Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Using airborne Ku-band altimeter waveforms to investigate winter accumulation and glacier facies on Austfonna, Svalbard

  • Robert L. Hawley (a1), Ola Brandt (a2), Thorben Dunse (a3), Jon Ove Hagen (a3), Veit Helm (a4), Jack Kohler (a2), Kirsty Langley (a3), Eirik Malnes (a5) and Kjell-Arild Høgda (a5)...

Abstract

Winter balance is an important metric for assessing the change on glaciers and ice caps, yet measuring it using ground-based techniques can be challenging. We use the European Space Agency prototype Airborne SAR/Interferometric Radar Altimeter System (ASIRAS) to extract snow depths from the received altimeter waveforms over Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard. Additionally, we attempt to distinguish the long-term firn area from other glacier facies. We validate our results using snow depth and glacier facies characterizations determined from ground-based radar profiles, snow pits and a multi-look satellite synthetic aperture radar image. We show that the depth of the winter snowpack can be extracted from the altimeter data over most of the accumulation zone, comprising wet snow zone and a superimposed ice zone. The method struggles at lower elevations where internal reflections within the winter snowpack are strong and the winter snow depth is less than ∼1 m. We use the abruptness of the reflection from the last summer surface (LSS) to attempt to distinguish glacier facies. While there is a general correlation between LSS abruptness and glacier facies, we do not find a relationship that warrants a distinct classification based on ASIRAS waveforms alone.

  • 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.

      Using airborne Ku-band altimeter waveforms to investigate winter accumulation and glacier facies on Austfonna, Svalbard
      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.

      Using airborne Ku-band altimeter waveforms to investigate winter accumulation and glacier facies on Austfonna, Svalbard
      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.

