Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry

The "Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry" group develops methods and algorithms for deriving information about our environment from remote sensing data acquired by spaceborne, airborne or terrestrial imaging sensors. The developments and projects relate to the evaluation of both optical and radar remote sensing data, photogrammetric data and laser scanner data.

Mountain Cryosphere Research Group

A group of international experts in glaciology and remote sensing led by T. Bolch. The collaborative activities focus on the investigation of glacier dynamics and climate-glacier interactions.

Of specific interest are debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers which are strongly influenced by geomorphological processes. Another focus is the impact of glacial lakes and glacier surging on glacier mass balance.

Further research includes consequences of the cryospheric change to society such as glacial hazards and changes in runoff.

Glacier Mass Changes in High Mountain Asia since the 1960s

Glaciers of High Mountain Asia (HMA) are an important runoff source for more than 1 billion people. Most glaciers have been losing mass at an accelerated rate. However, there is strong heterogeneity in mass loss and its drivers are still not well understood. The main aims of the related projects are to obtain the most detailed information about glacier mass changes using historical spy satellite data and more recent high-resolution stereo satellite data combined by SAR observations.

Recovery of Historical Aerial Photographs in the Austrian Alps

Historical images provide valuable information of past conditions and allow assessments long-term changes. A unique source in this regard are stereo photographs taken by US Air Force over entire Europe after World War II. Austria was photographed in August 1945, with excellent technology for the time. The aim of this project is to process this data for the Austrian Alps, generate digital elevation models and orthoimages and make the data accessible to the public.

Hydrologic relevance and climate response of rock glaciers

Rock glaciers contain a significant amount of ice. However, the permafrost-related landforms are much less well investigated than glaciers. We improve the knowledge about the occurrence, ice volume and their climate response. We apply a holistic approach combining multi-scale and multi-temporal remote sensing and geophysical physical field investigations. The project focuses on rock glaciers in the Austrian Alps and in the Tien Shan (Central Asia).