Unmanned aerial vehicle-based “Structure from Motion” (UAV-SfM) photogrammetry is becoming increasingly important for obtaining high-definition topographic data in a variety of earth science research. Antarctica is one of the best fields in which UAV-SfM surveys are applied, because detailed geomorphological data are essential for reconstructing past Antarctic ice sheet changes and understanding landform evolution processes in a hyper-arid and hypothermal environment. However, application of UAVs in Antarctica has been limited because of difficulties arising from low temperatures and the restricted availability of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-assisted navigation system at high latitudes. In this article, we provide methodological solutions for these difficulties, and report several preliminary results of UAV surveys in central Dronning Maud Land and the Soya Coast in East Antarctica. A digital elevation model (DEM) obtained in central Dronning Maud Land clearly shows 3D structures of polygons developed on glacial tills. At the Soya Coast, a DEM analysis reveals detailed geomorphological characteristics, such as moraine ridges originating from a former ice stream and differential erosion of the basement due to weathering. Based on these results, we suggest that the UAV survey has certain merits for conducting an efficient field survey in the extremely large areas of Antarctica within a limited time, and has great potential for reconstructing past Antarctic ice sheet changes and obtaining a further understanding of landform evolution processes.
2017 公益社団法人 東京地学協会