Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-89
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-89

  11 May 2021

11 May 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Brief Communication: Detection of glacier surge activity using cloud computing of Sentinel-1 radar data

Paul Willem Leclercq1, Andreas Kääb1, and Bas Altena2 Paul Willem Leclercq et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, Oslo University, Oslo, Norway
  • 2IMAU, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract. For studying the flow of glaciers and their response to climate change it is important to detect glacier surges. Here, we compute within Google Earth Engine the normalized differences between winter maxima of Sentinel-1 C-band radar backscatter image stacks over subsequent years. We arrive at a global map of annual backscatter changes, which are for glaciers in most cases related to changed crevassing associated with surge-type activity. For our demonstration period 2018–2019 we detected 69 surging glaciers, with many of them not classified so far as surge type. Comparison with glacier surface velocities shows that we reliably find known surge activities. Our method can support operational monitoring of glacier surges, and some other special events such as large rock and snow avalanches.

Paul Willem Leclercq et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-89', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Jun 2021
    • RC2: 'RC2', Anonymous Referee #2, 10 Jun 2021
      • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Paul Leclercq, 05 Aug 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1 and RC2', Paul Leclercq, 05 Aug 2021
  • EC1: 'Community comment on tc-2021-89 from H. Jiskoot', Nanna Bjørnholt Karlsson, 15 Sep 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on EC1, community comment by H. Jiskoot', Paul Leclercq, 16 Sep 2021

Paul Willem Leclercq et al.

Paul Willem Leclercq et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 651 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
443 193 15 651 53 5 4
  • HTML: 443
  • PDF: 193
  • XML: 15
  • Total: 651
  • Supplement: 53
  • BibTeX: 5
  • EndNote: 4
Views and downloads (calculated since 11 May 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 11 May 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 636 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 636 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 16 Sep 2021
Download
Short summary
In this study we present a novel method to detect glacier surge activity. Surges are relevant as they disturb the link between glacier change and climate and studying surges can also increase understanding of glacier flow. We use variations in Sentinel-1 radar backscatter strength, calculated with the use of Google Earth Engine, to detect surge activity. In our case study for the year 2018–2019 we find 69 cases of surging glaciers globally. Many of these were not previously known to be surging.