A NOVEL METHOD FOR ESTIMATION OF GLACIER SURFACE MOTION IN 1960s FROM ARGON KH-5 OPTICAL IMAGERY
Keywords: ARGON, Parallax Decomposition, Ice Velocity, Antarctica
Abstract. The Antarctic ice sheet response to the global climate change, specifically the ice flow speed change of the glaciers, has been investigated by many researchers. However, most research results cover the period since 1970s or after the operation of the LANDSAT series. The availability of the film-based ARGON KH-5 data makes it possible to quantify the changes of the Antarctic ice sheet in 1960s. To meet the challenges of processing the low quality film-based ARGON images, a novel method was developed to allow estimating the ice sheet surface motion and reconstructing the surface model simultaneously from ARGON stereo images by decomposing the total parallaxes to terrain and motion based components. A photogrammetric approach was developed to distinguish stable ice surface features from those on motion and use them for recovering the camera orientation information. Several existing Antarctic mapping products were used to establish the ground control. The ice flow speed field is reconstructed using a hierarchical image matching strategy. Firstly, epipolar images are generated via a fundamental matrix derived from correspondences used in the geometric modelling process, and then an image pyramid is built. Second, the normalized cross-correlation (NCC) technique is conducted on each layer of the pyramid to match the extracted features. Since the images were taken at different times, during which the glacier motion occurred, the measured total parallaxes are decomposed to terrain and motion parallaxes according to given ice flow directions which are derived from the iteratively produced DTM or images. Finally, a speed map and a DTM can be generated at each level of the image pyramid. This process repeats itself. At the bottom of the pyramid the final speed map and DTM are produced at a resolution of about 60m and represent the ice flow field of 1963. This approach was tested using two ARGON stereo-pairs in Rayner glacier in East Antarctica. Both the ice flow speed map and DTM were generated, and their difference with recent products is briefly discussed.