LOCAL AND GENERAL MONITORING OF FORNI GLACIER (ITALIAN ALPS) USING MULTI-PLATFORM STRUCTURE-FROM-MOTION PHOTOGRAMMETRY
Keywords: Forni Glacier, Glaciology, Photogrammetry, Quality Assessment, Structure-from-Motion, UAV/UAS
Abstract. Experts from the University of Milan have been investigating Forni Glacier in the Italian alps for decades, resulting in the archive of a cumbersome mass of observed data. While the analysis of archive maps, medium resolution satellite images and DEM’s may provide an overview of the long-term processes, the application of close-range sensing techniques offers the unprecedented opportunity to operate a 4D reconstruction of the glacier geometry at both global and local levels. In the latest years the availability of high-resolution DEM's from stereo-photogrammetry (2007) and UAV-photogrammetry (2014 and 2016) has allowed an improved analysis of the glacier ice-mass balance within time. During summer 2016 a methodology to record the local disruption processes has been investigated. The presence of vertical and sub-vertical surfaces has motivated the use of Structure-from-Motion Photogrammetry from ground-based stations, which yielded results comparable to the ones achieved using a long-range terrestrial laser scanner. This technique may be assumed as benchmarking for accuracy assessment, but is more difficult to be operated in high-mountain areas. Nevertheless, the measurement of GCP’s for the terrestrial photogrammetric project has revealed to be a complex task, involving the need of a total station a GNSS. The effect of network geometry on the final output has also been investigated for SfM-Photogrammetry, considering the severe limitations implied in the Alpine environment.