      Using airborne Ku-band altimeter waveforms to investigate winter accumulation and glacier facies on Austfonna, Svalbard
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Alley, RB, Spencer, MK and Anandakrishnan, S (2007) Ice-sheet mass balance: assessment, attribution and prognosis. Ann. Glaciol., 46, 17 (doi: 10.3189/172756407782871738)
Arthern, RJ, Wingham, DJ and Ridout, AL (2001) Controls on ERS altimeter measurements over ice sheets: footprint-scale topography, backscatter fluctuations, and the dependence of microwave penetration depth upon satellite orientation. J. Geophys. Res., 106(D24), 33 47133 484 (doi: 10.1029/2001JD000498)
Bamber, J, Krabill, W, Raper, V and Dowdeswell, J (2004) Anomalous recent growth of part of a large Arctic ice cap: Austfonna, Svalbard. Geophys. Res. Lett., 31(12), L12402 (doi: 10.1029/2004GL019667)
Bevan, S, Luckman, A, Murray, T, Sykes, H and Kohler, J (2007) Positive mass balance during the late 20th century on Austfonna, Svalbard, revealed using satellite radar interferometry. Ann. Glaciol., 46, 117122 (doi: 10.3189/172756407782871477)
Brandt, O and 7 others (2008) Comparison of airborne radar altimeter and ground-based Ku-band radar measurements on the ice cap Austfonna, Svalbard. In 28th International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2008), 6–11 July 2008, Boston, MA, USA. Proceedings, Vol. 4. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Piscataway, NJ, 177180
Brenner, AC, DiMarzio, JP and Zwally, HJ (2007) Precision and accuracy of satellite radar and laser altimeter data over the continental ice sheets. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 45(2), 321331 (doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2006.887172)
Church, JA and 9 others (2011) Revisiting the Earth’s sea-level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008. Geophys. Res. Lett., 38(18), L18601 (doi: 10.1029/2011GL048794)
Cogley, JG (2009) Geodetic and direct mass-balance measurements: comparison and joint analysis. Ann. Glaciol., 50(50), 96100 (doi: 10.3189/172756409787769744)
Dowdeswell, JA, Benham, TJ, Strozzi, T and Hagen, JO (2008) Iceberg calving flux and mass balance of the Austfonna ice cap on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard. J. Geophys. Res., 113(F3), F03022 (doi: 10.1029/2007JF000905)
Dunse, T, Schuler, TV, Hagen, JO, Eiken, T, Brandt, O and Høgda, KA (2009) Recent fluctuations in the extent of the firn area of Austfonna, Svalbard, inferred from GPR. Ann. Glaciol., 50(50), 155162 (doi: 10.3189/172756409787769780)
Hawley, RL, Morris, EM, Cullen, R, Nixdorf, U, Shepherd, AP and Wingham, DJ (2006) ASIRAS airborne radar resolves internal annual layers in the dry-snow zone of Greenland. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33(4), L04502 (doi: 10.1029/2005GL025147)
Helm, V and 6 others (2007) Winter accumulation in the percolation zone of Greenland measured by airborne radar altimeter. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34(6), L06501 (doi: 10.1029/2006GL029185)
Hindberg, H, Malnes, E and Hogda, KA (2012) A monitoring system for glaciers on Svalbard based on Envisat ASAR wide swath data. In International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2012), 22–27 July 2012, Munich, Germany. Proceedings. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Piscataway, NJ, 18561859
König, M, Wadham, J, Winther, JG, Kohler, J and Nuttall, A-M (2002) Detection of superimposed ice on the glaciers Kongsvegen and midre Lovénbreen, Svalbard, using SAR satellite imagery. Ann. Glaciol., 34, 335342 (doi: 10.3189/172756402781817617)
Kovacs, A, Gow, AJ and Morey, RM (1995) The in-situ dielectric constant of polar firn revisited. Cold Reg. Sci. Technol., 23(3), 245256 (doi: 10.1016/0165-232X(94)00016-Q)
Lacroix, P, Legrésy, B, Coleman, R, Dechambre, M and Rémy, F (2007) Dual-frequency altimeter signal from Envisat on the Amery ice-shelf. Remote Sens. Environ., 109(3), 285294 (doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2007.01.007)
Langley, K and 6 others (2007) Use of C-band ground penetrating radar to determine backscatter sources within glaciers. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 45(5), 12361246 (doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2007.892600)
Langley, K and 6 others (2008) From glacier facies to SAR backscatter zones via GPR. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 46(9), 25062516 (doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2008.918648)
Lemke, P and 10 others (2007) Observations: changes in snow, ice and frozen ground. In Solomon, S and 7 others eds. Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 339383
Lentz, H, Braun, H-M, Younis, M, Fischer, C, Wiesbeck, W and Mavrocordatos, C (2002) Concept and realization of an Airborne SAR/Interferometric Radar Altimeter System (ASIRAS). In International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2002), 24–28 June 2002, Toronto, Canada. Proceedings, Vol. 6. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Piscataway, NJ, 30993101
Meier, MF and 7 others (2007) Glaciers dominate eustatic sea-level rise in the 21st century. Science, 317(5841), 10641067 (doi: 10.1126/science.1143906)
Moholdt, G, Hagen, JO, Eiken, T and Schuler, TV (2010) Geometric changes and mass balance of the Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard. Cryosphere, 4(1), 2134 (doi: 10.5194/tcd-3-857-2009)
Muhleman, DO (1964) Radar scattering from Venus and the Moon. Astron. J., 69(1), 3441
Oswald, GKA and Gogineni, SP (2008) Recovery of subglacial water extent from Greenland radar survey data. J. Glaciol., 54(184), 94106 (doi: 10.3189/002214308784409107)
Paterson, WSB (1994) The physics of glaciers, 3rd edn. Elsevier, Oxford.
Pinglot, JF, Hagen, JO, Melvold, K, Eiken, T and Vincent, C (2001) A mean net accumulation pattern derived from radioactive layers and radar soundings on Austfonna, Nordaustlandet, Svalbard. J. Glaciol., 47(159), 555566 (doi: 10.3189/172756501781831800)
Rignot, E, Box, JE, Burgess, E and Hanna, E (2008) Mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet from 1958 to 2007. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35(20), L20502 (doi: 10.1029/2008GL035417)
Rignot, E, Velicogna, I, Van den Broeke, MR, Monaghan, A and Lenaerts, J (2011) Acceleration of the contribution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to sea level rise. Geophys. Res. Lett., 38(5), L05503 (doi: 10.1029/2011GL046583)
Sabel, D, Bartalis, Z, Wagner, W, Doubkova, M and Klein, J-P (2012) Development of a Global Backscatter Model in support to the Sentinel-1 mission design. Remote Sens. Environ., 120, 102112 (doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2011.09.028)
Schuler, TV, Loe, E, Taurisano, A, Eiken, T, Hagen, JO and Kohler, J (2007) Calibrating a surface mass-balance model for Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard. Ann. Glaciol., 46, 241248 (doi: 10.3189/172756407782871783)
Scott, J, Mair, D, Nienow, P, Parry, V and Morris, E (2006a) A ground-based radar backscatter investigation in the percolation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Remote Sens. Environ., 104(4), 361373 (doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2006.05.009)
Scott, J, Nienow, P, Parry, V, Mair, D, Morris, E and Wingham, D (2006b) The importance of seasonal and annual layers in controlling backscattter to radar altimeters across the percolation zone of an ice sheet. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33(24), L24502 (doi: 10.1029/2006GL027974)
Shepherd, A and 46 others (2012) A reconciled estimate of ice-sheet mass balance. Science, 338(6111), 11831189 (doi: 10.1126/science.1228102)
Taurisano, A and 6 others (2007) The distribution of snow accumulation across Austfonna ice cap Svalbard: direct measurements and modelling. Polar Res., 26(1), 713 (doi: 10.1111/j.1751-8369.2007.00004.x)
Ulander, LMH (1996) Radiometric slope correction of synthetic-aperture radar images. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 34(5), 11151122 (doi: 10.1109/36.536527)
Wingham, DJ and 15 others (2006) CryoSat: a mission to determine the fluctuations in Earth’s land and marine ice fields. Adv. Space Res., 37(4), 841871 (doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2005.07.027)
Zwally, HJ and Giovinetto, MB (2011) Overview and assessment of Antarctic ice-sheet mass balance estimates: 1992–2009. Surv. Geophys., 32(4–5),351376 (doi: 10.1007/s10712-011-9123-5)
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0022-1430
  • EISSN: 1727-5652
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-glaciology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

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