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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-30
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-30
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: brief communication 14 Feb 2020

Submitted as: brief communication | 14 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Brief communication: Mapping Greenland’s perennial firn aquifers using enhanced- resolution L-band brightness temperature image time series

Julie Z. Miller1,2, David G. Long3, Kenneth .C Jezek4, Joel T. Johnson5, Mary J. Brodzik1,6, Christopher A. Shuman7, Lora S. Koenig1,6, and Theodore Allan Scambos1,2 Julie Z. Miller et al.
  • 1Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 2Earth Science and Observation Center, University ofColorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA
  • 4Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • 5Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • 6National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 7University of Maryland, Baltimore County, NASA Godard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Abstract. Enhanced-resolution L-band brightness temperature (TB) image time series collected over the Greenland ice sheet by NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite are used to map Greenland’s perennial firn aquifers from space. Exponentially decreasing L-band TB signatures are correlated with perennial firn aquifer areas identified via the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) Multi-Channel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS) flown by NASA’s Operation IceBridge (OIB) campaign. An empirical algorithm to map extent is developed by fitting these signatures to a set of sigmoidal curves. During the spring of 2016, perennial firn aquifer areas are found to extend over ~66,000 km2.

Julie Z. Miller et al.

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Julie Z. Miller et al.

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