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Heterogeneous spatial and temporal pattern of surface elevation change and mass balance of the Patagonian ice fields between 2000 and 2016

Abdel Jaber, Wael and Rott, Helmut and Floricioiu, Dana and Wuite, Jan and Miranda, Nuno (2019) Heterogeneous spatial and temporal pattern of surface elevation change and mass balance of the Patagonian ice fields between 2000 and 2016. The Cryosphere, 13, pp. 2511-2535. Copernicus Publications. doi: 10.5194/tc-13-2511-2019. ISSN 1994-0416.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-2511-2019


The northern and southern Patagonian ice fields (NPI and SPI) have been subject to accelerated retreat during the last decades, with considerable variability in magnitude and timing among individual glaciers. We derive spatially detailed maps of surface elevation change (SEC) of NPI and SPI from bistatic synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry data of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements (TanDEM-X) for two epochs, 2000–2012 and 2012–2016, and provide data on changes in surface elevation and ice volume for the individual glaciers and the ice fields at large. We apply advanced TanDEM-X processing techniques allowing us to cover 90 % and 95 % of the area of NPI and 97 % and 98 % of SPI for the two epochs, respectively. Particular attention is paid to precisely co-registering the digital elevation models (DEMs), accounting for possible effects of radar signal penetration through backscatter analysis and correcting for seasonality biases in case of deviations in repeat DEM coverage from full annual time spans. The results show a different temporal trend between the two ice fields and reveal a heterogeneous spatial pattern of SEC and mass balance caused by different sensitivities with respect to direct climatic forcing and ice flow dynamics of individual glaciers. The estimated volume change rates for NPI are −4.26±0.20 km3 a−1 for epoch 1 and −5.60±0.74 km3 a−1 for epoch 2, while for SPI these are −14.87±0.52 km3 a−1 for epoch 1 and −11.86±1.99 km3 a−1 for epoch 2. This corresponds for both ice fields to an eustatic sea level rise of 0.048±0.002 mm a−1 for epoch 1 and 0.043±0.005 mm a−1 for epoch 2. On SPI the spatial pattern of surface elevation change is more complex than on NPI and the temporal trend is less uniform. On terminus sections of the main calving glaciers of SPI, temporal variations in flow velocities are a main factor for differences in SEC between the two epochs. Striking differences are observed even on adjoining glaciers, such as Upsala Glacier, with decreasing mass losses associated with slowdown of flow velocity, contrasting with acceleration and increase in mass losses on Viedma Glacier.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/132241/
Document Type:Article
Title:Heterogeneous spatial and temporal pattern of surface elevation change and mass balance of the Patagonian ice fields between 2000 and 2016
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Abdel Jaber, Waelwael.abdeljaber (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Rott, Helmutenveo it gmbh, innsbruck, austriahttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4719-7376
Floricioiu, DanaDana.Floricioiu (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1647-7191
Wuite, JanENVEO IT GmbH, Innsbruck, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Miranda, NunoEuropean Space Agency/ESRIN, Frascati, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Date:27 September 2019
Journal or Publication Title:The Cryosphere
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.5194/tc-13-2511-2019
Page Range:pp. 2511-2535
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Keywords:Patagonia Icefields, TanDEM-X, geodetic mass balance, DEM differencing
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - SAR missions
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Remote Sensing Technology Institute > SAR Signal Processing
Deposited By: Floricioiu, Dr. Dana
Deposited On:06 Dec 2019 11:43
Last Modified:06 Dec 2019 11:43

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