Measuring coastal cliff retreat in the Kongsfjorden area, Svalbard, using terrestrial photogrammetry

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Wangensteen, Bjørn ; Eiken, Trond ; Ødegård, Rune S. ; Sollid, Johan Ludvig (2007)

As part of the international project Arctic Coastal Dynamics, results from two sites for measuring coastal cliff retreat in the Kongsfjorden area in Svalbard (79 ° N, 13 ° E) are presented. The two sites were established in August 2002 and revisited in August 2004. Photographs with stereo coverage were taken at distances of 7 and 15 m from the cliff walls with a 60-mm Hasselblad camera mounted on a theodolite. Fixed points were established by drilling bolts into the cliff wall and were then surveyed. These fixed points were used as control points for orientation of the photogrammetric models. Digital photogrammetry applied to scanned photographs of the sites resulted in a detailed digital terrain model (DTM) for each site and year. The coastal cliff retreat rates were found by differencing the DTMs of 2002 and 2004. As a result of the short distance between camera and cliff, the DTM differencing was accurate down to 10 mm at least. The results show a yearly retreat of 2.7 and 3.1 mm. These rates are taken to be significant as most of the retreat takes place within small areas with rates well above the accuracy limits of the technique. The results are analysed and discussed in light of earlier rock-wall retreat studies in the same area.
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