Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
Research article 03 Mar 2014
Research article | 03 Mar 2014
Glacial areas, lake areas, and snow lines from 1975 to 2012: status of the Cordillera Vilcanota, including the Quelccaya Ice Cap, northern central Andes, Peru
M. N. Hanshaw and B. Bookhagen
No articles found.
Benjamin Purinton and Bodo Bookhagen
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 859–877,Short summary
We develop and test new methods for counting pebble-size distributions in photos of gravel-bed rivers. Our open-source algorithms provide good estimates in complex imagery from high-energy mountain rivers. We discuss methods of river cross-section photo collection and processing into seamless georeferenced imagery. Application of a semi-automated version of the algorithm in small patches can be used as validation data for upscaling to entire survey sites using a fully automated version.
Katalyn A. Voss, Bodo Bookhagen, Dirk Sachse, and Oliver A. Chadwick
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Preprint withdrawnShort summary
Water supply in the Himalayas is derived from rainfall, snowpack, glacial melt, and groundwater that vary spatially and seasonally. This study provides new data collected from rain, snow, and glacial-sourced surface waters over a 5000 m elevation range from April to October 2016. We identify water sourced from the summer monsoon versus winter westerly storms and track major snow and glacial melt events to elucidate the sourcing and timing of Himalayan streamflow and inform water management.
Benjamin Purinton and Bodo Bookhagen
Earth Surf. Dynam., 6, 971–987,Short summary
We show a new use for the SRTM-C digital elevation model from February 2000 and the newer TanDEM-X dataset from ~ 2015. We difference the datasets over hillslopes and gravel-bed channels to extract vertical land-level changes. These signals are associated with incision, aggradation, and landsliding. This requires careful correction of the SRTM-C biases using the TanDEM-X and propagation of significant uncertainties. The method can be applied to moderate relief areas with SRTM-C coverage.
V. Stolbova, P. Martin, B. Bookhagen, N. Marwan, and J. Kurths
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 21, 901–917,
Related subject area
Remote SensingObserving traveling waves in glaciers with remote sensing: new flexible time series methods and application to Sermeq Kujalleq (Jakobshavn Isbræ), GreenlandSnow depth time series retrieval by time-lapse photography: Finnish and Italian case studiesIntercomparison of photogrammetric platforms for spatially continuous snow depth mappingSpring melt pond fraction in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago predicted from RADARSAT-2Detecting seasonal ice dynamics in satellite imagesThe catastrophic thermokarst lake drainage events of 2018 in northwestern Alaska: fast-forward into the futureUsing ICESat-2 and Operation IceBridge altimetry for supraglacial lake depth retrievalsSharp contrasts in observed and modeled crevasse patterns at Greenland's marine terminating glaciersSimulating optical top-of-atmosphere radiance satellite images over snow-covered rugged terrainParameterizing anisotropic reflectance of snow surfaces from airborne digital camera observations in AntarcticaRecent changes in pan-Antarctic region surface snowmelt detected by AMSR-E and AMSR2Simultaneous estimation of wintertime sea ice thickness and snow depth from space-borne freeboard measurementsObservations of sea ice melt from Operation IceBridge imageryVariability in glacier albedo and links to annual mass balance for the gardens of Eden and Allah, Southern Alps, New ZealandMapping avalanches with satellites – evaluation of performance and completenessEstimating statistical errors in retrievals of ice velocity and deformation parameters from satellite images and buoy arraysSnow depth mapping from stereo satellite imagery in mountainous terrain: evaluation using airborne laser-scanning dataBrief Communication: Mesoscale and submesoscale dynamics in the marginal ice zone from sequential synthetic aperture radar observationsBrief communication: Glacier run-off estimation using altimetry derived basin volume change: case study at Humboldt Glacier, Northwest GreenlandBrief communication: Mapping Greenland's perennial firn aquifers using enhanced-resolution L-band brightness temperature image time seriesQuantifying spatiotemporal variability of glacier algal blooms and the impact on surface albedo in southwestern GreenlandClassification of sea ice types in Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar imagesA linear model to derive melt pond depth on Arctic sea ice from