Mapping of a hydrological ice-sheet drainage basin on the West Greenland ice-sheet margin from ERS-1/-2 SAR interferometry, ice-radar measurement and modelling

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Abstract:

The hydrological ice-sheet basin draining into the Tasersiaq lake, West Greenland (66°13' N, 50°30' W), was delineated, first using standard digital elevation models (DEMs) for ice-sheet surface and bedrock, and subsequently using a new high-resolution dataset, with a surface DEM derived from repeat-track interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and a bedrock topography derived from an airborne 60 MHz ice-penetrating radar. The extent of the delineation was calculated from a water-pressure potential as a function of the ice-sheet surface and bedrock elevations and a hydraulic factor k describing the relative importance of the potential of the ice over-burden pressure compared to the bedrock topography. The meltwater run-off for the basin delineations was modelled with an energy-balance model calibrated with observed ice-sheet ablation and compared to a 25 year time series of measured basin run-off. The standard DEMs were found to be inadequate for delineation purposes, whereas delineations from high-resolution data were found to be very sensitive to changes in k in a non-linear way, causing a factor 5 change of basin area, corresponding to a doubling of the modelled run-off. The 50% standard deviation of the measured basin run-off could thus be explained by small year-to-year variations of the k-factor.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756402781817860

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • 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.

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