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Grad student talk - Velocity of the Kennicott Glacier as seen from 500 km elevation

Thursday, October 31, 2013, 4:30PM - 5:30PM


Billy Armstrong


RL-1 room 269

Historically, glacier surface velocities have been difficult to constrain. However, the recent development of high-resolution satellite imagery and high-precision GPS have led to a boom in the extraction of ice surface velocities. These data are vital to our understanding of glacier dynamics, glacier erosion, and the response of glaciers to climate change.

We extract surface velocity fields for the lower 15 km of the Kennicott Glacier by processing WorldView (~0.5 m pixel) and ASTER (15 m pixel) imagery using COSI-Corr (Co-registration of Optically Sensed Images and Correlation) software. We use imagery from the 2013 melt season to calculate monthly displacement during a time of fast glacier motion, with significant contributions from basal sliding. We validate these estimates using an on-glacier GPS monument. We then compare this summer velocity field to annual displacements calculated from 2003-2004 imagery to estimate the importance of winter versus melt season velocities on this temperate valley glacier.