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Accuracy of three-dimensional glacier surface velocities derived from radar interferometry and ice-sounding radar measurements

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Abstract:

We present a method for analyzing the errors involved in measuring three-dimensional glacier velocities with interferometric radar. We address the surface-parallel flow assumption and an augmented approach with a flux-divergence (FD) term. The errors in an interferometric ERS-1/-2 satellite radar dataset with ascending- and descending-orbit data covering Storstrømmen glacier, northeast Greenland, are assessed. The FD error assessment is carried out on airborne 60 MHz ice-sounding radar data from the same area. A simple model of an interferometric radar system is developed and analyzed. The error sources considered include phase noise, atmospheric distortions, baseline calibration errors, a dry snow layer, and the stationary-flow assumption used in differential interferometry.The additional error sources in the analysis of FD errors are noise, bias and unknown variations of the ice thickness, and approximations of the ice-flow model. The example glacier is now building up following a surge. The analysis shows that in the case study presented the errors are small enough to justify the use of both the estimated surface-parallel flow term of the vertical velocity and the estimated FD term of the vertical velocity.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756503781830791

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.

    Beginning in 2016, content will be available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-glaciology.
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