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Derivation and analysis of a complete modern-date glacier inventory for Alaska and northwest Canada
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2015 (English)In: Journal of Glaciology, ISSN 0022-1430, Vol. 61, no 227, 403-420 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present a detailed, complete glacier inventory for Alaska and neighboring Canada using multi-sensor satellite data from 2000 to 2011. For each glacier, we derive outlines and 51 variables, including center-line lengths, outline types and debris cover. We find 86 723 km(2) of glacier area (27 109 glaciers >0.025 km(2)), similar to 12% of the global glacierized area outside ice sheets. Of this area 12.0% is drained by 39 marine-terminating glaciers (74 km of tidewater margin), and 19.3% by 148 lake- and river-terminating glaciers (420 km of lake-/river margin). The overall debris cover is 11%, with considerable differences among regions, ranging from 1.4% in the Kenai Mountains to 28% in the Central Alaska Range. Comparison of outlines from different sources on >2500 km(2) of glacierized area yields a total area difference of similar to 10%, emphasizing the difficulties in accurately delineating debris-covered glaciers. Assuming fully correlated (systematic) errors, uncertainties in area reach 6% for all Alaska glaciers, but further analysis is needed to explore adequate error correlation scales. Preliminary analysis of the glacier database yields a new set of well-constrained area/length scaling parameters and shows good agreement between our area altitude distributions and previously established synthetic hypsometries. The new glacier database will be valuable to further explore relations between glacier variables and glacier behavior.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 61, no 227, 403-420 p.
Keyword [en]
glacier fluctuations, glacier mapping, remote sensing
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-261335DOI: 10.3189/2015JoG14J230ISI: 000358977400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-261335DiVA: diva2:850304
Available from: 2015-09-01 Created: 2015-09-01 Last updated: 2015-09-01Bibliographically approved

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Hock, Regine
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