Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-257
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-257

  27 Oct 2020

27 Oct 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Measuring the state and temporal evolution of glaciers using SAR-derived 3D time series of glacier surface flow

Sergey Samsonov1, Kristy Tiampo2, and Ryan Cassotto2 Sergey Samsonov et al.
  • 1Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation, Natural Resources Canada, 560 Rochester Street, Ottawa, ON K1S5K2 Canada
  • 2Earth Science & Observation Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309 USA

Abstract. The direction and intensity of glacier surface flow adjust in response to a warming climate, causing sea level rise, seasonal flooding and droughts, changing landscapes and habitats. However, until recently no single technique could consistently measure the evolution of surface flow for an entire glaciated region in three-dimensions with high temporal and spatial resolutions. We have developed such a technique and use it to map, in unprecedented detail, the temporal evolution of five glaciers in southeastern Alaska (Agassiz, Seward, Malaspina, Klutlan and Walsh) during 2016–2020. We observe seasonal and interannual variations and the maximum horizontal and vertical flow velocity in excess of 1000 and 200 m/year, respectfully. We also observe culminating phases of surging at Klutlan and Walsh glaciers and confirm that Agassiz, Seward and Malaspina glaciers continue to adjust to a warming climate. On a broader scale, this technique can be used for reconstructing the response of worldwide glaciers to the warming climate using nearly 30 years of archived SAR data and for near real-time monitoring of these glaciers using rapid revisit SAR data from satellites, such as Sentinel-1 (6 days revisit period) and forthcoming NISAR (12 days revisit period).

Sergey Samsonov et al.

 
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Sergey Samsonov et al.

Sergey Samsonov et al.

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Short summary
The direction and intensity of glacier surface flow adjust in response to a warming climate, causing sea level rise, seasonal flooding and droughts, changing landscapes and habitats. We developed a technique that measures the evolution of surface flow for an entire glaciated region in three-dimensions with high temporal and spatial resolutions and used it to map the temporal evolution of five glaciers in southeastern Alaska (Agassiz, Seward, Malaspina, Klutlan and Walsh) during 2016–2020.