Articles | Volume 10, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 10, 1075–1088, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-1075-2016
The Cryosphere, 10, 1075–1088, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-1075-2016

Research article 23 May 2016

Research article | 23 May 2016

Mapping snow depth in alpine terrain with unmanned aerial systems (UASs): potential and limitations

Yves Bühler et al.

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AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
AR by Anna Mirena Feist-Polner on behalf of the Authors (12 Apr 2016)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (Editor review) (14 Apr 2016) by Etienne Berthier
AR by Yves Bühler on behalf of the Authors (15 Apr 2016)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (25 Apr 2016) by Etienne Berthier
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Short summary
We map the distribution of snow depth at two alpine test sites with unmanned aerial system (UAS) data by applying structure-from-motion photogrammetry. In comparison with manual snow depth measurements, we find high accuracies of 7 to 15 cm for the snow depth values. We can prove that photogrammetric measurements on snow-covered terrain are possible. Underlaying vegetation such as bushes and grass leads to an underestimation of snow depth in the range of 10 to 50 cm.