Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Error sources and guidelines for quality assessment of glacier area, elevation change, and velocity products derived from satellite data in the Glaciers_cci project


Paul, Frank; Bolch, Tobias; Briggs, Kate; Kääb, Andreas; McMillan, Malcolm; McNabb, Robert; Nagler, Thomas; Nuth, Christopher; Rastner, Philipp; Strozzi, Tazio; Wuite, Jan (2017). Error sources and guidelines for quality assessment of glacier area, elevation change, and velocity products derived from satellite data in the Glaciers_cci project. Remote Sensing of Environment, 203:256-275.

Abstract

Satellite data provide a large range of information on glacier dynamics and changes. Results are often reported, provided and used without consideration of measurement accuracy (difference to a true value) and precision (variability of independent assessments). Whereas accuracy might be difficult to determine due to the limited availability of appropriate reference data and the complimentary nature of satellite measurements, precision can be obtained from a large range of measures with a variable effort for determination. This study provides a systematic overview on the factors influencing accuracy and precision of glacier area, elevation change (from altimetry and DEM differencing), and velocity products derived from satellite data, along with measures for calculating them. A tiered list of recommendations is provided (sorted for effort from Level 0 to 3) as a guide for analysts to apply what is possible given the datasets used and available to them. The more simple measures to describe product quality (Levels 0 and 1) can often easily be applied and should thus always be reported. Medium efforts (Level 2) require additional work but provide a more realistic assessment of product precision. Real accuracy assessment (Level 3) requires independent and coincidently acquired reference data with high accuracy. However, these are rarely available and their transformation into an unbiased source of information is challenging. This overview is based on the experiences and lessons learned in the ESA project Glaciers_cci rather than a review of the literature.

Abstract

Satellite data provide a large range of information on glacier dynamics and changes. Results are often reported, provided and used without consideration of measurement accuracy (difference to a true value) and precision (variability of independent assessments). Whereas accuracy might be difficult to determine due to the limited availability of appropriate reference data and the complimentary nature of satellite measurements, precision can be obtained from a large range of measures with a variable effort for determination. This study provides a systematic overview on the factors influencing accuracy and precision of glacier area, elevation change (from altimetry and DEM differencing), and velocity products derived from satellite data, along with measures for calculating them. A tiered list of recommendations is provided (sorted for effort from Level 0 to 3) as a guide for analysts to apply what is possible given the datasets used and available to them. The more simple measures to describe product quality (Levels 0 and 1) can often easily be applied and should thus always be reported. Medium efforts (Level 2) require additional work but provide a more realistic assessment of product precision. Real accuracy assessment (Level 3) requires independent and coincidently acquired reference data with high accuracy. However, these are rarely available and their transformation into an unbiased source of information is challenging. This overview is based on the experiences and lessons learned in the ESA project Glaciers_cci rather than a review of the literature.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
4 citations in Web of Science®
5 citations in Scopus®
3 citations in Microsoft Academic
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 17 Jan 2018
1 download since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Computers in Earth Sciences, Soil Science, Geology
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:17 Jan 2018 19:41
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 12:58
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0034-4257
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.08.038

Download