hyperspectral dataSatellite passive microwave sea-ice concentration data set inter-comparison for Arctic summer conditionsAerogeophysical characterization of an active subglacial lake system in the David Glacier catchment, AntarcticaMeasuring the location and width of the Antarctic grounding zone using CryoSat-2Brief Communication: Update on the GPS reflection technique for measuring snow accumulation in GreenlandImproving sub-canopy snow depth mapping with unmanned aerial vehicles: lidar versus structure-from-motion techniquesImproved GNSS-R bi-static altimetry and independent digital elevation models of Greenland and Antarctica from TechDemoSat-1Opportunistic evaluation of modelled sea ice drift using passively drifting telemetry collars in Hudson Bay, CanadaGlobal Positioning System interferometric reflectometry (GPS-IR) measurements of ground surface elevation changes in permafrost areas in northern CanadaCryoSat Ice Baseline-D validation and evolutionsCombining TerraSAR-X and time-lapse photography for seasonal sea ice monitoring: the case of Deception Bay, NunavikInSAR time series analysis of seasonal surface displacement dynamics on the Tibetan PlateauInventory, motion and acceleration of rock glaciers in Ile Alatau and Kungöy Ala-Too, northern Tien Shan, since the 1950sSatellite observations of unprecedented phytoplankton blooms in the Maud Rise polynya, Southern OceanUse of Sentinel-1 radar observations to evaluate snowmelt dynamics in alpine regionsThe seasonal evolution of albedo across glaciers and the surrounding landscape of Taylor Valley, AntarcticaShallow snow depth mapping with unmanned aerial systems lidar observations: A case study in Durham, New Hampshire, United StatesMelt in Antarctica derived from Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) observations at L bandEffects of decimetre-scale surface roughness on L-band brightness temperature of sea iceComparison of modeled snow properties in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and TajikistanBrief communication: Conventional assumptions involving the speed of radar waves in snow introduce systematic underestimates to sea ice thickness and seasonal growth rate estimatesAnnual and interannual variability and trends of albedo for Icelandic glaciersBroadband albedo of Arctic sea ice from MERIS optical dataEstimating fractional snow cover from passive microwave brightness temperature data using MODIS snow cover product over North AmericaSatellite passive microwave sea-ice concentration data set intercomparison: closed ice and ship-based observationsEffect of snow microstructure variability on Ku-band radar snow water equivalent retrievalsRecent glacier and lake changes in High Mountain Asia and their relation to precipitation changesMultisensor validation of tidewater glacier flow fields derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) intensity tracking
Bryan Riel, Brent Minchew, and Ian Joughin
The Cryosphere, 15, 407–429,Short summary
The availability of large volumes of publicly available remote sensing data over terrestrial glaciers provides new opportunities for studying the response of glaciers to a changing climate. We present an efficient method for tracking changes in glacier speeds at high spatial and temporal resolutions from surface observations, demonstrating the recovery of traveling waves over Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland. Quantification of wave properties may ultimately enhance understanding of glacier dynamics.
Marco Bongio, Ali Nadir Arslan, Cemal Melih Tanis, and Carlo De Michele
The Cryosphere, 15, 369–387,Short summary
The capability of time-lapse photography to retrieve snow depth time series was tested. We demonstrated that this method can be efficiently used in three different case studies: two in the Italian Alps and one in a forested region of Finland, with an accuracy comparable to the most common methods such as ultrasonic sensors or manual measurements. We hope that this simple method based only on a camera and a graduated stake can enable snow depth measurements in dangerous and inaccessible sites.
Lucie A. Eberhard, Pascal Sirguey, Aubrey Miller, Mauro Marty, Konrad Schindler, Andreas Stoffel, and Yves Bühler
The Cryosphere, 15, 69–94,Short summary
In spring 2018 in the alpine Dischma valley (Switzerland), we tested different industrial photogrammetric platforms for snow depth mapping. These platforms were high-resolution satellites, an airplane, unmanned aerial systems and a terrestrial system. Therefore, this study gives a general overview of the accuracy and precision of the different photogrammetric platforms available in space and on earth and their use for snow depth mapping.
