Optical remote sensing techniques in high-mountatin environments: application to glacial hazards

Duncan J. Quincey, Richard M. Lucas, S. D. Richardson, Neil F. Glasser, Michael Hambrey, John M. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (SciVal)


Remote sensing studies have shown that glaciers and their proximal environments exhibit unique temporal, spatial and spectral characteristics that can be analysed to better quantify glacial hazard potential. In this review, the optical remote sensing data sources available to glacial hazard assessors are considered and the range of information on glacial environments that can be derived is analysed. The review shows that the integration of a variety of data sources can provide geoscientists with information regarding glacial lakes and lake development, glacier dynamics, avalanche sources and ice-marginal fluctuations. Such data can be used to complement and, in many cases, improve field-based glacial hazard assessments. The review concludes that aerial photography still remains the main source of data for measuring a number of glacier characteristics, but that fine to moderate spatial resolution satellite sensors (e.g., ASTER, SPOT 5 HRVIR, Landsat ETM) also provide useful information that can be used to support the assessment of hazards in high-mountain glacierized terrain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-505
Number of pages31
JournalProgress in Physical Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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