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

Maximillian Van Wyk De Vries, Andrew D. Wickert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present Glacier Image Velocimetry (GIV), an open-source and easy-to-use software toolkit for rapidly calculating high-spatial-resolution glacier velocity fields. Glacier ice velocity fields reveal flow dynamics, ice-flux changes, and (with additional data and modelling) ice thickness. Obtaining glacier velocity measurements over wide areas with field techniques is labour intensive and often associated with safety risks. The recent increased availability of high-resolution, short-repeat-time optical imagery allows us to obtain ice displacement fields using "feature tracking"based on matching persistent irregularities on the ice surface between images and hence, surface velocity over time. 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 a laptop or desktop computer. We present four example applications of the GIV toolkit in which we complement a glaciology field campaign (Glaciar Perito Moreno, Argentina) and calculate the velocity fields of small mid-latitude (Glacier d'Argentière, France) and tropical glaciers (Volcán Chimborazo, Ecuador), as well as very large glaciers (Vavilov Ice Cap, Russia). Fully commented MATLAB code and a stand-alone app for GIV are available from GitHub and Zenodo Van Wyk de Vries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2115-2132
Number of pages18
JournalCryosphere
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 2021

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