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Summary of Proposal HYD0178

TitleGlacier dynamics and characteristics from high-resolution TerraSAR-X feature tracking
Investigator Luckman, Adrian - Swansea University, School of the Environment and Society
Team Members
Professor Murray, Tavi - Swansea University, School of the Environment and Society
Dr. Ašalgeirsdóttir, Gušfinna - Danish Climate Centre, Danish Meteorological Institute
SummaryMountain glaciers are key indicators of climate change in both their geometry and rates of flow, and provide a valuable natural resource in glaciated regions. Remote sensing has been invaluable in measuring glacier surface velocities but current satellite sensors do not have the required spatial resolution and revisit period to monitor all ice masses. TerraSAR-X, with substantially improved spatial resolution and shortened repeat-pass period, is well-placed to assess the flow regime of smaller or rapidly changing glaciers, which have previously only been measurable on the ground. This project will assess the ability of this new satellite sensor to measure and monitor surface velocities on a variety of glaciers from Iceland, Greenland, Asia, Europe and Scandinavia. The technique of feature-tracking, based on cross-correlation of image patches, will be optimised for these novel data. Publishable information about the methods and the flow regimes of these glaciers is anticipated from this project. Results may stimulate the development of commercial applications in monitoring European glaciers, which feed hydro-power schemes or are important commercial ski areas.

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