Snow Depth Recovery and Variability

In 2015 I was involved in an OSU project in collaboration with UCMerced and the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. The goal was to recover snow depth from return aerial photogrammetric mapping, and tie this data to field measurements of snow properties to investigate spatial controls on snow distribution. This work took place at Wolverton Meadow within Sequoia National Park. Because UAV's are prohibited within National Parks we had to come up with a unique solution to collect high resolution aerial imagery. Low winds and tall trees also ruled out my kite based platform so we deployed a 7ft helium weather balloon. We successfully captured around 2000 high resolution RGB and NIR images which were used to generate 'snow on' and 'snow off' digital elevation models using a Structure from Motion (SfM) workflow. The results of this research were presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting and are being prepared for journal submission. 

Mapping snow depth variability at high resolution through SfM will be a central component of my postdoctoral research activities. 

2016     Li, D., Wigmore, O., Vanderjagt, B.J., Durand, M.T., Molotch, N.P., Bales, R.C., Catchment-scale snow depth monitoring with balloon photogrammetry, Paper C51C-0669, Presented at 2016 Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union (AGU) San Francisco, California, 12-16 December.