Hostname: page-component-546b4f848f-bvkm5 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-06-04T17:43:30.330Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

High temporal resolution monitoring of snow cover using oblique view ground-based pictures

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 November 2011

D. Laffly
University of Toulouse, GEODE, UMR 5602 CNRS, Toulouse, France (
É. Bernard
University of Franche-Comté, THÉMA, UMR 6049 CNRS, Besançon, France
M. Griselin
University of Franche-Comté, THÉMA, UMR 6049 CNRS, Besançon, France
F. Tolle
University of Franche-Comté, THÉMA, UMR 6049 CNRS, Besançon, France
J-M. Friedt
University of Franche-Comté, FEMTO-ST, UMR 6174 CNRS, Besançon, France
G. Martin
University of Franche-Comté, FEMTO-ST, UMR 6174 CNRS, Besançon, France
C. Marlin
University of Paris-Sud, IDES, UMR 8148 CNRS, Orsay, France


Due to poor weather conditions including common heavy cloud cover at polar latitudes, daily satellite imaging is not always accessible. Nevertheless, fast events including heavy rainfall inducing floods appear as significant in the ice and snow budget while being ignored by satellite based studies since the slower sampling rate is unable to observe such short phenomena. We complement satellite imagery with a set of ground based autonomous automated high resolution digital cameras. The recorded oblique views, acquired at a rate of 3 images per day, are processed for comparison with the spaceborne imagery. Delaunay triangulation based mapping using a dense set of reference points provides the means for an accurate projection by applying a rubber sheeting algorithm. The measurement strategy of identifying binary information of ice and snow cover is illustrated through the example of a particular flood event. We observe a snow cover evolution from 100% to 44.5% and back to 100% over a period of 2 weeks.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Braithwaite, R.J. 1984. Calculation of degree–days for glacier–climate research. Zeitschrift fue Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie 20: 1–8.Google Scholar
Buus–Hinkler, J., Hansen, B.U., Tamstorf, M.P., and Pedersen, S.B.. 2006. Snow–vegetation relations in a high Arctic ecosystem: inter–annual variability inferred from new monitoring and modeling concepts. Remote Sensing of Environment 105: 237247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Corripio, J.G. 2004. Snow surface albedo estimation using terrestrial photography. Inernational Journal of Remote Sensing 25 (24): 57055729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Digitalglobe. 2011. URL: Scholar
Hinkler, J., Pedersen, S.B., Rasch, M., and Hansen, B.U.. 2002. Automatic snow cover monitoring at high temporal and spatial resolution, using images taken by a standard digital camera. International Journal of Remote Sensing 23 (21): 46694682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hinkler, J., Ørbæk, J.B. and Hansen, B.U.. 2003. Detection of spatial, temporal, and spectral surface changes in the Ny–Alesund area 79° N, Svalbard, using a low cost multispectral camera in combination with spectroradiometer measurements Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 28: 12291239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johannesson, T., Sigurdsson, O., Laumann, T., and Kennett, M.. 1995. Degree–day glacier mass balance modelling with applications to glaciers in Iceland, Norway and Greenland. Journal of Glaciology 41 (138): 345358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lliboutry, L. 1964. Traité de glaciologie – glace, neige, hydrologie nivale. Paris: Masson.Google Scholar
Newbery, K.B., and Southwell, C.. 2009. An automated camera system for remote monitoring in polar environments. Cold Regions Science and Technology 55: 4751.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vincent, C. 2002. Influence of climate change over the 20th century on four French glacier mass balance Journal of Geophysical Research 107 (D19): 4375. doi 10.1029/2001JD000832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zhang, Y., Liu, S.X., and Ding, Y.. 2006. Application of a degree–day model for the determination of contributions to glacier meltwater and runoff near Keqicar Baqi glacier, southwestern Tien Shan. Annals of Glaciology 43: 280284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar