Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Analysis of glacier facies using satellite techniques

  • Richard S. Williams (a1), Dorothy K. Hall (a2) and Carl S. Benson (a3)

Abstract

The different snow and ice types on a glacier may be subdivided according to the glacier-facies concept. The surficial expression of some facies may be detected at the end of the balance year by the use of visible and near-infrared image data from the Landsat multispectral scanner (MSS) and thematic mapper (TM) sensors. Ice and snow can be distinguished by reflectivity differences in individual or ratioed TM bands on Brúarjökull, an outlet glacier on the northern margin of the Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland. The Landsat scene shows the upper limit of wet snow on 24 August 1986. Landsat-derived reflectance is lowest for exposed ice and increases markedly at the transient snow line. Above the slush zone is a gradual increase in near-infrared reflectance as a result of decreasing grain-size of the snow, which characterizes drier snow. Landsat data are useful in measuring the areal extent of the ice facies, the slush zone within the wet-snow facies, the snow facies (combined wet-snow, percolation and dry-snow facies), and the respective positions of the transient snow line and the slush limit. In addition, fresh snowfall and/or airborne contaminants, such as soot and tcphra, can limit the utility of Landsat data for delineation of the glacier facies in some cases.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Analysis of glacier facies using satellite techniques
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Analysis of glacier facies using satellite techniques
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Analysis of glacier facies using satellite techniques
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Ahlmann, H.W. 1935 Contribution to the physics of glaciers. Geogr. J., 86(2), 97113.
Benson, C.S. 1959 Physical investigations on the snow and firn of northwest Greenland: 1952 1953 and 1954 SIPRE Res. Rep. 26.
Benson, C.S. 1961 Stratigraphie studies in the snow and firn of the Greenland ice sheet. Folio Geogr. Dan., 9, 1337
Benson, C.S. 1962 Stratigraphie studies in the snow and firn of the Greenland ice sheet. SIPRE Res. Rep. 70.
Benson, C.S. 1967 Polar regions snow cover. In Ōura H., ed. Physics of snow and ice. International Conference on Low Temperature Science & 1966 & Proceedings. Vol. 1. Part 2. Sapporo, Hokkaido University, 10391063.
Benson, C.S. Motyka, R.J.. 1979 Glacier–volcano interactions on Mt. Wrangell, Alaska. University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Geophysical Institute. Annual Report, 1977–78, 125.
Björnsson, H. 1980a. Glaciers in Iceland. Jokull 29, 1979 7480.
Björnsson, H. 1980b. The surface area of glaciers in Iceland. Jokull 28, 1978, 31.
Brown, B.E. 1982 Effect of ashfall on snowmelt rate at Paradise, Mount Rainer, Washington. J. Geophys. Res., 87(C2), 13471350.
Crabtree, R.D. 1976 Changes in the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap, south Iceland: possible uses of satellite imagery. Polar Rec, 18(112), 7376.
Dozier, J. Schneider, S.R. McGinnis, D.F.. 1981 Effect of grain size and snowpack water equivalence on visible and near–infrared satellite observations of snow. Water Resour. Res., 17(4), 12131221.
Hall, D.K. Ormsby, J.P. Bindschadler, R.A. Siddalingaiah, H.. 1987 Characterization of snow and ice reflectance zones on glaciers using Landsat Thematic Mapper data. Ann. Glacial., 9, 104108.
Hall, D.K. Bayr, K. Kovalick, W.M.. 1988 Determination of glacier mass balance change using Thematic Mapper data. Proc. East. Snow Conf, 45th Annual Meeting, 192196.
Hall, D.K. Chang, A.T.C. Foster, J.L. Benson, C.S. Kovalick, W.M.. 1989 Comparison of in situ and Landsat derived reflectance of Alaskan glaciers. Remote Sensing Environ., 28, 2331.
Hall, D.K. Bindschadler, R.A. Foster, J.L. Chang, A.T.C. Siddalingaiah, H.. 1990 Comparison of in situ and satellite–derived reflectances of Forbindels glacier, Greenland. Int. J. Remote Sensing, 11(3), 493504.
Krimmel, R.M. Meier, M.F.. 1975 Glacier applications of ERTS images. J. Glaciol., 15(73), 391402.
Mayo, L.R. 1963 1961 meteorology and mass balance of Gulkana Glacier, central Alaska Range, Alaska. (M.S. dissertation, University of Alaska.)
Mayo, L.R. Trabant, D.C.. 1986 Recent growth of Gulkana Glacier, Alaska Range, and its relation to glacier–fed river runoff. U.S. Geol. Surv. Water–Supply Pap. 2290 9199.
Mayo, L.R. Meier, M.F. Tangborn, W.V.. 1972 A system to combine stratigraphie and annual mass–balance systems: a contribution to the International Hydrological Decade. J. Glacial., 11(61), 314.
Mayo, L.R. Trabant, D.C. March, R. Haeberli, W.. 1979 Columbia Glacier stake location, mass balance, glacier surface altitude, and ice radar data, 1978 measurement year. U.S. Geol. Surv. Open–File Rep. 791168.
Meier, M.F. 1984 Contribution of small glaciers to global sea level. Science, 226(4681), 14181421.
Müller, F. 1962 Zonation in the accumulation area of the glaciers of Axel Heiberg Island N.W.T., Canada. J. Glacial., 4(33), 302311.
Orheim, O. Lucchitta, B.K.. 1987 Snow and ice studies by Thematic Mapper and multispectral scanner Landsat images. Ann. Glaciol., 9, 109118.
Østrem, G. 1975 ERTS data in glaciology– and effort to monitor glacier mass balance from satellite imagery. J. Glacial., 15(73), 403415.
Østrem, G. Haakensen, N.. In press. Glaciers of Norway. In Williams, R.S. ,Ferrigno, J.G., eds. Satellite image atlas of glaciers of the world. Geol. U.S. Surv. Prof. Pap. 1386–E.
Paterson, W.S.B.. 1981 The physics of glaciers. Second edition. New York, etc., Pergamon Press.
Tangborn, W.V. Mayo, L.R. Scully, D.R. Krimmel, R.M.. 1977 Combined ice and water balance for, California, South Cascade Glacier, Washington, and Wolverine and Gulkana glaciers, Alaska, 1967 hydrologie year. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 715–B.
Thorarinsson, S. 1964 Sudden advance of Vatnajökull outlet glaciers 1930–1964. Jökull 14, 7689.
Thorarinsson, S. 1969 Glacier surges in Iceland, with special reference to the surges of Brúarjökull. Can. J. Earth Sei., 6(4), 875882.
Wakahama, G. Kuroiwa, D. Hasemi, T. Benson, C.S.. 1976 Field observations and experimental and theoretical studies on the superimposed ice of McCall Glacier, Alaska. J. Glaciol., 16(74), 135149.
Williams, R.S. 1983a Remote sensing of glaciers; geological applications. In Colwell R.N., ed. Manual of remote sensing. Second edition. Falls Church, VA, American Society of Photogrammetry, 18521866.
Williams, R.S. 1983b Satellite glaciology of Iceland. Jökull 33, 312.
Williams, R.S. 1986a Glacier inventories of Iceland: evaluation and use of sources of data. Ann. Glaciol., 8, 184191.
Williams, R.S. 1986b Glaciers and glacial landforms. InShort, N. M.,Blair, R. W. , Jr, eds. Geomorphology from space. A global overview of regional landforms. Green–belt, MD, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 521596. (Special Publication SP–486.)
Williams, R.S. 1987 Satellite remote sensing of Vatnajökull, Iceland. Ann. Glaciol., 9, 127135.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed