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Glacier Mapper – a new method designed to assess change in mountain glaciers

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This study proposes a new method designed to assess quantitative changes in mountain glaciers. The Glacier Mapper–Change Detector method has a four-step algorithm: (i) image ratioing on two time-comparable satellite images; (ii) digitization of glacier outlines from ratio images using a threshold value; (iii) change detection using the position of glacier outlines at two different moments in time; and (iv) derivation of the future evolution model by using relief-related parameters of glacier changes. The method was calibrated and verified for the Elbrus (Greater Caucasus) glacier over the period 1985–2007 using Landsat TM images. The Glacier Mapper–Change Detector results indicated altitude as the most important relief control for glacial retreat. The most probable future glacial area losses modelled reflect the 1985–2007 glacial retreat patterns.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Physical and Technical Geography, Babeş-Bolyai University, 40001, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Publication date: December 10, 2013

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