Skip to main content

An image-enhanced DEM of the Greenland ice sheet

The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.


We have assembled an elevation grid for the Greenland ice sheet using a combination of the best current digital elevation model (DEM) (Bamber and others, 2000a, 2001) and 44 Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer satellite images acquired in spring 1997. The images are used to quantitatively enhance the representation of surface undulations through photoclinometry. Gridcell spacing of the new DEM is 625 m. Tovalidate the new DEM, we compared profiles extracted from it and the Bamber and others DEM with airborne laser altimetry profiles collected in the 1990s by the Airborne Topographic Mapper (Krabill and others, 1995). The image-enhanced DEM has a greatly improved representation of decameter-relief surface features <15k m in lateral extent, and reduces the mean elevation error in regions having these features by 20-50%. Root-mean-squared errors are typically 7-15 m in the Bamber DEM, and 4-10 m after image enhancement. However, the photoclinometry process adds some noise. In very smooth portions of the ice sheet where decameter undulations are absent, the photoclinometry process caused a slight increase in the rms error, from ~1 m in the Bamber and others DEM to ~2.5 m in the image-enhanced DEM. The image-enhanced DEM will be useful for inferring accumulation-rate variations over the undulation field, or for improving maps of bedrock elevation through inversion of surface elevation, for example. We briefly explore the preliminary steps of this latter application.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-01-01

More about this publication?
  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

    Beginning in 2016, content will be available at

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more