Accuracy assessment of glacier depth monitoring based on UAV-GPR on Horseshoe Island, Antarctica

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Selbesoğlu M. O., Karabulut M. F., Oktar Ö., Akpınar B., Vassılev O., Arkalı M., ...More

TURKISH JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, vol.32, no.8, pp.999-1012, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.55730/1300-0985.1889
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Geobase, INSPEC, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.999-1012
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Unmanned aerial systems have a wide range of uses in studying the impacts of climate change over several fields. Recently, its combination with a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technology has been demonstrated to be highly effective for surveying glaciers, especially in difficult and inaccessible terrains like Antarctica. In this context, this study focused on exploring the potential of using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-GPR to measure the depth of glaciers on Horseshoe Island, West Antarctica. The data were collected during the seventh Turkish Antarctic Expedition (TAE-VII) in February and March 2023, within the scope of the international project titled “Glacier monitoring and 3D modeling in Horseshoe Island Antarctica based on UAV-GPR observations”, carried out by the bilateral cooperation of İstanbul Technical University and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In order to determine the depth of the glacier, this investigation utilized both terrestrial GPR and UAV-GPR data. The UAV-GPR depth was determined as 9 cm root mean square error as a consequence of comparison with terrestrial GPR results. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that measurements performed with the UAV were completed approximately 25 times faster than those conducted with the terrestrial GPR, demonstrating a significant efficiency benefit. As a result, it can be concluded that using the airborne GPR approach offers a beneficial and effective way to undertake surveys of glaciers quickly and affordably with promising accuracy.