An Evaluation of Image Correlation Techniques for Measuring Sand Dune Migration Rates from Remote Sensing Data



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The surface migration rates of sand dunes both on Earth and on other planets provide important information about local and regional wind patterns. However, in situ data is often unavailable and remote sensing data must be applied to understand these environments. This study tested two software techniques, COSI-Corr and PIVLab, and evaluated their performance using high resolution imagery and airborne lidar covering White Sands, NM, Victoria Valley, Antarctica, and Jockey’s Ridge, NC. Mean migration rates were computed from the vector field data for overlapping vectors and residual vector values from manual measurements. Results, from each software package, were compared to published migration rates and manual measurements. COSI-Corr produced more thorough vector coverage but underperformed when applied to large spatial displacements with greater variability. PIVLab had less complete vector coverage but allowed for the isolation of vectors over the dune features resulting in accurate measurements.



Surface Migration, Sand Dunes, COSI-Corr, PIVLab