Editorial: Applications of Remote Sensing in Glaciology

Anshuman Bhardwaj* (Corresponding Author), Lydia Sam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contemporary and significant spatiotemporal changes in glaciers are a result of rapidly evolving regional and global climate, and continuous monitoring is imperative for understanding the complexities of glacio–climatic interactions. Although the importance of glaciers as climate proxies was first recognized in the latter half of the 19th century, the awareness and efforts surrounding the glacier monitoring for climate change assessment have persistently improved since 1990s, after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) started including glacier fluctuation data in their assessments. Large-scale shifts in the areal, altitudinal, and flow regimes of glaciers are bound to promote glacial disasters and hydrological irregularities, necessitating their worldwide monitoring. However, year-round, field-based glacier monitoring is limited by several factors, such as a hostile climate, poor approachability, inadequate skilled labor, and insufficient funding. In such scenarios, remote sensing is largely utilized as a practical alternative or a supporting technique to field studies, in order to meet the growing needs of glaciology research.
With the continuous advancements in imaging systems and remote sensing platforms, and enhancements in the computational efficiencies of hardware and related software programs, remote sensing applications in glaciology have considerably increased in the past decade. Many universities have started dedicated programs or courses in glaciology, and well-known environmental science and Earth observation journals have increased the frequency of special collections covering glaciology and cryosphere research. With this background, our topical collection was designed to invite multidisciplinary submissions pertaining to the use of remote sensing in assessing glacier changes and the associated impacts in high altitude and high latitude regions. This topical collection offered a wider scope to potential authors and encouraged contributions in all areas of contemporary or future glaciology research related (but not restricted) to the use of spaceborne/aerial/terrestrial remote sensing for glacier mapping, glacier area changes, volumetric estimations, glacio-hydrology, glacier flow dynamics, glacial or periglacial geomorphology, glacial lakes, glacial seismology, lithological mapping in a glacial environment, glacial hazards, and synergy between glacier field work and remote sensing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4146
Number of pages4
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2022


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