Monitoring glaciers in a changing climate using drones

Monitoring glaciers in a changing climate using drones

During 2017 and 2018 Asiaq will, carry out a glaciological research project, funded by Greenland’s Research Council, using UAV-technology (drones). The aim of the project is to determine seasonal and annual volume changes, at Qassinnguit glacier in Kobbefjorden. The volume changes will then be used to determine the glacier’s mass and area changes.

The glacier will be surveyed using a Sensefly Ebee drone. The drone captures high resolution images, and by using photogrammetric methods these images can be used to generate a digital surface model (DSM) and orthophoto mosaic. The results from the drone project will be compared with results from Asiaq’s glaciological studies at Qassinnguit, which are operating in the framework of GlacioBasis under the Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring-program ( since 2012.

The project consists of four field campaigns in total, of which the first was successfully carried out on May 10th 2017. The upcoming field campaigns will be carried out September 2017, May 2018 and September 2018. The project’s final results are expected to be finalized in the beginning of 2019.

Fieldwork at Qassinnguit, May 2017.

A high resolution image of Qassinnguit glacier, recorded from a drone.