Reports

Antarctica: Measuring Glacier Velocity from Satellite Images

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Science  28 Nov 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4780, pp. 1105-1108
DOI: 10.1126/science.234.4780.1105

Abstract

Many Landsat images of Antarctica show distinctive flow and crevasse features in the floating part of ice streams and outlet glaciers immediately below their grounding zones. Some of the features, which move with the glacier or ice stream, remain visible over many years and thus allow time-lapse measurements of ice velocities. Measurements taken from Landsat images of features on Byrd Glacier agree well with detailed ground and aerial observations. The satellite-image technique thus offers a rapid and cost-effective method of obtaining average velocities, to a first order of accuracy, of many ice streams and outlet glaciers near their termini.

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