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Ice and snow-type classification in the Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica, using Landsat-TM data and ground radiometer measurements

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The aim of the present project was to find simple satellite-based methods to be used in glaciological-climatological research in Antarctica. A Landsat-TM image from 16 February 1991 was used together with field data to study the spectral charcateristics of different types of snow and ice in the Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica (68degrees35'S, 78degrees10'E). Radiometer measurements were made simultaneously with the satellite passage and at several other occasions using a handheld Photodyne 44XLA. 72 test sites selected in the Landsat-TM image formed the basis for the analysis of the spectral characteristics. Principal component analysis, ratioing, and maximum-likelihood classification were also performed. The analysis revealed a large and interesting information content in the TM image. Blue-ice of different character as well as snow of various degree of metamorphosis were discernible and could also be mapped using maximumlikelihood classification. The TM-3/TM-4-ratio was found to be a simple tool for distinguishing between blue-ice and snow of various character. It also showed to be insensitive to influence from thin clouds and cloud shadows. The TM-3/TM-5-ratio was found to enhance snow grain-size variations
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 20, 1999

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