Abstract92 – University of Copenhagen

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Centre for Ice and Climate > Publications > Scientific papers > Abstracts > Abstract92

Glacier specific ablation rate derived by remote sensing measurements 

Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 29, no. 16, p. 10.1029/2002GL015307, 10-1 - 10-4, 2002 

N. Reeh
Electromagnetic Systems, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark, Now at Arctic Technology Centre, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.<
J.J. Mohr
Electromagnetic Systems, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.
W.B. Krabill
Observational Science Branch, NASA/GSFC, Wallops Island, Virginia, USA.
R. Thomas
EG&G Services, NASA/GSFC, Wallops Island, Virginia, USA.
H. Oerter
Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany.
N. Gundestrup
Geofysisk Afdeling, Niels Bohr Instituttet for Astronomi, Fysik og Geofysik, Københavns Universitet
C.E. Bøggild
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The specific ablation rate in a transect of Storstrømmen, a large outlet glacier from the Northeast Greenland ice sheet, is derived by combining airborne laser altimetry measurements with emergence/submergence velocities derived from satellite synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) and airborne ice-sounding radar measurement of ice thickness. The results are compared with in situ point observations of ablation measured at poles drilled into the glacier. Considering the different measurement periods for the different data sets, the agreement between derived and observed ablation rates is satisfactory. The new method of deriving specific mass balance, particularly ablation rate, by remote sensing measurements alone has the potential to substantially increase the density of observational based ablation rates on ice sheet and ice cap margins.