Stephen E. L. Howell, Randall K. Scharien, Jack Landy, and Mike Brady
The Cryosphere, 14, 4675–4686,Short summary
Melt ponds form on the surface of Arctic sea ice during spring and have been shown to exert a strong influence on summer sea ice area. Here, we use RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to estimate the predicted peak spring melt pond fraction in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2009–2018. Our results show that RADARSAT-2 estimates of peak melt pond fraction can be used to provide predictive information about summer sea ice area within certain regions of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
Chad A. Greene, Alex S. Gardner, and Lauren C. Andrews
The Cryosphere, 14, 4365–4378,Short summary
Seasonal variability is a fundamental characteristic of any Earth surface system, but we do not fully understand which of the world's glaciers speed up and slow down on an annual cycle. Such short-timescale accelerations may offer clues about how individual glaciers will respond to longer-term changes in climate, but understanding any behavior requires an ability to observe it. We describe how to use satellite image feature tracking to determine the magnitude and timing of seasonal ice dynamics.
Ingmar Nitze, Sarah W. Cooley, Claude R. Duguay, Benjamin M. Jones, and Guido Grosse
The Cryosphere, 14, 4279–4297,Short summary
In summer 2018, northwestern Alaska was affected by widespread lake drainage which strongly exceeded previous observations. We analyzed the spatial and temporal patterns with remote sensing observations, weather data and lake-ice simulations. The preceding fall and winter season was the second warmest and wettest on record, causing the destabilization of permafrost and elevated water levels which likely led to widespread and rapid lake drainage during or right after ice breakup.
Zachary Fair, Mark Flanner, Kelly M. Brunt, Helen Amanda Fricker, and Alex Gardner
The Cryosphere, 14, 4253–4263,Short summary
Ice on glaciers and ice sheets may melt and pond on ice surfaces in summer months. Detection and observation of these meltwater ponds is important for understanding glaciers and ice sheets, and satellite imagery has been used in previous work. However, image-based methods struggle with deep water, so we used data from the Ice, Clouds, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) and the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) to demonstrate the potential for lidar depth monitoring.
Ellyn M. Enderlin and Timothy C. Bartholomaus
The Cryosphere, 14, 4121–4133,Short summary
Accurate predictions of future changes in glacier flow require the realistic simulation of glacier terminus position change in numerical models. We use crevasse observations for 19 Greenland glaciers to explore whether the two commonly used crevasse depth models match observations. The models cannot reproduce spatial patterns, and we largely attribute discrepancies between modeled and observed depths to the models' inability to account for advection.
Maxim Lamare, Marie Dumont, Ghislain Picard, Fanny Larue, François Tuzet, Clément Delcourt, and Laurent Arnaud
The Cryosphere, 14, 3995–4020,Short summary
Terrain features found in mountainous regions introduce large errors into the calculation of the physical properties of snow using optical satellite images. We present a new model performing rapid calculations of solar radiation over snow-covered rugged terrain that we tested over a site in the French Alps. The results of the study show that all the interactions between sunlight and the terrain should be accounted for over snow-covered surfaces to correctly estimate snow properties from space.
Tim Carlsen, Gerit Birnbaum, André Ehrlich, Veit Helm, Evelyn Jäkel, Michael Schäfer, and Manfred Wendisch
The Cryosphere, 14, 3959–3978,Short summary
The angular reflection of solar radiation by snow surfaces is particularly anisotropic and highly variable. We measured the angular reflection from an aircraft using a digital camera in Antarctica in 2013/14 and studied its variability: the anisotropy increases with a lower Sun but decreases for rougher surfaces and larger snow grains. The applied methodology allows for a direct comparison with satellite observations, which generally underestimated the anisotropy measured within this study.
Lei Zheng, Chunxia Zhou, Tingjun Zhang, Qi Liang, and Kang Wang
The Cryosphere, 14, 3811–3827,Short summary
Snowmelt plays a key role in mass and energy balance in polar regions. In this study, we report on the spatial and temporal variations in the surface snowmelt over the Antarctic sea ice and ice sheet (pan-Antarctic region) based on AMSR-E and AMSR2. Melt detection on sea ice is improved by excluding the effect of open water. The decline in surface snowmelt on the Antarctic ice sheet was very likely linked with the enhanced summer Southern Annular Mode.
Hoyeon Shi, Byung-Ju Sohn, Gorm Dybkjær, Rasmus Tage Tonboe, and Sang-Moo Lee
The Cryosphere, 14, 3761–3783,Short summary
To estimate sea ice thickness from satellite freeboard measurements, snow depth information has been required; however, the snow depth estimate has been considered largely uncertain. We propose a new method to estimate sea ice thickness and snow depth simultaneously from freeboards by imposing a thermodynamic constraint. Obtained ice thicknesses and snow depths were consistent with airborne measurements, suggesting that uncertainty of ice thickness caused by uncertain snow depth can be reduced.
