Remote sensing of cold regions

We offer various projects using a range of optical and radar remote sensing methods such as classification, stereo photogrammetry, structure-from-motion, altimetry, or radar interferometry using ground-based, airborne or satellite-based remote sensing data.

Applications include local to global glacier change, glacier movement and instabilities (surges), rockglaciers, patterned ground, landslides and other slope instabilities, glacier lakes, glacier avalanches, cold-region rivers and lakes. Our study sites are globally distributed, for instance Svalbard, Norway, Himalayas and Central Asia, North and South America, or New Zealand.

Most of our projects are in close collaboration with space agencies such as ESA, NASA, or the Norwegian Space Centre, or with geomatics and space industry, and we particularly exploit the most modern remote sensing instruments available.

An impression of our activities can be gained from or


Two example projects:

  • River and lake level changes from satellite imagery, satellite altimetr and radar interferometry

Combine extents of lake and river shore lines (from optical satellite data) with altimetric measurements (ICESat). Perhaps, height changes through isostatic adjustment from radar interferometry. Analyse extended time series of river and/or lake levels hydrologically. Possible application region for instance Tibet Plateau where lakes are growing massively since about 10 years.

The work includes: geometric processing of satellite imagery, processing of ICESat data, perhaps radar interferometry, hydrological/climatological analysis of results.

  • Satellite remote sensing of glacier flow instabilities (glacier surges)

Glacier flow can be measured through image correlation from repeat spaceborne optical and radar images. The large number of archived satellite data suitable for such work enables development of time series of glacier surface velocity fields with high temporal and spatial resolution. Such results support new insights into glacier instability. Such glacier surges cause ice avalanches, inundate land and infrastructure, dam up temporary lakes, etc. Study area(s) open and to be discussed, for instance Svalbard, Himalaya, etc.

The work includes: geometric processing of satellite imagery, image correlation, analysis of glacier flow results.

Published Nov. 7, 2016 4:10 PM - Last modified Nov. 9, 2016 11:12 AM


Scope (credits)