A Greenland Radar Map for Mass Balance and Dynamics Studies, ERS-1/2 PI study

  • Madsen, Søren Nørvang (Project Manager)
  • Mohr, Johan Jacob (Project Participant)
  • Reeh, Niels (Project Participant)

    Project Details


    Knowledge of the ice flow velocities and elevations of glaciers and ice caps in polar or mountainous areas is critical for climate and environmental studies. This project utilizes data from the European Space Agency (ESA) satellites ERS-1 and 2. ESA is providing data for this study through an ESA AO-3 principal investigator study.
    In phase 1, Technology/Tools Development, we will augment demonstrated InSAR techniques to provide ice flow and elevation data for the largest possible part of the Greenland ice sheet. Combining multiple descending and ascending SAR interferograms, InSAR is capable of providing both elevation data and a 2-dimensional velocity measurement. Combined with an assumption of surface parallel motion, and given a few Ground Control Points (GCPs), InSAR provides absolute measurements of ice topography and surface flow.
    Phase 2 will include the selection, processing and screening of the strips required for the Greenland map. During this period we will also perform mosaicking etc. This phase will also include various detailed phenomenological studies. These studies will include the study of variable flown, for instance at the Storstroemmen glacier. These studies include the combination of InSAR data and radar thickness sounding data. Also, we will measure outlet glacier discharge along the East and west coasts of Greenland. The mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet is poorly know. Because a significant portion of the mass wastage in Greenland is through ice discharge, improving estimates of discharge leads directly to improvements in the determination of mass balance, and hence, the contribution of the ice sheet to sea level rise.
    In phase 3, Verification (duration 12 month), the data products will be verified
    and compared to in-situ observations and ice models.
    Effective start/end date01/05/199831/12/2003