January 9, 2018

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Jackson Hubbard Presents on Geomorphological Models at the AGU Fall Meeting

Jackson Hubbard (Florida) presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center inPoster Hall D-F in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 12, 2017.

Jackson's presentation was entitled "3D Volume and Morphology of Perennial Cave Ice and Related Geomorphological Models at Scărișoara Ice Cave, Romania, from Structure from Motion, Ground Penetrating Radar and Total Station Surveys."

The presentation looks into the Scarisoara Ice Cave in Romania where Jackson combined 3D photogrammetry, ground penetrating radar, and total station surveying data to characterize and measure karstic cave features within the ArcGIS environments.

His co-authors were Bogdan P. Onac, Babeș-Bolyai University; Sarah Kruse, Univ South Florida; Ferenc L Forray, Babeș-Bolyai University.

The AGU Fall Meeting features attendees from around the globe in the pursuit of high quality science, knowledge, and a more sustainable future. The meeting encourages attendees to share their science, advance their career, and gain visibility and recognition for their scientific efforts alongside some of the world's leading scientists. It is the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world with more than 20,000 attendees annually.

The purpose of the American Geophysical Union is to promote discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity. To achieve this mission, AGU identified the following core values and behaviors.

As an organization, AGU holds a set of guiding core values: the scientific method, the generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge, open exchange of ideas and information, diversity of backgrounds, scientific ideas and approaches, benefit of science for a sustainable future, international and interdisciplinary cooperation, equality and inclusiveness, an active role in educating and nurturing the next generation of scientists, an engaged membership, unselfish cooperation in research, and excellence and integrity in everything they do.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is an international non-profit scientific association with 60,000 members in 137 countries. AGU was established in 1919 by the National Research Council, and for more than 50 years, operated as an unincorporated affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences. AGU was independently incorporated in 1972.


Research at Scărișoara Ice Cave has proceeded for over 150 years, primarily driven by the presence and paleoclimatic importance of the large perennial ice block and various ice speleothems located within its galleries. Previous observations of the ice block led to rudimentary volume estimates of 70,000 to 120,000 cubic meters (m3), prospectively placing it as one of the world's largest cave ice deposits. The cave morphology and the surface of the ice block are now recreated in a total station survey-validated 3D model, produced using Structure from Motion (SfM) software. With the total station survey and the novel use of ArcGIS tools, the SfM validation process is drastically simplified to produce a scaled, georeferenced, and photo-texturized 3D model of the cave environment with a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 0.24 m. Furthermore, ground penetrating radar data was collected and spatially oriented with the total station survey to recreate the ice block basal surface and was combined with the SfM model to create a model of the ice block itself. The resulting ice block model has a volume of over 118,000 m3 with an uncertainty of 9.5%, with additional volumes left un-surveyed. The varying elevation of the ice block basal surface model reflect specific features of the cave roof, such as areas of enlargement, shafts, and potential joints, which offer further validation and inform theories on cave and ice genesis. Specifically, a large depression area was identified as a potential area of initial ice growth. Finally, an ice thickness map was produced that will aid in the designing of future ice coring projects. This methodology presents a powerful means to observe and accurately characterize and measure cave and cave ice morphologies with ease and affordability. Results further establish the significance of Scărișoara's ice block to paleoclimate research, provide insights into cave and ice block genesis, and aid future study design.

More Information

Learn more about the presentation at: https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/295759
Learn more about AGU at: American Geophysical Union
For consultation regarding geomorphological models, contact Jackson Hubbard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Learn more about Jackson Hubbard at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacksonhubbard/