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The Influence of Shadow Effects on the Spectral Characteristics of Glacial Meltwater

Wójcik-Długoborska, Kornelia and Bialik, Robert (2021) The Influence of Shadow Effects on the Spectral Characteristics of Glacial Meltwater. Remote Sensing, 13 (1). p. 36. ISSN 2072-4292


Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/13/1/36


The phenomenon of shadows due to glaciers is investigated in Antarctica. The observed shadow effect disrupts analyses conducted by remote sensing and is a challenge in the assessment of sediment meltwater plumes in polar marine environments. A DJI Inspire 2 drone equipped with a Zenmuse x5s camera was used to generate a digital surface model (DSM) of 6 King George Island glaciers: Ecology, Dera, Zalewski, Ladies, Krak, and Vieville. On this basis, shaded areas of coves near glaciers were traced. For the first time, spectral characteristics of shaded meltwater were observed with the simultaneous use of a Sequoia+ spectral camera mounted on a Parrot Bluegrass drone and in Landsat 8 satellite images. In total, 44 drone flights were made, and 399 satellite images were analyzed. Among them, four drone spectral images and four satellite images were selected, meeting the condition of a visible shadow. For homogeneous waters (deep, low turbidity, without ice phenomena), the spectral properties tend to change during the approach to an obstacle casting a shadow especially during low shortwave downward radiation. In this case, in the shade, the amount of radiation reflected in the green spectral band decreases by 50% far from the obstacle and by 43% near the obstacle, while in near infrared (NIR), it decreases by 42% and 21%, respectively. With highly turbid, shallow water and ice phenomena, this tendency does not occur. It was found that the green spectral band had the highest contrast in the amount of reflected radiation between nonshaded and shaded areas, but due to its high sensitivity, the analysis could have been overestimated. The spectral properties of shaded meltwater differ depending on the distance from the glacier front, which is related to the saturation of the water with sediment particles. We discovered that the pixel aggregation of uniform areas caused the loss of detailed information, while pixel aggregation of nonuniform, shallow areas with ice phenomena caused changes and the loss of original information. During the aggregation of the original pixel resolution (15 cm) up to 30 m, the smallest error occurred in the area with a homogeneous water surface, while the greatest error (over 100%) was identified in the places where the water was strongly cloudy or there were ice phenomena.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GA Mathematical geography. Cartography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions:Department of Antarctic Biology
ID Code:2161
Deposited By: Dr. Robert Bialik
Deposited On:22 Aug 2022 14:06
Last Modified:22 Aug 2022 14:06

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