Characteristics of supra-glacial lakes on the south-west Greenland Ice Sheet
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Supra-glacial lake form and store melt water during the ablation season every year on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). This melt water influences both the surface and basal water fluxes. Using an adaptive object-oriented classification approach supra-glacial lakes on the west GrIS are mapped in Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) imagery 2001–2010. Lake size shape and distribution parameters are extracted for approximately 5-day intervals from the available cloud free imagery. Using temperature data measured within this region we correlate the lake parameters to melt proxies such ascumulative positive degree days (PDD). The analysis shows that simple parameters such as number of lakes and mean lake area, measures that have been used to describe the development of the surface hydrological system, are largely uncorrelated with melt proxies. Years with higher relative melt, expressed as negative surface mass balances and high PDDs, may exhibit long, predominantly mild melt seasons. Alternatively, a short but intense melt season may have occurred. Given the short duration of the time series, it is difficult to establish statistical relationships between parameters. However, parameters such as median lake size, reflectance and distance between lakes may provide valuable ancillary information to measures such as total lake area, median lake area and lake size distribution data.
Greenland Ice Sheet, Supra-glacial lakes, Ice melting, Remote sensing, MODIS
Research subject Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-74507OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-74507DiVA: diva2:510114