Glacial processes can have a strong impact on human activities in terms of hazards and freshwater supply. Therefore, scientific observation is fundamental to understand their current state and possible evolution. To achieve this aim, various monitoring systems have been developed in the last decades to monitor different geophysical and geochemical properties. In this manuscript, we describe examples of close-range monitoring sensors to measure the glacier dynamics: (i) terrestrial interferometric radar, (ii) monoscopic time-lapse camera, (iii) total station, (iv) laser scanner, (v) ground-penetrating radar and (vi) structure form motion. We present the monitoring applications in the Planpincieux and Grandes Jorasses glaciers, which are located in the touristic area of the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif. In recent years, the Planpincieux-Grandes Jorasses complex has become an open-air research laboratory of glacial monitoring techniques. Many close-range surveys have been conducted in this environment and a permanent network of monitoring systems that measures glacier surface deformation is presently active.
Part of the book: Glaciers and the Polar Environment