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A new glacier inventory on southern Baffin Island, Canada, from ASTER data: II. Data analysis, glacier change and applications

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Despite its large area covered by glaciers and ice caps, detailed glacier inventory data are not yet available for most parts of Baffin Island, Canada. Automated classification of satellite data could help to overcome the data gaps. Along-track stereo sensors allow the derivation of a digital elevation model (DEM) and glacier outlines from the same point in time, and are particularly useful for this task. While part I of this study describes the remote-sensing methods, in part II we present an analysis of the derived glacier inventory data for 662 glaciers and an application to glacier volume and volume-change calculations. Among other things, the analysis reveals a mean glacier elevation of 990 m, with a weak dependence on aspect and a close agreement of the arithmetic mean with the statistical mean elevation as derived from the DEM. A strong scatter of mean slope is observed for glaciers <1 km2, and the derived glacier thickness differs by a factor of two for glaciers of the same size. For the period from about 1920 to 2000 the relative area change is –12.5% (264 glaciers), with a strong dependence on glacier size. Mean mass loss as derived from volume changes is about –0.15mw.e. a–1.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-02-01

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.

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