Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Properties and Ice Dynamics from ERS-1 SAR Imagery

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Science  03 Dec 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5139, pp. 1530-1534
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5139.1530


C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery from the European Space Agency's ERS-1 satellite reveals the basic zonation of the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The zones have backscatter signatures related to the structure of the snowpack, which varies with the balance of accumulation and melt at various elevations. The boundaries of zones can be accurately located with the use of this high-resolution imagery. The images also reveal a large flow feature in northeast Greenland that is similar to ice streams in Antarctica and may play a major role in the discharge of ice from the ice sheet.

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