TITLE

Estimation of Mass Balance of the Grosser Aletschgletscher, Swiss Alps, from ICESat Laser Altimetry Data and Digital Elevation Models

AUTHOR(S)
Jan Kropáček; Neckel, Niklas; Bauder, Andreas
PUB. DATE
June 2014
SOURCE
Remote Sensing;Jun2014, Vol. 6 Issue 6, p5614
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Traditional glaciological mass balance measurements of mountain glaciers are a demanding and cost intensive task. In this study, we combine data from the Ice Cloud and Elevation Satellite (ICESat) acquired between 2003 and 2009 with air and space borne Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) in order to derive surface elevation changes of the Grosser Aletschgletscher in the Swiss Alps. Three different areas of the glacier are covered by one nominal ICESat track, allowing us to investigate the performance of the approach under different conditions in terms of ICESat data coverage, and surface characteristics. In order to test the sensitivity of the derived trend in surface lowering, several variables were tested. Employing correction for perennial snow accumulation, footprint selection and adequate reference DEM, we estimated a mean mass balance of -0.92 ± 0.18 m w.e. a-1. for the whole glacier in the studied time period. The resulting mass balance was validated by a comparison with another geodetic approach based on the subtraction of two DEMs for the years 1999 and 2009. It appears that the processing parameters need to be selected depending on the amount of available ICESat measurements, quality of the elevation reference and character of the glacier surface.
ACCESSION #
97302883

 

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