A physically-based method for mapping glacial debris-cover thickness from ASTER satellite imagery: development and testing at Miage Glacier, Italian Alps

L. Foster, B. Brock, M. Cutler

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    Debris-covered glaciers (>50% of the ablation zone covered by debris) are common in many of the world's major mountain ranges and represent an important freshwater resource. Previous studies have established that surface melt rates decrease strongly for an increase in supraglacial debris thickness from a few cm up to 20-30 cm, whereas, thin and patchy debris cover enhances melt due to albedo reduction. It is therefore important to develop methods to map and monitor changes in debris cover to enable predictions of glacier responses to climate change through numerical modelling. It is not possible to achieve this from ground-based measurements alone. Therefore, a method to estimate debris thickness from an ASTER thermal band surface temperature image, based on a physical solution of the energy balance at the debris surface, has been developed. The model performs well in comparison to previous empirical methods showing good agreement with measured debris thicknesses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSustaining the Millennium Development Goals
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings: 33 International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment
    Place of PublicationTucson
    PublisherInternational Center for Remote Sensing of Environment,
    Pages918-921
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Print)093291313X, 9780932913135
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    Event33rd International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, ISRSE 2009 - Stresa, Italy
    Duration: 4 May 20098 May 2009

    Conference

    Conference33rd International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, ISRSE 2009
    CountryItaly
    CityStresa
    Period4/05/098/05/09

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A physically-based method for mapping glacial debris-cover thickness from ASTER satellite imagery: development and testing at Miage Glacier, Italian Alps'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this