GEOSCAN Search Results: Fastlink


TitleRADARSAT-2 derived glacier velocities and dynamic discharge estimates for the Canadian High Arctic: 2015-2020 / Estimations des vitesses et de la décharge dynamique des glaciers dans l'Extrême-Arctique canadien de 2015 à 2020 d'après les observations de RADARSAT-2
AuthorWychen, W V; Burgess, DORCID logo; Kochtitzky, W; Nikolic, N; Copland, L; Gray, L
SourceCanadian Journal of Remote Sensing vol. 46, issue 6, 2021 p. 1-20, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200667
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Lat/Long WENS-109.4833 -53.9000 83.5167 73.8167
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; hydrogeology; environmental geology; geophysics; Science and Technology; remote sensing; satellite imagery; glaciers; ice; ice thicknesses; ice flow; climate effects; climate, arctic; discharge rates; Queen Elizabeth Islands; Devon Island; Ellesmere Island; Axel Heiberg Island; Trinity Glacier; Wykeham Glacier; Prince of Wales Icefield; Belcher Glacier; Devon Ice Cap; Earth sciences; Climate change
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; diagrams
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience Glacier Mass Balance Project
Released2021 01 06
AbstractRADARSAT-2 imagery collected each winter from 2015/2016 to 2019/2020 is used to quantify and characterize the variability in the motion of, and the discharge from, the major marine-terminating ice masses of the Queen Elizabeth Islands (QEI: Devon, Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands) in the Canadian High Arctic. The majority of the glaciers did not experience significant variations in flow speeds over the observation period, and for most that did the variations are attributed to pulse and surge processes. However, there are exceptions where the velocity record indicates continued acceleration of the glaciers by processes that appear distinct from surging or pulsing, such as dynamic thinning. These include Trinity and Wykeham glaciers (Prince of Wales Icefield) and Belcher Glacier (Devon Ice Cap). The combination of surface velocities with ice thicknesses indicates that average ice discharge to the ocean for the QEI over the observation period was 2.78±0.52 Gt a-1 (ranging between ~2.37±0.48 Gt a-1 and ~3.20±0.55 Gt a-1), ~50% of which was channeled through the Trinity-Wykeham glacier basin alone. The results presented here, combined with those of previous studies, provide a comprehensive record of ice motion and discharge from the QEI between 2008 and 2020.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Glacier mass loss due to ice-berg calving is an important form of ablation from ice caps in the Canadian high Arctic being second only to mass loss due to summer melting. Until recently however, the rate of calving flux from this region has been poorly quantified. This paper provides an update calving flux to date from ice velocity fields derived using RADARSAT-2 imagery and all available ice thickness data with the most recent being from 2014 NASA Operation IceBridge aerial surveys. Results from this study indicate that Canadian ice caps lost ~3 ± 0.5 Gt per year Gigatons of ice mass directly to oceans due to calving from 2015-2020, and velocity fluctuations of a few important tidewater glaciers can significantly increase calving rates from one year to the next. As ~90% of the ice-bergs potentially enter Baffin Bay, findings from this study confirm that ice berg calving from Canadian Arctic ice caps can have important impacts on total ice cap mass balance, and pose a serious threat to the shipping industry and marine infrastructure in this region.

Date modified: