PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (9): 1581-1589.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.09.012

• Industrial Applications of UAV • Previous Articles     Next Articles

High-resolution monitoring of glacier dynamics based on unmanned aerial vehicle survey in the Meili Snow Mountain

WU Kunpeng1,2,3(), LIU Shiyin1,2,3,*(), ZHU Yu1, XIE Fuming1, GAO Yongpeng1   

  1. 1. Institute of International Rivers and Eco-Security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
    2. Yunnan Key Laboratory of International Rivers and Transboundary Eco-Security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
    3. State key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2020-08-03 Revised:2020-09-29 Online:2021-09-28 Published:2021-09-28
  • Contact: LIU Shiyin;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41801031);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41761144075);Natural Science Foundation of Yunnan Province(202001BB050068);The State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science Foundation(SKLCS-OP-2019-07);The Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedtion and Research Program(2019QZKK0208);A Grant for Talent Introduction of Yunnan University(YJRC3201702)


The glaciers of the Meili Snow Mountain are now rapidly retreating and thinning, owing to climate change. The main aim of this study was to monitor the dynamics of the Mingyong Glacier in the Meili Snow Mountain based on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) survey and UBase. The result of the digital surface model (DSM) in the Mingyong Glacier terminus shows that the surface morphology has a significant difference between the upper and lower sections. The lower section was covered by a large amount of debris, and a few crevasses developed along the direction of glacier flow. Little debris was found in the upper section, and a lot of transverse crevasses developed there. A mean ice thinning of 1.67 m was observed in the terminus of the Mingyong Glacier from November 2018 to November 2019, and surface lowering was heterogeneous. There were positive and negative alternations in surface lowering in the upper section, surface thinning was observed in the middle section, while a significant thickening was observed in the lower section. Compared with glacier changes in other areas in the High Asia Mountains, the Meili Snow Mountain was the region with the most significant glacier surface elevation change.

Key words: unmanned aerial vehicle, photogrammetry, glacier, Meili Snow Mountain