Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-294
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-294

  26 Oct 2020

26 Oct 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

A new automatic approach for extracting glacier centerlines

Dahong Zhang1,2, Xiaojun Yao1,3, Hongyu Duan1, Shiyin Liu4, Wanqin Guo5, Meiping Sun1, and Dazhi Li1 Dahong Zhang et al.
  • 1College of Geography and Environment Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, China
  • 2College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi’an, China
  • 3National Cryosphere Desert Data Center, Lanzhou, China
  • 4Institute of International Rivers and Eco-security, Yunnan University, Kunming, China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China

Abstract. Glacier centerlines are crucial input for many glaciological applications. From the morphological perspective, we proposed a new automatic method to derive glacier centerlines, which is based on the Euclidean allocation and the terrain characteristics of glacier surface. In the algorithm, all glaciers are logically classified as three types including simple glacier, simple compound glacier and complex glacier, with corresponding process ranges from simple to complex. The process for extracting centerlines of glaciers introduces auxiliary reference lines, and follows the setting of not passing through bare rock. The program of automatic extraction of glacier centerline was implemented in Python and only required glacier boundary and digital elevation model (DEM) as input. Application of this method to 48571 glaciers in the second Chinese glacier inventory automatically yielded the corresponding glacier centerlines with an average computing time of 20.96 s, a success rate of 100 % and a comprehensive accuracy of 94.34 %. A comparison of the longest length of glaciers to the corresponding glaciers in the Randolph Glacier Inventory v6.0 revealed that our results were more superior. Meanwhile, our final product provided more information about glacier length, such as the average length, the largest length, the lengths in the accumulation and ablation regions of each glacier.

Dahong Zhang et al.

 
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Dahong Zhang et al.

Dahong Zhang et al.

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Short summary
Glacier centerlines are crucial input for many glaciological applications. we propose a new algorithm to derive glacier centerlines and implement the corresponding program in Python language. Application of this method to 48571 glaciers in the second Chinese glacier inventory automatically yielded the corresponding glacier centerlines with an average computing time of 20.96 s, a success rate of 100% and a comprehensive accuracy of 94.34 %.