ICESat measurement of Greenland ice sheet surface slope and roughness
Abstract:The Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) in its 8 day repeat orbit mode provided data not only on the along-track surface slope, but also on the cross-track surface slope from adjacent repeat ground tracks. During the first 36 days of operation, four to five such repeat orbits occurred within 1 km in the cross-track direction. This provided an opportunity to use ICESat data to measure surface slope in the cross-track direction at 1 km scale. An algorithm was developed to calculate the cross-track surface slope. Combining the slopes in the cross-track and along-track directions gives a three-dimensional surface slope at 1 km scale. The along-track surface slope and surface roughness at 10 km scale are also calculated. A comparison between ICESat surface elevation and a European Remote-sensing Satellite (ERS-1) 5 km digital elevation model shows a difference of 1–2 m in central Greenland where the surface slope is small, and >20 m at the edge of Greenland where the surface slope is large. The large elevation difference at the edge is most likely due to the slope-induced error in radar altimeter measurement. Accurate surface slope data from ICESat will help to correct the slope-induced error of radar altimeter missions such as Geosat, ERS-1 and ERS-2.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 2005
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