Geostatistical analysis of glacier-roughness data
Abstract:In most glaciological and hydrological models, surface roughness of snow and ice is an important parameter. However, roughness is generally used only as an estimated parameter for lack of available observations. In this paper, we present a method to collect and analyze ice-surface-roughness data using a specially designed instrument for survey and geostatistical methods for analysis. The glacier-roughness sensor (GRS), built at the University of Trier, records variations in microtopography at 0.2 m × 0.1m resolution when pulled across an ice surface. Global positioning system data are used for location. After several processing steps, the data are analyzed using geostatistical methods. The mathematical tool used to achieve a morphological characterization of ice-surface types is the variogram. GRS data, variograms and surface roughness analysis are ideal matches for morphological characterization, because none of them requires or provides absolute elevation values. Morphology is described not by absolute elevation values, but by the change of elevation in space, which is the derivative of elevation (surface-roughness values). The variogram is calculated from incremental values. Parameters extracted from variograms of GRS data serve to distinguish lake surfaces, wind structures, ridge-and-valley systems, melting structures and blue-ice areas. Examples are from Jakobshavn Isbræ drainage basin, West Greenland.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2000
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