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Bindschadler, RA, Scambos, TA, Choi, H, Haran, TM (2010). Ice sheet change detection by satellite image differencing. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 114(7), 1353-1362.

Differencing of digital satellite image pairs highlights subtle changes in near-identical scenes of Earth surfaces. Using the mathematical relationships relevant to photoclinometry, we examine the effectiveness of this method for the study of localized ice sheet surface topography changes using numerical experiments. We then test these results by differencing images of several regions in West Antarctica, including some where changes have previously been identified in altimeter profiles. The technique works well with coregistered images having low noise, high radiometric sensitivity, and near-identical solar illumination geometry. Clouds and frosts detract from resolving surface features. The ETM+ sensor on Landsat-7, ALI sensor on EO-1, and MODIS sensor on the Aqua and Terra satellite platforms all have potential for detecting localized topographic changes such as shifting dunes, surface inflation and deflation features associated with sub-glacial lake fill-drain events, or grounding line changes. Availability and frequency of MODIS images favor this sensor for wide application, and using it, we demonstrate both qualitative identification of changes in topography and quantitative mapping of slope and elevation changes. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



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