Spatiotemporal variations in the surface velocities of Antarctic Peninsula glaciers
J. Chen1,2, C. Q. Ke1,2, and Z. D. Shao1,21Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China 2Key Laboratory for Satellite Mapping Technology and Applications of State Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation of China, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China
Received: 25 Oct 2014 – Accepted for review: 02 Nov 2014 – Discussion started: 25 Nov 2014
Abstract. Velocity is an important parameter for the estimation of glacier mass balance, which directly signals the response of glaciers to climate change. Antarctic ice sheet movement and the associated spatiotemporal velocity variations are of great significance to global sea level rise. In this study, we estimate Antarctic Peninsula glacier velocities using the co-registration of optically sensed images and correlation (hereafter referred to as COSI-Corr) based on moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer Level 1B data (hereafter referred to as MODIS L1B). The results show that the glaciers of Graham Land and the Larsen Ice Shelf have substantially different velocity features. The Graham Land glaciers primarily flow from the peninsula ridge towards the Weddell Sea and Bellingshausen Sea on the east and west sides, respectively. There are very large velocity variations among the different ice streams, with a minimum of < 20 m a−1 and a maximum of 1500 m a−1 (with an average of 100–150 m a−1). Over the period 2000–2012, the glaciers of Graham Land accelerated in the south but slowed down in the north. In contrast, the Larsen Ice Shelf flows in a relatively uniform direction, mainly towards the northeast into the Weddell Sea. Its average velocity is 750–800 m a−1 and the maximum is > 1500 m a−1. During the period 2000–2012, the Larsen Ice Shelf experienced significant acceleration. The use of COSI-Corr based on MODIS L1B data is suitable for glacier velocity monitoring on the Antarctic Peninsula over long time series and large spatial scales. This method is clearly advantageous for analysing macro-scale spatiotemporal variations in glacier movement.
Chen, J., Ke, C. Q., and Shao, Z. D.: Spatiotemporal variations in the surface velocities of Antarctic Peninsula glaciers, The Cryosphere Discuss., 8, 5875-5910, doi:10.5194/tcd-8-5875-2014, 2014.