, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 217-226
Date: 10 Apr 2013

A novel solution for outlier removal of ICESat altimetry data: a case study in the Yili watershed, China

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Abstract

Due to the influence of cloud and saturated waveforms, ICESat data contain many contaminated elevation data that cannot be directly used in examining surface elevation and change. This study provides a novel solution for removing bad data and getting clean ICESat data for land applications by using threshold values of reflectivity, saturation, and gain directly from ICESat’s GLAS (Geoscience Laser Alteimeter System) 01, 05, and 06 products. It is found that each laser campaign needs different threshold compositions to assure qualified ICESat data and that bad data removal rates range from 9.6% (laser 2A) to 62.3% (laser 2B) for the test area in the Yili watershed, China. These thresholds would possibly be used in other regions to extract qualified ICESat footprints for land applications. However, it is recommended to use the steps proposed here to further examine the transferability of threshold values for other regions of different elevations and climate regimes. As an example, the resulting ICESat data are applied to examine lake level changes of two lakes in the study area.

Xiaodong Huang is an Associate Professor at Lanzhou University, China. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from Lanzhou University in 2009. His present research interests involve Remote Sensing and GIS applications in environment changes and pastoral agriculture resources.
Hongjie Xie is an Associate Professor at University of Texas at San Antonio, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree from University of Texas at El Paso in 2002. His research interests focus on Remote Sensing and GIS technologies, theories, and applications in surface hydrology and cryosphere.
Guoqing Zhang is a Postdoctor at Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from China University of Geosciences (Beijing) in 2011. His research interests include Remote Sensing and GIS applications in spatio-temporal changes of lake-snow-glacier over the Tibetan Plateau.
Tiangang Liang is a Professor of Lanzhou University, China. He received his Ph.D. degree from Lanzhou University in 1998. His research interests focus on Remote Sensing and GIS applications in pastoral agriculture resources and environment changes.