Nicholas C. Wright, Chris M. Polashenski, Scott T. McMichael, and Ross A. Beyer
The Cryosphere, 14, 3523–3536,Short summary
This work presents a new dataset of sea ice surface fractions along NASA Operation IceBridge flight tracks created by processing hundreds of thousands of aerial images. These results are then analyzed to investigate the behavior of meltwater on first-year ice in comparison to multiyear ice. We find preliminary evidence that first-year ice frequently has a lower melt pond fraction than adjacent multiyear ice, contrary to established knowledge in the sea ice community.
Angus J. Dowson, Pascal Sirguey, and Nicolas J. Cullen
The Cryosphere, 14, 3425–3448,Short summary
Satellite observations over 19 years are used to characterise the spatial and temporal variability of surface albedo across the gardens of Eden and Allah, two of New Zealand’s largest ice fields. The variability in response of individual glaciers reveals the role of topographic setting and suggests that glaciers in the Southern Alps do not behave as a single climatic unit. There is evidence that the timing of the minimum surface albedo has shifted to later in the summer on 10 of the 12 glaciers.
Elisabeth D. Hafner, Frank Techel, Silvan Leinss, and Yves Bühler
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
Satellites prove to be very valuable for the documentation of large-scale avalanche periods. To test reliability and completeness, which has not been satisfactorily verified before, we attempt a full validation of avalanches mapped from two optical and one radar sensor. Our results demonstrate the reliability of high spatial resolution optical data for avalanche mapping, the suitability of radar for the mapping of larger avalanches and the unsuitability of medium spatial resolution optical data.
Wolfgang Dierking, Harry L. Stern, and Jennifer K. Hutchings
The Cryosphere, 14, 2999–3016,Short summary
Monitoring deformation of sea ice is useful for studying effects of ice compression and divergent motion on the ice mass balance and ocean–ice–atmosphere interactions. In calculations of deformation parameters not only the measurement uncertainty of drift vectors has to be considered. The size of the area and the time interval used in the calculations have to be chosen within certain limits to make sure that the uncertainties of deformation parameters are smaller than their real magnitudes.
César Deschamps-Berger, Simon Gascoin, Etienne Berthier, Jeffrey Deems, Ethan Gutmann, Amaury Dehecq, David Shean, and Marie Dumont
The Cryosphere, 14, 2925–2940,Short summary
We evaluate a recent method to map snow depth based on satellite photogrammetry. We compare it with accurate airborne laser-scanning measurements in the Sierra Nevada, USA. We find that satellite data capture the relationship between snow depth and elevation at the catchment scale and also small-scale features like snow drifts and avalanche deposits. We conclude that satellite photogrammetry stands out as a convenient method to estimate the spatial distribution of snow depth in high mountains.
Igor E. Kozlov, Evgeny V. Plotnikov, and Georgy E. Manucharyan
The Cryosphere, 14, 2941–2947,Short summary
Here we demonstrate a recently emerged opportunity to retrieve high-resolution surface current velocities from sequential spaceborne radar images taken over low-concentration ice regions of polar oceans. Such regularly available data uniquely resolve complex surface ocean dynamics even at small scales and can be used in operational applications to assess and predict transport and distribution of biogeochemical substances and pollutants in ice-covered waters.
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
Nine years of ice velocity and surface height data obtained from a variety of satellites are used to estimate the water run-off from the northern arm of the Humboldt Glacier in NW Greenland. This represents the first direct measurement of water run-off from a large Greenland glacier and it complements the iceberg calving flux measurements also based on satellite data. This approach should help improve mass loss estimates for many large Greenland glaciers.
Julie Z. Miller, David G. Long, Kenneth C. Jezek, Joel T. Johnson, Mary J. Brodzik, Christopher A. Shuman, Lora S. Koenig, and Ted A. Scambos
The Cryosphere, 14, 2809–2817,
Shujie Wang, Marco Tedesco, Patrick Alexander, Min Xu, and Xavier Fettweis
The Cryosphere, 14, 2687–2713,Short summary
Glacial algal blooms play a significant role in darkening the Greenland Ice Sheet during summertime. The dark pigments generated by glacial algae could substantially reduce the bare ice albedo and thereby enhance surface melt. We used satellite data to map the spatial distribution of glacial algae and characterized the seasonal growth pattern and interannual trends of glacial algae in southwestern Greenland. Our study is important for bridging microbial activities with ice sheet mass balance.
