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The new remote-sensing-derived Swiss glacier inventory: I. Methods

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A new Swiss glacier inventory is to be compiled from satellite data for the year 2000. The study presented here describes two major tasks: (1) an accuracy assessment of different methods for glacier classification with Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data and a digital elevation model (DEM); (2) the geographical information system (GIS)-based methods for automatic extraction of individual glaciers from classified satellite data and the computation of three-dimensional glacier parameters (such as minimum, maximum and median elevation or slope and orientation) by fusion with a DEM. First results obtained by these methods are presented in Part II of this paper (Kääb and others, 2002). Thresholding of a ratio image from TM4 and TM5 reveals the best-suited glacier map. The computation of glacier parameters in a GIS environment is efficient and suitable for worldwide application. The methods developed contribute to the U.S. Geological Survey-led Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) project which is currently compiling a global inventory of land ice masses within the framework of global glacier monitoring (Haeberli and others, 2000).

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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.

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