Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Loughborough University Institutional Repository

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/20069

Title: Ice-cored moraine degradation mapped and quantified using an unmanned aerial vehicle: a case study from a polythermal glacier in Svalbard
Authors: Tonkin, Toby N.
Midgely, Nicholas G.
Cook, Simon J.
Graham, David J.
Keywords: Structure-from-motion
Geomorphologic change detection
Austre Lovénbreen
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: TONKIN, T.N. ...et al., 2016. Ice-cored moraine degradation mapped and quantified using an unmanned aerial vehicle: a case study from a polythermal glacier in Svalbard. Geomorphology, 258, pp.1-10.
Abstract: Ice-cored lateral-frontal moraines are common at the margins of receding high-Arctic valley glaciers, but the preservation potential of these features within the landform record is unclear. Recent climatic amelioration provides an opportunity to study the morphological evolution of these landforms as they de-ice. This is important because high-Arctic glacial landsystems have been used as analogues for formerly glaciated areas in the mid-latitudes. This study uses SfM (Structure-from-Motion) photogrammetry and a combination of archive aerial and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) derived imagery to investigate the degradation of an ice-cored lateral-frontal moraine at Austre Lovénbreen, Svalbard. Across the study area as a whole, over an 11-year period, the average depth of surface lowering was -1.75 ± 0.89 m. The frontal sections of the moraine showed low or undetectable rates of change. Spatially variable rates of surface lowering are associated with differences in the quantity of buried-ice within the structure of the moraine. Morphological change was dominated by surface lowering, with limited field evidence of degradation via back-wastage. This is affording the moraine a greater degree of stability than observed at many other sites in Svalbard, although it is unclear whether the end point will be a fully stabilised ice-cored moraine, in equilibrium with its environment, or an ice-free lateral-frontal moraine complex. Controls on geomorphological change (e.g. topography and climate) and the preservation potential of the lateral-frontal moraine are discussed. The methods used by this research also demonstrate the potential value of SfM photogrammetry and unmanned aerial vehicles for monitoring environmental change and are likely to have wider applications in other geoscientific sub-disciplines.
Description: This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Geomorphology and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.12.019
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.12.019
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/20069
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.12.019
ISSN: 1872-695X
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Geography and Environment)

Files associated with this item:

File Description SizeFormat
Tonkin_etal_2016_Geomorphology.pdfAccepted version1.57 MBAdobe PDFView/Open


SFX Query

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.