Jeong-Won Park, Anton Andreevich Korosov, Mohamed Babiker, Joong-Sun Won, Morten Wergeland Hansen, and Hyun-Cheol Kim
The Cryosphere, 14, 2629–2645,Short summary
A new Sentinel-1 radar-based sea ice classification algorithm is proposed. We show that the readily available ice charts from operational ice services can reduce the amount of manual work in preparation of large amounts of training/testing data and feed highly reliable data to the trainer in an efficient way. Test results showed that the classifier is capable of retrieving three generalized cover types with overall accuracy of 87 % and 67 % in the winter and summer seasons, respectively.
Marcel König and Natascha Oppelt
The Cryosphere, 14, 2567–2579,Short summary
We used data that we collected on RV Polarstern cruise PS106 in summer 2017 to develop a model for the derivation of melt pond depth on Arctic sea ice from reflectance measurements. We simulated reflectances of melt ponds of varying color and water depth and used the sun zenith angle and the slope of the log-scaled reflectance at 710 nm to derive pond depth. We validated the model on the in situ melt pond data and found it to derive pond depth very accurately.
Stefan Kern, Thomas Lavergne, Dirk Notz, Leif Toudal Pedersen, and Rasmus Tonboe
The Cryosphere, 14, 2469–2493,Short summary
Arctic sea-ice concentration (SIC) estimates based on satellite passive microwave observations are highly inaccurate during summer melt. We compare 10 different SIC products with independent satellite data of true SIC and melt pond fraction (MPF). All products disagree with the true SIC. Regional and inter-product differences can be large and depend on the MPF. An inadequate treatment of melting snow and melt ponds in the products’ algorithms appears to be the main explanation for our findings.
Laura E. Lindzey, Lucas H. Beem, Duncan A. Young, Enrica Quartini, Donald D. Blankenship, Choon-Ki Lee, Won Sang Lee, Jong Ik Lee, and Joohan Lee
The Cryosphere, 14, 2217–2233,Short summary
An extensive aerogeophysical survey including two active subglacial lakes was conducted over David Glacier, Antarctica. Laser altimetry shows that the lakes were at a highstand, while ice-penetrating radar has no unique signature for the lakes when compared to the broader basal environment. This suggests that active subglacial lakes are more likely to be part of a distributed subglacial hydrological system than to be discrete reservoirs, which has implications for future surveys and drilling.
Geoffrey J. Dawson and Jonathan L. Bamber
The Cryosphere, 14, 2071–2086,Short summary
The grounding zone is where grounded ice begins to float and is the boundary at which the ocean has the most significant influence on the inland ice sheet. Here, we present the results of mapping the grounding zone of Antarctic ice shelves from CryoSat-2 radar altimetry. We found good agreement with previous methods that mapped the grounding zone. We also managed to map areas of Support Force Glacier and the Doake Ice Rumples (Filchner–Ronne Ice Shelf), which were previously incompletely mapped.
Kristine M. Larson, Michael MacFerrin, and Thomas Nylen
The Cryosphere, 14, 1985–1988,Short summary
Reflected GPS signals can be used to measure snow accumulation. The GPS method is accurate and has a footprint that is larger than that of many other methods. This short note makes available 9 years of daily snow accumulation measurements from Greenland that were derived from reflected GPS signals. It also provides information about open-source software that the cryosphere community can use to analyze other datasets.
Phillip Harder, John W. Pomeroy, and Warren D. Helgason
The Cryosphere, 14, 1919–1935,Short summary
Unmanned-aerial-vehicle-based (UAV) structure-from-motion (SfM) techniques have the ability to map snow depths in open areas. Here UAV lidar and SfM are compared to map sub-canopy snowpacks. Snow depth accuracy was assessed with data from sites in western Canada collected in 2019. It is demonstrated that UAV lidar can measure the sub-canopy snow depth at a high accuracy, while UAV-SfM cannot. UAV lidar promises to quantify snow–vegetation interactions at unprecedented accuracy and resolution.
