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Calculation of glacier volume from sparse ice-thickness data, applied to Schaufelferner, Austria

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In order to develop and evaluate a method for the determination of glacier volume from ice-thickness data, the volume of Schaufelferner, Austria, is calculated (1) by manual interpolation of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data based on measurements at 36 locations in 1995, (2) by manual interpolation of 144 GPR measurements acquired for a higher-resolution estimate in 2003 and 2006, (3) by multiplying the mean of the measured ice-thickness data by the glacier area, (4) by automatic kriging of the 1995 GPR data and (5) by application of area/volume scaling algorithms to the Austrian glacier inventory data of 1969, 1997 and 2006. The so determined glacier volumes are compared with the ice-volume changes calculated from digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Austrian glacier inventories. The manually interpolated volumes based on the 1995 and 2003/06 GPR data yielded a volume loss only slightly different from volume loss calculated from the glacier inventories of 1997 and 2007. Other methods were not able to reproduce the volume losses of the glacier inventory DEMs. To assess the accuracy of deriving ice-thickness changes with GPR, repeated ice-thickness measurements at the same locations were carried out between 2005 and 2008.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2009

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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.
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