Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-250
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-250
21 Feb 2024
 | 21 Feb 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

The Pléiades Glacier Observatory: high resolution digital elevation models and ortho-imagery to monitor glacier change

Etienne Berthier, Jérôme Lebreton, Delphine Fontannaz, Steven Hosford, Joaquin Munoz Cobo Belart, Fanny Brun, Liss Marie Andreassen, Brian Menounos, and Charlotte Blondel

Abstract. Spaceborne digital elevation models (DEMs) of glaciers are essential to describe their health, and their contribution to river runoff and to sea level rise. Publicly available DEMs derived from submeter satellite stereo-imagery were, up to now, mainly available in the polar regions and High Mountain Asia. Here, we present the Pléiades Glacier Observatory (PGO), a scientific programme acquiring Pléiades stereo pairs for 140 sites from Earth’s glacierized areas. The PGO product consists of DEMs at 2 m and 20 m ground sampling distance together with 0.5 m (panchromatic) and 2 m (multispectral) ortho-images. The DEMs are freely available to all registered users whereas ortho-images are available after signing a licence. PGO commenced in July 2016 in the North Hemisphere and February 2017 in the South Hemisphere. Each site is revisited every five years (cloud permitting), close to the end of the melt season, to measure glacier elevation change with an average uncertainty of 0.49 m (95 % confidence level, for a glacierized area of 1 km2), i.e. 0.1 m a-1. PGO samples over 20,000 km2 of glacierized terrain which represents about 3 % of the Earth’s glaciers area. This small sample, however, provides a first order estimate of the global glacier mass change and its decadal evolution.

Etienne Berthier, Jérôme Lebreton, Delphine Fontannaz, Steven Hosford, Joaquin Munoz Cobo Belart, Fanny Brun, Liss Marie Andreassen, Brian Menounos, and Charlotte Blondel

Status: open (until 09 May 2024)

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Etienne Berthier, Jérôme Lebreton, Delphine Fontannaz, Steven Hosford, Joaquin Munoz Cobo Belart, Fanny Brun, Liss Marie Andreassen, Brian Menounos, and Charlotte Blondel
Etienne Berthier, Jérôme Lebreton, Delphine Fontannaz, Steven Hosford, Joaquin Munoz Cobo Belart, Fanny Brun, Liss Marie Andreassen, Brian Menounos, and Charlotte Blondel

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Short summary
Repeat elevation measurements are crucial for monitoring glacier health and how they affect river flows and sea levels. Until recently, high resolution elevation data were mostly available for polar regions and High Mountain Asia. Our project, the Pléiades Glacier Observatory (PGO), now provides high-resolution topographies of 140 glacier sites worldwide. This is a novel and open dataset to monitor the impact of climate change on glacier at high resolution and accuracy.