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Find the firn line! The suitability of ERS-1 and ERS-2 SAR data for the analysis of glacier facies on Icelandic icecaps

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Icelandic Icecaps are sensitive indicators of climatic fluctuations. Glacier facies boundaries can be identified using remote sensing techniques; SAR data represents the first real opportunity to monitor glacier facies, without cloud attenuation at regular or inter-annual intervals. This study assesses the overall suitability of the data for the monitoring of glacier facies and in particular the firn line altitude (FLA) on Icelandic Icecaps. The results show that the firn line can be identified and located to within +/- 20-40m (vertically). These results were validated using aerial photograph and ground data. RAIDS (Rapid Information Dissemination System) processed data were found to compare favourably with other satellite data for this type of application.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 15, 1999

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