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A new glacier inventory for the Svartisen region, Norway, from Landsat ETM+ data: challenges and change assessment


Paul, F; Andreassen, L M (2009). A new glacier inventory for the Svartisen region, Norway, from Landsat ETM+ data: challenges and change assessment. Journal of Glaciology, 55(192):607-618.

Abstract

Glaciers are widely recognized as key indicators of climate change, and their meltwater plays an important role in hydropower production in Norway. Since the last glacier inventory was compiled in northern Norway in the 1970s, marked fluctuations in glacier length and mass balance have
been reported for individual glaciers, and the current overall glacier state is thus not well known. Within
the framework of the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative, we have created a new inventory for 489 glaciers in the Svartisen region, northern Norway, using a Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) satellite scene from 7 September 1999 and automated multispectral glacier mapping (thresholded band ratios). In addition, visual inspection and correction of the generated
glacier outlines has been applied. Adverse snow conditions and uncertain drainage divides made glacier mapping challenging in some regions of the study site. Glacier outlines from 1968, as digitized from a topographic map, were used for a quantitative change assessment for a selection of 300 glaciers. The overall area change of this sample from 1968 to 1999 was close to zero, but with a strongly increasing scatter towards smaller glaciers, large area gains (>50%) for small glaciers (<1km2), and an unexpected stronger relative area loss towards the wetter coast. The overall size changes are small (<1%) for the
three largest ice masses in the study region (Vestisen, Østisen and Bla˚mannsisen).

Abstract

Glaciers are widely recognized as key indicators of climate change, and their meltwater plays an important role in hydropower production in Norway. Since the last glacier inventory was compiled in northern Norway in the 1970s, marked fluctuations in glacier length and mass balance have
been reported for individual glaciers, and the current overall glacier state is thus not well known. Within
the framework of the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative, we have created a new inventory for 489 glaciers in the Svartisen region, northern Norway, using a Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) satellite scene from 7 September 1999 and automated multispectral glacier mapping (thresholded band ratios). In addition, visual inspection and correction of the generated
glacier outlines has been applied. Adverse snow conditions and uncertain drainage divides made glacier mapping challenging in some regions of the study site. Glacier outlines from 1968, as digitized from a topographic map, were used for a quantitative change assessment for a selection of 300 glaciers. The overall area change of this sample from 1968 to 1999 was close to zero, but with a strongly increasing scatter towards smaller glaciers, large area gains (>50%) for small glaciers (<1km2), and an unexpected stronger relative area loss towards the wetter coast. The overall size changes are small (<1%) for the
three largest ice masses in the study region (Vestisen, Østisen and Bla˚mannsisen).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:16 Feb 2010 17:21
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 23:42
Publisher:International Glaciological Society
ISSN:0022-1430
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3189/002214309789471003
Related URLs:http://www.igsoc.org/journal/ (Publisher)

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