Jessica Cartwright, Christopher J. Banks, and Meric Srokosz
The Cryosphere, 14, 1909–1917,Short summary
This study uses reflected GPS signals to measure ice at the South Pole itself for the first time. These measurements are essential to understand the interaction of the ice with the Earth’s physical systems. Orbital constraints mean that satellites are usually unable to measure in the vicinity of the South Pole itself. This is overcome here by using data obtained by UK TechDemoSat-1. Data are processed to obtain the height of glacial ice across the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
Ron R. Togunov, Natasha J. Klappstein, Nicholas J. Lunn, Andrew E. Derocher, and Marie Auger-Méthé
The Cryosphere, 14, 1937–1950,Short summary
Sea ice drift affects important geophysical and biological processes in the Arctic. Using the motion of dropped polar bear GPS collars, our study evaluated the accuracy of a popular satellite-based ice drift model in Hudson Bay. We observed that velocity was underestimated, particularly at higher speeds. Direction was unbiased, but it was less precise at lower speeds. These biases should be accounted for in climate and ecological research relying on accurate/absolute drift velocities.
Jiahua Zhang, Lin Liu, and Yufeng Hu
The Cryosphere, 14, 1875–1888,Short summary
Ground surface in permafrost areas undergoes uplift and subsides seasonally due to freezing–thawing active layer. Surface elevation change serves as an indicator of frozen-ground dynamics. In this study, we identify 12 GPS stations across the Canadian Arctic, which are useful for measuring elevation changes by using reflected GPS signals. Measurements span from several years to over a decade and at daily intervals and help to reveal frozen ground dynamics at various temporal and spatial scales.
Marco Meloni, Jerome Bouffard, Tommaso Parrinello, Geoffrey Dawson, Florent Garnier, Veit Helm, Alessandro Di Bella, Stefan Hendricks, Robert Ricker, Erica Webb, Ben Wright, Karina Nielsen, Sanggyun Lee, Marcello Passaro, Michele Scagliola, Sebastian Bjerregaard Simonsen, Louise Sandberg Sørensen, David Brockley, Steven Baker, Sara Fleury, Jonathan Bamber, Luca Maestri, Henriette Skourup, René Forsberg, and Loretta Mizzi
The Cryosphere, 14, 1889–1907,Short summary
This manuscript aims to describe the evolutions which have been implemented in the new CryoSat Ice processing chain Baseline-D and the validation activities carried out in different domains such as sea ice, land ice and hydrology. This new CryoSat processing Baseline-D will maximise the uptake and use of CryoSat data by scientific users since it offers improved capability for monitoring the complex and multiscale changes over the cryosphere.
Sophie Dufour-Beauséjour, Anna Wendleder, Yves Gauthier, Monique Bernier, Jimmy Poulin, Véronique Gilbert, Juupi Tuniq, Amélie Rouleau, and Achim Roth
The Cryosphere, 14, 1595–1609,Short summary
Inuit have reported greater variability in seasonal sea ice conditions. For Deception Bay (Nunavik), an area prized for seal and caribou hunting, an increase in snow precipitation and a shorter snow cover period is expected in the near future. In this context, and considering ice-breaking transport in the fjord by mining companies, we combined satellite images and time-lapse photography to monitor sea ice in the area between 2015 and 2018.
Eike Reinosch, Johannes Buckel, Jie Dong, Markus Gerke, Jussi Baade, and Björn Riedel
The Cryosphere, 14, 1633–1650,Short summary
In this research we present the results of our satellite analysis of a permafrost landscape and periglacial landforms in mountainous regions on the Tibetan Plateau. We study seasonal and multiannual surface displacement processes, such as the freezing and thawing of the ground, seasonally accelerated sliding on steep slopes, and continuous permafrost creep. This study is the first step of our goal to create an inventory of actively moving landforms within the Nyainqêntanglha range.
Andreas Kääb, Tazio Strozzi, Tobias Bolch, Rafael Caduff, Håkon Trefall, Markus Stoffel, and Alexander Kokarev
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
We present a map of rock glacier motion over parts of the northern Tien Shan and time series of surface speed for six of them over almost 70 years. This is the by far most detailed investigation of this kind available for Central Asia. We detect a two to three-fold increase in rock glacier motion between the 1950s and present, which we attribute to atmospheric warming. Relative to the shrinking glaciers in the region, this implies increased importance of periglacial sediment transport.
