Decadal Scale Changes in Glacier Area in the Hohe Tauern National Park (Austria) Determined by Object-Based Image Analysis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Department of Geography 
In this paper, we semi-automatically classify clean and debris-covered ice for 145 glaciers within Hohe Tauern National Park in the Austrian Alps for the years 1985, 2003, and 2013. We also map the end-summer transient snowline (TSL), which approximates the annual Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA). By comparing our results with the Austrian Glacier Inventories from 1969 and 1998, we calculate a mean reduction in glacier area of 33% between 1969 and 2013. The total ice area reduced at a mean rate of 1.4 km2 per year. This TSL rose by 92 m between 1985 and 2013 to an altitude of 3005 m. Despite some limitations, such as some seasonal snow being present at higher elevations, as well as uncertainties related to the range of years that the LiDAR DEM was collected, our results show that the glaciers within Hohe Tauern National Park conform to the heavy shrinkage experienced in other areas of the European Alps. Moreover, we believe that Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA) is a promising methodology for future glacier mapping.