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Worldwide version-controlled database of glacier thickness observations


Welty, Ethan; Zemp, Michael; Navarro, Francisco; Huss, Matthias; Fürst, Johannes J; Gärtner-Roer, Isabelle; Landmann, Johannes; Machguth, Horst; Naegeli, Kathrin; Andreassen, Liss M; Farinotti, Daniel; Li, Huilin (2020). Worldwide version-controlled database of glacier thickness observations. Earth System Science Data, 12(4):3039-3055.

Abstract

. Although worldwide inventories of glacier area have been coordinated internationally for several
decades, a similar effort for glacier ice thicknesses was only initiated in 2013. Here, we present the third version
of the Glacier Thickness Database (GlaThiDa v3), which includes 3 854 279 thickness measurements distributed
over roughly 3000 glaciers worldwide. Overall, 14 % of global glacier area is now within 1 km of a thickness
measurement (located on the same glacier) – a significant improvement over GlaThiDa v2, which covered only
6 % of global glacier area and only 1100 glaciers. Improvements in measurement coverage increase the robustness of numerical interpolations and model extrapolations, resulting in better estimates of regional to global
glacier volumes and their potential contributions to sea-level rise.
In this paper, we summarize the sources and compilation of glacier thickness data and the spatial and temporal coverage of the resulting database. In addition, we detail our use of open-source metadata formats and
software tools to describe the data, validate the data format and content against this metadata description, and
track changes to the data following modern data management best practices. Archived versions of GlaThiDa
are available from the World Glacier Monitoring Service (e.g., v3.1.0, from which this paper was generated:
https://doi.org/10.5904/wgms-glathida-2020-10; GlaThiDa Consortium, 2020), while the development version
is available on GitLab (https://gitlab.com/wgms/glathida, last access: 9 November 2020).

Abstract

. Although worldwide inventories of glacier area have been coordinated internationally for several
decades, a similar effort for glacier ice thicknesses was only initiated in 2013. Here, we present the third version
of the Glacier Thickness Database (GlaThiDa v3), which includes 3 854 279 thickness measurements distributed
over roughly 3000 glaciers worldwide. Overall, 14 % of global glacier area is now within 1 km of a thickness
measurement (located on the same glacier) – a significant improvement over GlaThiDa v2, which covered only
6 % of global glacier area and only 1100 glaciers. Improvements in measurement coverage increase the robustness of numerical interpolations and model extrapolations, resulting in better estimates of regional to global
glacier volumes and their potential contributions to sea-level rise.
In this paper, we summarize the sources and compilation of glacier thickness data and the spatial and temporal coverage of the resulting database. In addition, we detail our use of open-source metadata formats and
software tools to describe the data, validate the data format and content against this metadata description, and
track changes to the data following modern data management best practices. Archived versions of GlaThiDa
are available from the World Glacier Monitoring Service (e.g., v3.1.0, from which this paper was generated:
https://doi.org/10.5904/wgms-glathida-2020-10; GlaThiDa Consortium, 2020), while the development version
is available on GitLab (https://gitlab.com/wgms/glathida, last access: 9 November 2020).

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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:2020
Deposited On:12 Nov 2020 08:50
Last Modified:16 Dec 2020 13:05
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
ISSN:1866-3508
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-12-3039-2020

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