Surface Elevation Map of the Jakobshavn Isbrae's Drainage Basin using CryoSat-2 Data
Ticconi, Francesca; McMillan, Malcolm; Shepherd, Andrew
University of Leeds, UNITED KINGDOM
During the last two decades satellite radar altimetry observations from ERS-1/2 and ENVISAT missions have been used to measure the elevation of the Earth surface and to monitor its changes. However, the relative low resolution and coverage were the main constraint affecting the production of accurate Digital Elevation Models (DEMS). CryoSat-2 has recently been placed into orbit and it is the first satellite equipped with a SAR Interferometric Altimeter (SIRAL) to enhance the radar along track resolution to 250 m while allowing for precise measurements of changes as small as a few centimetres. A further benefit of this satellite is that it allows for the highest coverage available for a radar altimeter with measurements capable of being taken up to 88° N/S latitude. In this study, we collected CroySat-2 data from 2010 onwards over the Jakobshavn Isbrae's drainage basin. This study area represents a marine-terminating outlet glacier located on the west coast of Greenland at 69.17N, 49.73E. It has been selected as a test site due to the numerous LIDAR measurements carried out over many years of airborne campaings. These includes the IceBridge campaigns and the most recent CryoVex ones. Here we present an early analysis of the ice sheet topography and its properties. The next step of the analysis will include the validation of the surface elevation map against the LIDAR measurements collected during the period 2010-2011. Besides the performance assement of the CryoSat altimeter, this comparison will allow to investigate on the penetration of the Ku-band radar wave into the snow pack.