Measurement of glacier velocity at Pik Lenin, Tajikistan, by feature tracking
Glaciers, especially in mountain area are sensitive indicators of climate fluctuations and also contribute to present rates of sea level rise. In Central Asia, these glaciers are the primary resource for fresh water. Understanding the seasonal behavior of these glaciers would help to make efficient use of the available water reservoir. Different methods have been employed to study glacier displacements in past. The conventional survey techniques are very cost-intensive and highly depend on accessibility to high mountain glaciers also directs us to look for new ways to study these areas. Here remote sensing comes in handy with freely available data and a good coverage with high spatial and temporal resolution. Optical satellite imagery, available free can be effectively used for research purpose. The glacier in this region fed lake Karakul (380 km 2), the largest Lake in Tajikistan. The objective is to study the displacement tendency of the Glacier in Pik Lenin area using Landsat 7 dataset. Normalized cross correlation algorithm has been implemented via CIAS to estimate the motion of glacier surface. A number of combination of reference block and search area size were tested for 30 m resolution dataset. As a result the specifications: reference block size of 15 pixels and search area size of 10 pixels was found out as the best set of parameters and considered for further processing. The study derives a reliable set of data depicting the velocities in the glacier which after post processing shows peak velocity of 121 m/y of the glacier.