Fusion of Remote Sensing Data for Studying Mountain Glaciers
Dr. Ding is currently the Chair Professor of Geomatics and the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong. His research interests include developing technologies for studying ground and structural deformation and geohazards, with a current focus being upon spaceborne geodetic technologies such as GPS and interferometric synthetic aperture radar. He has authored over 300 papers in these research fields. Prof. Ding is the President of Sub-Commission 4.4 of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) on airborne and spaceborne imaging technologies. He is also a Fellow of the IAG.
Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) is called the Asian water tower because there is a huge amount of fresh water reserve in the QTP in the form of mountain glaciers. The glaciers however change in their volumes as a result of climate change. It is important to understand the change in the glaciers that are taking place in order to study the impact of global climate change on the glaciers, and the implications of the glacier change to the future water resource.
Remote sensing technologies have been commonly used to study mountain glacier changes due to the superior spatial and temporal coverage of the technologies compared to methods such as in-situ measurements. The integration of multiple types of remote sensing observations in studying mountain glacier changes offers even greater advantages considering the complementary natures of the different remote sensing observations in observing glacier changes. This presentation introduces some research carried out based on fusion of optical remote sensing, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and satellite altimeter observations for compiling the inventory, and for studying the areal, elevation and flow changes of the QTP glaciers. The study shows that it is very useful to fuse the different remote sensing observations in studying the glacier changes. It is also clear from the study that the glaciers are changing rapidly over recent decades in general although the changes are heterogeneous over the area. The relationship between the glacier changes and various climate phenomena will also be briefly discussed.