Articles | Volume 14, issue 6
The Cryosphere, 14, 1919–1935, 2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 1919–1935, 2020

Research article 15 Jun 2020

Research article | 15 Jun 2020

Improving sub-canopy snow depth mapping with unmanned aerial vehicles: lidar versus structure-from-motion techniques

Phillip Harder et al.

Data sets

Unmanned aerial vehicle structure from motion and lidar data for sub-canopy snow depth mapping P. Harder, J. Pomeroy, W. Helgason

Model code and software

UAV-snowdepth: UAV Snow Depth Analysis P. Harder

Short summary
Unmanned-aerial-vehicle-based (UAV) structure-from-motion (SfM) techniques have the ability to map snow depths in open areas. Here UAV lidar and SfM are compared to map sub-canopy snowpacks. Snow depth accuracy was assessed with data from sites in western Canada collected in 2019. It is demonstrated that UAV lidar can measure the sub-canopy snow depth at a high accuracy, while UAV-SfM cannot. UAV lidar promises to quantify snow–vegetation interactions at unprecedented accuracy and resolution.