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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-204
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-204
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  31 Jul 2020

31 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Glacier Image Velocimetry: an open-source toolbox for easy and rapid calculation of high-resolution glacier-velocity fields

Maximillian Van Wyk de Vries1,2 and Andrew D. Wickert1,2 Maximillian Van Wyk de Vries and Andrew D. Wickert
  • 1Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • 2Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Abstract. We present Glacier Image Velocimetry (GIV), an open-source and easy-to-use tool for rapidly calculating high spatial and temporal resolution glacier-velocity fields. Glaciers' velocity fields reveal their flow dynamics, stability, and thickness. Obtaining widespread glacier-velocity measurements in the field is challenging and labour intensive. Recent increases in the availability of high-resolution, short-repeat-time optical imagery improve this, as persistent irregularities on the ice surface allow us to use feature tracking – an accidental form of particle image velocimetry to obtain displacement fields, and hence, velocity over time. While these techniques have been used to calculate velocity fields for many glaciers, existing toolboxes can be expensive, complex or inflexible to use. GIV is fully parallelized, and automatically detects, filters, and extracts velocities from large datasets of images. Through this coupled toolchain and an easy-to-use GUI, GIV can rapidly analyse hundreds to thousands of image pairs on any modern laptop or desktop. We present four examples of how this model may be used: to complement a glaciology field campaign (Glaciar Perito Moreno, Argentina), calculate the velocity fields of small (Glacier d’Argentière, France) and very large (Vavilov ice cap, Russia) glaciers, and determine the ice volume present within a tropical ice cap (Volcán Chimborazo, Ecuador). Fully commented code and a standalone app for GIV are available from GitHub and Zenodo.

Maximillian Van Wyk de Vries and Andrew D. Wickert

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Status: open (until 25 Sep 2020)
Status: open (until 25 Sep 2020)
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Maximillian Van Wyk de Vries and Andrew D. Wickert

Model code and software

Glacier Image Velocimetry matlab interface Maximillian Van Wyk de Vries https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3939254

Glacier Image Velocimetry standalone app Maximillian Van Wyk de Vries https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3939246

Velocity to thickness inversion Maximillian Van Wyk de Vries https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3939211

Maximillian Van Wyk de Vries and Andrew D. Wickert

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Latest update: 12 Aug 2020
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Short summary
Glacier flow velocity is useful for a range of projects, including glacier fieldwork, assessments of glacier response to climate change and glacier thickness calculations. We describe a new toolbox named Glacier Image Velocimetry (GIV) to derive 2D glacier flow fields from openly available satellite imagery. We show four examples of how this new tool can be used on a range of glaciers in different environments. GIV is easy to use, open-source and may be downloaded as a standalone app.
Glacier flow velocity is useful for a range of projects, including glacier fieldwork,...
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