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Evaluation of existing image matching methods for deriving glacier surface displacements globally from optical satellite imagery

Heid, T. and Kääb, A. (2012) Evaluation of existing image matching methods for deriving glacier surface displacements globally from optical satellite imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment, 118 . pp. 339-355. ISSN 0034-4257. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160304-152516994

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Abstract

Automatic matching of images from two different times is a method that is often used to derive glacier surface velocity. Nearly global repeat coverage of the Earth's surface by optical satellite sensors now opens the possibility for global-scale mapping and monitoring of glacier flow with a number of applications in, for example, glacier physics, glacier-related climate change and impact assessment, and glacier hazard management. The purpose of this study is to compare and evaluate different existing image matching methods for glacier flow determination over large scales. The study compares six different matching methods: normalized cross-correlation (NCC), the phase correlation algorithm used in the COSI-Corr software, and four other Fourier methods with different normalizations. We compare the methods over five regions of the world with different representative glacier characteristics: Karakoram, the European Alps, Alaska, Pine Island (Antarctica) and southwest Greenland. Landsat images are chosen for matching because they expand back to 1972, they cover large areas, and at the same time their spatial resolution is as good as 15 m for images after 1999 (ETM + pan). Cross-correlation on orientation images (CCF-O) outperforms the three similar Fourier methods, both in areas with high and low visual contrast. NCC experiences problems in areas with low visual contrast, areas with thin clouds or changing snow conditions between the images. CCF-O has problems on narrow outlet glaciers where small window sizes (about 16 pixels by 16 pixels or smaller) are needed, and it also obtains fewer correct matches than COSI-Corr in areas with low visual contrast. COSI-Corr has problems on narrow outlet glaciers and it obtains fewer correct matches compared to CCF-O when thin clouds cover the surface, or if one of the images contains snow dunes. In total, we consider CCF-O and COSI-Corr to be the two most robust matching methods for global-scale mapping and monitoring of glacier velocities. If combining CCF-O with locally adaptive template sizes and by filtering the matching results automatically by comparing the displacement matrix to its low pass filtered version, the matching process can be automated to a large degree. This allows the derivation of glacier velocities with minimal (but not without!) user interaction and hence also opens up the possibility of global-scale mapping and monitoring of glacier flow.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425711004214PublisherArticle
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2011.11.024DOIAritcle
Additional Information:© 2011 Elsevier. Received 11 February 2011. Received in revised form 22 November 2011. Accepted 24 November 2011. Available online 18 January 2012. COSI-Corr is developed by S. Leprince, S. Barbot, F. Ayoub and J.P. Avouac and is available for download from the website http://www.tectonics.caltech.edu/slip_history/spot_coseis/index.html. We thank S. Leprince for insightful comments. Landsat images are downloaded from http://glovis.usgs.gov/. Comments and suggestions from B. Raup and three anonymous reviewers greatly improved the paper. The study is supported by The Research Council of Norway through the Precise analysis of mass movements through correlation of repeat images (CORRIA) project (No. 185906/V30) and the ESA Climate Change Initiative project Glaciers_cci (4000101778/10/I-AM). The study is also a contribution to the “Monitoring Earth surface changes from space” study by the Keck Institute for Space Studies at Caltech/JPL. Misganu Debella-Gilo derived the displacements using the adaptive approach and created synthetic displacement images.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Research Council of Norway185906/V30
European Space Agency (ESA)4000101778/10/I-AM
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Image matching; Optical imagery; Glacier; Landsat; Surface displacement; Global
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160304-152516994
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160304-152516994
Official Citation:T. Heid, A. Kääb, Evaluation of existing image matching methods for deriving glacier surface displacements globally from optical satellite imagery, Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 118, 15 March 2012, Pages 339-355, ISSN 0034-4257, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2011.11.024. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425711004214)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65084
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Colette Connor
Deposited On:05 Mar 2016 00:14
Last Modified:05 Mar 2016 00:14

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