Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
Research article
01 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 01 Aug 2016

An automated methodology for differentiating rock from snow, clouds and sea in Antarctica from Landsat 8 imagery: a new rock outcrop map and area estimation for the entire Antarctic continent

Alex Burton-Johnson, Martin Black, Peter T. Fretwell, and Joseph Kaluza-Gilbert


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Short summary
We present a new rock outcrop map for the entire Antarctic continent, a principal base dataset for research and mapping in Antarctica with broad applications. To derive the map, a new methodology was developed and applied to allow automated identification of rock outcrops from Landsat 8 satellite images whilst excluding sunlit and shaded snow, clouds and liquid water – the first such automated methodology. The new dataset reveals that exposed rock forms only 0.18 % of the entire continent.