The opening ceremony at 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic featured the use of a record-breaking 1,218 drones. In the last few years alone, drone technology has greatly improved, becoming smaller, faster and more precise. Particularly for the science community, these portable unmanned aerial vehicles have made it possible to obtain information from remote and inaccessible areas of interest. For example, glaciologists and others have been using drones for aerial photography of otherwise dangerous glaciers.
Andrew Studer, a professional outdoor photographer based in Portland, Oregon, is one individual using drones to capture aerial images of glaciers from Iceland to the Italian Alps. The condition and extent of the images show that drones are capable of capturing a unique, aerial viewpoint without the risk of danger, death, or the added expense of manned vehicles (for example, helicopters). In this Photo Friday, take a look at aerial images of Icelandic Glaciers and the Italian Alps, photographed with drones.
Each week, we highlight three stories from the forefront of glacier news.
Decreasing Diversity in Glacier Lakes
From Universität Innsbruck:
“Professor Ruben Sommaruga from the Institute of Ecology, and Hannes Peter from the research group Lake and Glacier Ecology have studied shifts in diversity during the transition from turbid glacial to clear mountain lakes and now report on their surprising findings. Their research work has been published in the Nature Publishing Group’s journal ISME Journal.”
Glacier Crevasses: Observations, Models, and Mass Balance Implications
From AGU publications:
“We review the findings of approximately 60 years of in situ and remote sensing studies of glacier crevasses, as well as the three broad classes of numerical models now employed to simulate crevasse fracture. The relatively new insight that mixed-mode fracture in local stress equilibrium, rather than downstream advection alone, can introduce nontrivial curvature to crevasse geometry may merit the reinterpretation of some key historical observation studies. In the past three decades, there have been tremendous advances in the spatial resolution of satellite imagery, as well as fully automated algorithms capable of tracking crevasse displacements between repeat images.”
“Constitutional law has been utilized in many countries to promote the protection of environmental rights, with varying degrees of success. This essay offers gold mining in Argentina as a case study for examination of the tensions that exist between economic interests and the need to protect the environment, notwithstanding the provisions made for environmental rights within the National Constitution. Due to the significance of the country’s glacier region, the Argentine public has resisted mining developments that threaten this natural resource by taking a multipronged approach.”
Read more about Argentina’s law to protect glaciers here.