Velocities of antarctic outlet glaciers determined from sequential Landsat images

Antarctic Journal of the United States
By: , and 

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Abstract

Approximately 91.0 percent of the volume of present-day glacier ice on Earth is in Antarctica; Greenland contains about another 8.3 percent of the volume. Thus, together, these two great ice sheets account for an estimated 99.3 percent of the total. Long-term changes in the volume of glacier ice on our planet are the result of global climate change. Because of the relationship of global ice volume to sea level (± 330 cubic kilometers of glacier ice equals ± 1 millimeter sea level), changes in the mass balance of the antarctic ice sheet are of particular importance.

Whether the mass balance of the east and west antarctic ice sheets is positive or negative is not known. Estimates of mass input by total annual precipitation for the continent have been made from scattered meteorological observations (Swithinbank 1985). The magnitude of annual ablation of the ice sheet from calving of outlet glaciers and ice shelves is also not well known. Although the velocities of outlet glaciers can be determined from field measurements during the austral summer,the technique is costly, does not cover a complete annual cycle,and has been applied to just a few glaciers. To increase the number of outlet glaciers in Antarctica for which velocities have been determined and to provide additional data for under-standing the dynamics of the antarctic ice sheets and their response to global climate change, sequential Landsat image of several outlet glaciers were measured.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Velocities of antarctic outlet glaciers determined from sequential Landsat images
Series title Antarctic Journal of the United States
Volume 24
Issue 5
Year Published 1989
Language English
Publisher National Science Foundation
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 2 p.
First page 105
Last page 106
Other Geospatial Antarctica
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