Articles | Volume 15, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 15, 1485–1500, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-1485-2021
The Cryosphere, 15, 1485–1500, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-1485-2021
Research article
24 Mar 2021
Research article | 24 Mar 2021

Snow depth mapping with unpiloted aerial system lidar observations: a case study in Durham, New Hampshire, United States

Jennifer M. Jacobs et al.

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Latest update: 21 May 2022
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Short summary
This pilot study describes a proof of concept for using lidar on an unpiloted aerial vehicle to map shallow snowpack (< 20 cm) depth in open terrain and forests. The 1 m2 resolution snow depth map, generated by subtracting snow-off from snow-on lidar-derived digital terrain models, consistently had 0.5 to 1 cm precision in the field, with a considerable reduction in accuracy in the forest. Performance depends on the point cloud density and the ground surface variability and vegetation.