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Currently, one of the major methodological gaps in the observation of glaciers from space is the measurement of volume changes of mountain glaciers and ice caps. In this paper, we present a case study of comparing a digital elevation model derived from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite optical stereo, elevation data derived from Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) laser altimetry, and contour lines from a topographic map from the 1970s. For two ice caps in Eastern Svalbard, Kvalpyntfonna and Digerfonna, we obtain an overall elevation change of -0.55 or -0.61 m/year between 1970 and 2002 (ASTER) or GLAS (2006), respectively. From comparison of different methods and from different quality checks, we estimate the error of this numbers to be on the order of 5%. This paper demonstrates that and on how long-term glacier volume changes can be observed from space over a large number of ice caps and glaciers.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:46 , Issue: 10 )
Date of Publication: Oct. 2008