciers (once a viscosity threshold is exceeded) manifests itself in crevasses.

Given the amount of information that can be inferred from observing surface deformation, an automated method for classifying surface imagery becomes increasingly desirable. In this paper a Neural Network is used to recognize classes of crevasse types over the Bering Bagley Glacier System (BBGS) during a surge (2011-2013-?). A surge is a spatially and temporally highly variable and rapid acceleration of the glacier. Therefore, many different crevasse types occur in a short time frame and in close proximity, and these crevasse fields hold information on the geophysical processes of the surge.

The connectionist-geostatistical approach uses directional experimental (discrete) variograms to parameterize images into a form that the Neural Network can recognize. Recognizing that each surge wave results in different crevasse types and that environmental conditions affect the appearance in imagery, we have developed a semi-automated pre-training software to adapt the Neural Net to chaining conditions.

The method is applied to airborne and satellite imagery to classify surge crevasses from the BBGS surge. This method works well for classifying spatially repetitive images such as the crevasses over Bering Glacier. We expand the network for less repetitive images in order to analyze imagery collected over the Arctic sea ice, to assess the percentage of deformed ice for model calibration.