Airborne and spaceborne DEM- and laser altimetry-derived surface elevation and volume changes of the Bering Glacier system, Alaska, USA, and Yukon, Canada, 1972–2006
Abstract:Using airborne and spaceborne high-resolution digital elevation models and laser altimetry, we present estimates of interannual and multi-decadal surface elevation changes on the Bering Glacier system, Alaska, USA, and Yukon, Canada, from 1972 to 2006. We find: (1) the rate of lowering during 1972–95 was 0.9±0.1 m a−1; (2) this rate accelerated to 3.0±0.7 m a−1 during 1995–2000; and (3) during 2000–03 the lowering rate was 1.5±0.4 m a−1. From 1972 to 2003, 70% of the area of the system experienced a volume loss of 191±17 km3, which was an area-average surface elevation lowering of 1.7±0.2 m a−1. From November 2004 to November 2006, surface elevations across Bering Glacier, from McIntosh Peak on the south to Waxell Ridge on the north, rose as much as 53 m. Up-glacier on Bagley Ice Valley about 10 km east of Juniper Island nunatak, surface elevations lowered as much as 28 m from October 2003 to October 2006. NASA Terra/MODIS observations from May to September 2006 indicated muddy outburst floods from the Bering terminus into Vitus Lake. This suggests basal–englacial hydrologic storage changes were a contributing factor in the surface elevation changes in the fall of 2006.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2009
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