Babula Jena and Anilkumar N. Pillai
The Cryosphere, 14, 1385–1398,Short summary
Records of multiple ocean color satellite data indicated unprecedented phytoplankton blooms on the Maud Rise with a backdrop of anomalous upper ocean warming and sea ice loss in 2017. The bloom appearance may indicate it as a potential sink of atmospheric CO2 through biological pumping, and it can be a major source of carbon and energy for the regional food web. The reoccurrence of the bloom is important considering the high-nutrient low-chlorophyll conditions of the Southern Ocean.
Carlo Marin, Giacomo Bertoldi, Valentina Premier, Mattia Callegari, Christian Brida, Kerstin Hürkamp, Jochen Tschiersch, Marc Zebisch, and Claudia Notarnicola
The Cryosphere, 14, 935–956,Short summary
In this paper, we use for the first time the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) time series acquired by Sentinel-1 to monitor snowmelt dynamics in alpine regions. We found that the multitemporal SAR allows the identification of the three phases that characterize the melting process, i.e., moistening, ripening and runoff, in a spatial distributed way. We believe that the presented investigation could have relevant applications for monitoring and predicting the snowmelt progress over large regions.
Anna Bergstrom, Michael N. Gooseff, Madeline Myers, Peter T. Doran, and Julian M. Cross
The Cryosphere, 14, 769–788,Short summary
This study sought to understand patterns of reflectance of visible light across the landscape of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. We used a helicopter-based platform to measure reflectance along an entire valley with a particular focus on the glaciers, as reflectance strongly controls glacier melt and available water to the downstream ecosystem. We found that patterns are controlled by gradients in snowfall, wind redistribution, and landscape structure, which can trap snow and sediment.
Jennifer M. Jacobs, Adam G. Hunsaker, Franklin B. Sullivan, Michael Palace, Elizabeth A. Burakowski, Christina Herrick, and Eunsang Cho
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
This pilot study describes a proof-of-concept for using a UAV lidar system to map shallow snowpack (< 20 cm) depth in open terrain and forests. The 1 m2 resolution snow depth map, generated by subtracting snow-off from snow-on lidar derived digital terrain models, consistently had 0.5 to 1 cm precision in the field with modestly reduced accuracy in the forest and heavily vegetated areas. Performance depends on the point cloud density and the ground surface variability and vegetation.
Marion Leduc-Leballeur, Ghislain Picard, Giovanni Macelloni, Arnaud Mialon, and Yann H. Kerr
The Cryosphere, 14, 539–548,Short summary
To study the coast and ice shelves affected by melt in Antarctica during the austral summer, we exploited the 1.4 GHz radiometric satellite observations. We showed that this frequency provides additional information on melt occurrence and on the location of the water in the snowpack compared to the 19 GHz observations. This opens an avenue for improving the melting season monitoring with a combination of both frequencies and exploring the possibility of deep-water detection in the snowpack.
Maciej Miernecki, Lars Kaleschke, Nina Maaß, Stefan Hendricks, and Sten Schmidl Søbjærg
The Cryosphere, 14, 461–476,
Edward H. Bair, Karl Rittger, Jawairia A. Ahmad, and Doug Chabot
The Cryosphere, 14, 331–347,Short summary
Ice and snowmelt feed the Indus River and Amu Darya, but validation of estimates from satellite sensors has been a problem until recently, when we were given daily snow depth measurements from these basins. Using these measurements, estimates of snow on the ground were created and compared with models. Estimates of water equivalent in the snowpack were mostly in agreement. Stratigraphy was also modeled and showed 1 year with a relatively stable snowpack but another with multiple weak layers.
Robbie D. C. Mallett, Isobel R. Lawrence, Julienne C. Stroeve, Jack C. Landy, and Michel Tsamados
The Cryosphere, 14, 251–260,Short summary
Soils store large carbon and are important for global warming. We do not know what factors are important for soil carbon storage in the alpine Andes and how they work. We studied how rainfall affects soil carbon storage related to soil structure. We found soil structure is not important, but soil carbon storage and stability controlled by rainfall are dependent on rocks under the soils. The results indicate that we should pay attention to the rocks when studying soil carbon storage in the Andes.
