Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-209
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Brief communication
09 Oct 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
Brief communication: Mapping river ice using drones and structure from motion
Knut Alfredsen1, Christian Haas2, Jeffrey A. Tuhtan3, and Peggy Zinke1 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
2I AM HYDRO GmbH, Märtishofweg 2, 78112 St. Georgen, Germany
3Centre for Biorobotics, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Abstract. In cold climate regions, the formation and break-up of river ice is important for river morphology, winter water supply, riparian and instream ecology as well as for hydraulic engineering. Data on river ice is therefore significant, both to understand river ice processes directly and to assess ice effects on other systems. Ice measurement is complicated due to difficult site access, the inherent complexity of ice formations and the potential danger involved in carrying out on-ice measurements. Remote sensing methods are therefore highly useful, and satellite imagery, data from satellite-based radars as increasingly aerial and terrestrial imagery are currently applied. Access to low cost drone systems with quality cameras and Structure from Motion software opens up a new possibility for mapping complex ice formations. Through this method, a georeferenced DEM can be built and data on ice thickness, spatial distribution and volume can be extracted without accessing the ice and with considerable less measurement efforts compared to traditional surveying methods. The methodology applied to ice mapping is outlined here, and examples are shown on how to successfully apply the method to derive data on ice processes.

Citation: Alfredsen, K., Haas, C., Tuhtan, J. A., and Zinke, P.: Brief communication: Mapping river ice using drones and structure from motion, The Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-209, in review, 2017.
Knut Alfredsen et al.
Knut Alfredsen et al.
Knut Alfredsen et al.

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Short summary
The formation and breakup of ice on rivers in winter may have impacts on everything from built infrastructure to river ecology. Collecting data on river ice is challenging both technically and since access to the ice may not always be safe. Here we use a low cost drone to map river ice using aerial imagery and a photogrammetry. Through this we can assess ice volumes, ice extent and derive knowledge on ice formation and how ice can affect processes in the river & utilisation of rivers in winter.
The formation and breakup of ice on rivers in winter may have impacts on everything from built...
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