Glacier changes in Glacier Bay, Alaska, during 2000-2012

Alifu, Haireti; Tateishi, Ryutaro; Nduati, Eunice; Maitiniyazi, Aikebaier
September 2016
International Journal of Remote Sensing;Sep2016, Vol. 37 Issue 17, p4132
Academic Journal
This article presents measurements of glacier surface areas, mean snow line altitude (MSLA) values, mean snow accumulation area ratio (MAAR) values, and elevation changes in the Glacier Bay, Alaska, using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM)/ Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) images and digital elevation models (DEMs) from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR) data during 2000-2012. Glacier area estimation results showed that Desolation glacier and Fairweather glacier have lost 2.6% and 2.2% of the glacier area, respectively. Only minor surface area changes were seen in Cascade glacier, Crillon glacier, and Lituya glacier during the study period. The results of MSLA and MAAR showed that the MSLA of Fairweather glacier, Lituya glacier, and Desolation glacier increased by about 120-289 m and the MAAR of Fairweather glacier, Lituya glacier, and Desolation glacier decreased by about 3-6%. In contrast, MSLA and MAAR of Crillon glacier decreased by about 70 m and increased by about 1%, respectively. Glacier elevation change results showed that 7.7 m, 4.6 m and 1.5 m of mean thinning change were observed, respectively, on Fairweather glacier, Lituya glacier, and Desolation glacier. However, 7 m and 0.65 m of mean thickening were, respectively, experienced on Cascade glacier and Crillon glacier in the same period. Results from the study indicated that glacier retreat (Fairweather glacier, Lituya glacier, and Desolation glacier) affected by higher temperatures probably dominates with over-increased precipitation. However, increasing debris cover on the glacier surface can also modify the glacier dynamic, resulting in a different response to global warming.


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