Andri Gunnarsson, Sigurdur M. Gardarsson, Finnur Pálsson, Tómas Jóhannesson, and Óli G. B. Sveinsson
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
Surface albedo quantifies the fraction of the sunlight reflected by the surface of the Earth. During the melt season in the Northern Hemisphere solar energy absorbed by snow- and ice-covered surfaces is mainly controlled by surface albedo. For Icelandic glaciers, air temperature and surface albedo are the dominating factors governing annual variability of glacier surface melt. Satellite data from the MODIS sensor is used to create a dataset spanning the glacier melt season to further quantifies.
Christine Pohl, Larysa Istomina, Steffen Tietsche, Evelyn Jäkel, Johannes Stapf, Gunnar Spreen, and Georg Heygster
The Cryosphere, 14, 165–182,Short summary
A spectral to broadband conversion is developed empirically that can be used in combination with the Melt Pond Detector algorithm to derive broadband albedo (300–3000 nm) of Arctic sea ice from MERIS data. It is validated and shows better performance compared to existing conversion methods. A comparison of MERIS broadband albedo with respective values from ERA5 reanalysis suggests a revision of the albedo values used in ERA5. MERIS albedo might be useful for improving albedo representation.
Xiongxin Xiao, Shunlin Liang, Tao He, Daiqiang Wu, Congyuan Pei, and Jianya Gong
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
Daily time-series and full space-covered sub-pixel snow cover area data are urgently needed for climate and reanalysis studies. Due to the observations from optical satellite sensors are seriously affected by clouds, this study attempts to capture dynamic characteristics of snow cover at a fine spatiotemporal resolution (daily; 6.25-km) accurately by using passive microwave data. We demonstrate the potential to use the passive microwave and the MODIS data to map the fractional snow cover area.
Stefan Kern, Thomas Lavergne, Dirk Notz, Leif Toudal Pedersen, Rasmus Tage Tonboe, Roberto Saldo, and Atle MacDonald Sørensen
The Cryosphere, 13, 3261–3307,Short summary
A systematic evaluation of 10 global satellite data products of the polar sea-ice area is performed. Inter-product differences in evaluation results call for careful consideration of data product limitations when performing sea-ice area trend analyses and for further mitigation of the effects of sensor changes. We open a discussion about evaluation strategies for such data products near-0 % and near-100 % sea-ice concentration, e.g. with the aim to improve high-concentration evaluation accuracy.
Nick Rutter, Melody J. Sandells, Chris Derksen, Joshua King, Peter Toose, Leanne Wake, Tom Watts, Richard Essery, Alexandre Roy, Alain Royer, Philip Marsh, Chris Larsen, and Matthew Sturm
The Cryosphere, 13, 3045–3059,Short summary
Impact of natural variability in Arctic tundra snow microstructural characteristics on the capacity to estimate snow water equivalent (SWE) from Ku-band radar was assessed. Median values of metrics quantifying snow microstructure adequately characterise differences between snowpack layers. Optimal estimates of SWE required microstructural values slightly less than the measured median but tolerated natural variability for accurate estimation of SWE in shallow snowpacks.
Désirée Treichler, Andreas Kääb, Nadine Salzmann, and Chong-Yu Xu
The Cryosphere, 13, 2977–3005,Short summary
Glacier growth such as that found on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is counterintuitive in a warming world. Climate models and meteorological data are conflicting about the reasons for this glacier anomaly. We quantify the glacier changes in High Mountain Asia using satellite laser altimetry as well as the growth of over 1300 inland lakes on the TP. Our study suggests that increased summer precipitation is likely the largest contributor to the recently observed increases in glacier and lake masses.
Christoph Rohner, David Small, Jan Beutel, Daniel Henke, Martin P. Lüthi, and Andreas Vieli
The Cryosphere, 13, 2953–2975,Short summary
The recent increase in ice flow and calving rates of ocean–terminating glaciers contributes substantially to the mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Using in situ reference observations, we validate the satellite–based method of iterative offset tracking of Sentinel–1A data for deriving flow speeds. Our investigations highlight the importance of spatial resolution near the fast–flowing calving front, resulting in significantly higher ice velocities compared to large–scale operational products.
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