3D geodata acquisition in the Siberian Arctic

In September 2017, the 3D Spatial Data Processing Group (3DGeo) joined the German-Russian expedition of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for Polar and Marine Research to the Arctic research station Samoylov (N 72°22’, E 126°29’) in the central Lena Delta.

Under the lead of Julia Boike, the research team maintained and expanded long-term monitoring stations and conducted repeat measurements of surface and subsurface properties. In the frame of this year’s expedition, for the first time, terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) of the ground surface was conducted. In-situ 3D geodata was successfully captured for various sites on Samoylov and the nearby island of Kurungnakh, where AWI researchers focus their work on the dynamically changing permafrost system.

The high-precision 3D point cloud data will be used to obtain information on microtopographic and vegetation characteristics of different landscape units. Moreover, the captured data provides a valuable basis for a timeseries of 3D geodata for long-term analyses and observation of permafrost-related processes in this Arctic tundra environment.

In addition to the TLS campaigns, a close-range photogrammetric approach to represent permafrost features in 3D will be tested based on large sets of images captured on site with regular digital cameras.