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Short-term surface ice motion variations measured with a ground-based portable real aperture radar interferometer

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We report measurements using a portable real aperture radar (Gamma Portable Radar Interferometer (GPRI)) for interferometric imaging of the surface ice motion on Gornergletscher, Switzerland, during the drainage of the adjacent ice-marginal lake Gornersee. The GPRI tracked the surface ice motion in line of sight over an area of ∼3 km2 down-glacier of Gornersee almost continuously during the drainage event. The displacement maps derived from the acquired interferograms capture the spatial distribution of the surface ice motion. Due to fast acquisition times of the microwave images, the GPRI was able to record sub-daily variations of the ice displacements, most likely caused by the impact of the Gornersee drainage on the ice motion of Gornergletscher. In situ point measurements of the ice displacement agree reasonably well with the results obtained by the GPRI and highlight the use of the GPRI for high-resolution measurements of glacier surface ice motion.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2011

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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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