RECOGNITION OF DRAINAGE TUNNELS DURING GLACIER LAKE OUTBURST EVENTS FROM TERRESTRIAL IMAGE SEQUENCES
Keywords: Time-lapse, image sequences, glacier lake outburst floods, feature tracking, glacier movement
Abstract. In recent years, many glaciers all over the world have been distinctly retreating and thinning. One of the consequences of this is the increase of so called glacier lake outburst flood events (GLOFs). The mechanisms ruling such GLOF events are still not yet fully understood by glaciologists. Thus, there is a demand for data and measurements that can help to understand and model the phenomena. Thereby, a main issue is to obtain information about the location and formation of subglacial channels through which some lakes, dammed by a glacier, start to drain. The paper will show how photogrammetric image sequence analysis can be used to collect such data.
For the purpose of detecting a subglacial tunnel, a camera has been installed in a pilot study to observe the area of the Colonia Glacier (Northern Patagonian Ice Field) where it dams the Lake Cachet II. To verify the hypothesis, that the course of the subglacial tunnel is indicated by irregular surface motion patterns during its collapse, the camera acquired image sequences of the glacier surface during several GLOF events. Applying tracking techniques to these image sequences, surface feature motion trajectories could be obtained for a dense raster of glacier points. Since only a single camera has been used for image sequence acquisition, depth information is required to scale the trajectories. Thus, for scaling and georeferencing of the measurements a GPS-supported photogrammetric network has been measured.
The obtained motion fields of the Colonia Glacier deliver information about the glacier’s behaviour before during and after a GLOF event. If the daily vertical glacier motion of the glacier is integrated over a period of several days and projected into a satellite image, the location and shape of the drainage channel underneath the glacier becomes visible. The high temporal resolution of the motion fields may also allows for an analysis of the tunnels dynamic in comparison to the changing water level of the lake.