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Estimation of the ELA on Hardangerjøkulen, Norway, during the 1995/96 winter season using repeat-pass SAR coherence

  • R. E. J. Kelly (a1)

Abstract

This paper demonstrates the utility of European Remote-sensing Satellite (ERS) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry for monitoring the transient snow-line (TSL) on Hardangerjøkulen ice cap, southern Norway, during the 1995/96 winter. The study shows how coherence information (an interferometry product) over the ice cap can be used to locate the TSL after the summer melt season. Spatial variations in coherence over the ice cap between successive ERS tandem-phase passes from summer to winter are related to surface and volume snow stability and surface ice stability. Temporal differences of coherence images between winter and summer are investigated using histogram analysis. A histogram threshold is found for the 1995/96 winter that can be used to identify the location of the TSL and then estimate the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA). The result shows good agreement (0.5%) with the field-estimated ELA from the Norwegian Water and Energy Administration. Themethod appears to be straightforward for this ice cap and it is envisaged that it could be a useful complementary method on other ice caps where repeat-pass SAR data are available.

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References

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