Detecting Trampling in Digital Globe images on the Ross Island Trail System, Antarctica

Authors: Iroshi Seneviratna*, Texas A&M University, Andrew George Klein, Texas A&M University
Topics: Remote Sensing, Cryosphere, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Antarctica, Remote Sensing, Cryosphere, Human Impacts
Session Type: Illustrated Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Canal St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Due to increasing human activities in Antarctica, it has become increasingly important to understand the impact of human activities including trampling on fragile Antarctic surfaces and soils. This study analyzed the disturbance of Antarctic soils along segments of the Ross Island Trail System from its formal initiation in 2003 through 2016. This study uses the extensive archive of high spatial resolution Digital Globe satellite images for the McMurdo Station area to examine whether or not it is possible to analyze the impacts of trampling from this satellite image archive. The research question posed are: can spectral changes in the images along the trails be observed over the thirteen year time frame? Do the images show an increasing alterations in the surface and soil over the time since the Ross Island Trail System was formalized and foot traffic increased? By using a 1994 aerial photograph and accompanying DEM, all satellite images were orthorectified and radiometrically calibrated prior to analysis. For this research, different segments of the Ross Island Trail System were selected for analysis for spectral change in soil and surface. It is anticipated that these disturbances along the hiking trails are visible and the impact of trampling can be observed and measured.

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