Flow and Topography of Major Greenland Outlet Glaciers from the TanDem-X Mission
University of Edinburgh, UNITED KINGDOM
Climate warming over the 20th century has forced dramatic changes in the Greenland ice caps. Satellite observations have revealed increased flow of the glaciers to the sea, increased surface melting, lowering of the Ice Sheet surface, retreat of the glaciers' fronts, and gravity anomaly related to ice mass loss. These changes have led to a reduction in the mass and a consequent rise in global sea level.
Here, we seek to map fine details of the time variability of the flow velocity and surface heights of glaciers, a potential tracer of changes in the glaciers' mass balance. This work is conducted in the frame of GreenSAR, an ESA STSE funded project. Maps of ice flow and surface height are constructed from correlation and interferometry of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images of the ice surface obtained by several sensors (ERS1&2, Envisat, ALOS, TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X). Several orbital configurations and multiple TamDEM-X acquisitions allow to explore the 3-dimensional characteristics of glaciers flow and to quantify dynamic thinning at Greenland's margin.