Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Geology (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Advisor 1

Jason D. Gulley

Committee Member 1

John S. Gierke

Committee Member 2

Thomas Oommen

Committee Member 3

Yushin Ahn


In many scientific fields, it is important to actively develop new approaches to monitoring and quantifying changes within different systems. Often adapting existing tools or applying techniques from alternative fields can greatly improve our ability to monitor spatial and temporal changes. In this dissertation, I present four studies aimed at demonstrating new innovative ways at improving our ability to observe and quantify changes occurring on glaciers, submerged cultural resources (SCRs) and supraglacial lakes by using technology such as Structure from Motion + Multi-view stereo photogrammetry (SfM) and ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveying combined with facies analysis.

I have successfully reconstructed highly detailed 3D models of multiple large scale SCRs including the Home, Hetty Taylor and the Wisconsin using archival and newly acquired diver video footage. Comparison of digital measurement versus in situ measurements show low percent errors for most measurements, ranging fromWisconsin in order to generate two models, one from 2006 and one from 2015. Differencing the digital elevation models has allowed us to quantify and map the spatial distribution of changes occurring through site degradation. In addition, comparison of the orthomosaics has allowed for the visual identification of changes occurring at the SCR such as disappearance of objects, shifting of material and increased colonization of mussels.

I have also applied the SfM technique to historical imagery of glaciers in the high-arctic, European Alps and the Himalaya in order to extract spatial information for periods where it may not exist or is limited in resolution. The digital elevation models extracted are of a high-resolution and have allowed for very detailed spatial change mapping. The SfM process was performed without a priori information and relied on GCP obtained from more recent high-resolution remote sensing datasets. Results show highly contrasting patterns of long term melt on both a regional and local scale.

Lastly, I have used GPR surveying techniques on the frozen Spillway Lake, Ngozumpa glacier, Nepal, in order to improve our understanding of the supraglacial lake subaqueous environment. These surveys have allowed for the extraction of high-resolution bathymetric data as well as detailed information pertaining to lakebed debris distribution. Identification of two specific radar signal facies and observations of near shore sediment structures have allowed for the creation of a new updated conceptual model of supraglacial lake development, incorporating not only lateral expansion, but also deepening processes and lakebed dynamics.