Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
01 Oct 2008
 | 01 Oct 2008

Landsat-derived glacier inventory for Jotunheimen, Norway, and deduced glacier changes since the 1930s

L. M. Andreassen, F. Paul, A. Kääb, and J. E. Hausberg

Abstract. A Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) scene from 2003 covering the Jotunheimen and Breheimen region has been used to map the recent glacier extents using thresholded ratio images (TM3/TM5). Orthoprojected aerial photographs and glacier outlines from digital maps have been used to validate the method and control the results. We further calculated glacier changes by comparing the Landsat-derived 2003 glacier outlines with previous maps and inventories from the 1930s, 1960s and 1980s. Our results confirm that the applied automatic mapping method is robust and agrees with the reference data used. Some manual editing was necessary to correct the outline at ice-lake contacts and at debris covered glaciers. However, for most of the glaciers no corrections were required. The most laborious task has been to assign ID numbers and couple the new Landsat inventory to previous inventories to assess area changes. The glaciers investigated shrank since the 1930s with an overall area reduction of about 23% for 38 glaciers. Since the 1960s the area reduction was 12% for 164 glaciers. Although the general trend is glacier recession, some glaciers have increased their size or remained nearly unchanged over these decades.