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Summary of Proposal LAN1257

TitleSpatial-temporal changes in surface velocity of surging glacier
Investigator Furuya, Masato - Hokkaido University, Department of Natural History Sciences
Team Member
Mr Abe, Takahiro - Hokkaido University, Department of Natural History Sciences
Ms Muto, Minami - Hokkaido University, Department of Natural History Sciences
Mr Yasuda, Takatoshi - Hokkaido University, Department of Natural History Sciences
SummaryObjective:
Glacier surge is an anomalous phenomenon during which glacier surface velocity becomes unusually fast in contrast to their quiescent phase, and has been regarded as rare phenomena; their recurrent intervals are usually several decades or more. Previous understanding of glacier surge has been inferred from observation data at several relatively easily accessible glaciers. However, such glaciers are extremely limited, and most of the glaciers in the planet are inaccessible. As such, it remains elusive what processes are responsible for initiation, maintenance and termination of glacier surge. The objective of this study is to combine TerraSAR-X(TSX)-based frequently acquired data with our previous velocity data, and to further clarify the spatial-temporal evolution of glacier surges at the West Kunlun Shan so that we can better understand the mechanisms of glacier surge at non-temperate glaciers.
Method:
We apply feature-tracking analysis to radar images, so that we can inter the glacier surface velocity maps at a number of instances.
Data requirements:
We process stripmap-mode single-polarization SSC data around the West Kunlun Shan. While we understand that TSX can acquire data every 11days, we think the temporal resolution of 22 or 33 days is sufficient for the glaciers we are looking. Two tracks will be able to cover most of the entire areas of West Kunlun Shan. Therefore, we will need roughly 40-50 scenes of SSC data in a year.
Deliverables:
Combining our results with the new surface velocity maps derived from TerraSAR-X, we will be able to observe the spatial-temporal evolution of surface velocities at surging glaciers over inter-annual to decadal time scales. Thereby, we will show that glacier surface velocities are never steady, and can constrain the enigmatic surging mechanisms at the non-temperate glaciers.
Funding:
As a professor at Hokkaido university, I (MF) am funded at least ~10,000 Euro/year for my fundamental research activity. Also I am applying for other external funding agencies, which after approval will significantly increase the available fund.

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