Abstract204 – University of Copenhagen

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Centre for Ice and Climate > Publications > Scientific papers > Abstracts > Abstract204

Three-dimensional surface velocities of Storstrømmen glacier, Greenland, derived from radar interferometry and ice-sounding radar measurements 

Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 49, No. 165, p. 201-209, 2003 

N. Reeh, J.J. Mohr and S.N. Madsen
Ørsted, DTU, Electromagnetic Systems, Technical University of Denmark, Building 348, Ørsted plads, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
H. Oerter
Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Columbusstrasse, D-27568 Bremerhaven, Germany
N.S. Gundestrup
Geofysisk Afdeling, Niels Bohr Instituttet for Astronomi, Fysik og Geofysik, Københavns Universitet

Non-steady vertical velocities of up to 5 m a-1 exceed the vertical surface-parallel flow (SPF) components over much of the ablation area of Storstrømmen, a large outlet glacier from the East Greenland ice sheet. Neglecting a contribution to the vertical velocity of this magnitude results in substantial errors (up to 20 %) also on the south-north component of horizontal velocities derived by satellite synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) measurements. In many glacier environments, the steady-state vertical velocity component required to balance the annual ablation rate is 5-10 m a-1 or more. This indicates that the SPF assumption may be problematic also for glaciers in steady state. Here we derive the three-dimensional surface velocity distribution of Storstrømmen by using the principle of mass conservation (MC) to combine InSAR measurements from ascending and descending satellite tracks with airborne ice-sounding radar measurement of ice thickness. The results are compared to InSAR velocities previously derived by using the SPF assumption, and to velocities obtained by in situ global positioning system (GPS) measurements. The velocities derived by using the MC principle are in better agreement with the GPS velocities than the previously calculated velocities derived with the SPF assumption.