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Early melt season velocity fields of Langjökull and Hofsjökull, central Iceland

Minchew, Brent and Simons, Mark and Hensley, Scott and Björnsson, Helgi and Pálsson, Finnur (2015) Early melt season velocity fields of Langjökull and Hofsjökull, central Iceland. Journal of Glaciology, 61 (226). pp. 253-266. ISSN 0022-1430. doi:10.3189/2015JoG14J023.

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We infer the horizontal velocity fields of the ice caps Langjökull and Hofsjökull, central Iceland, using repeat-pass interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). NASA’s uninhabited aerial vehicle synthetic aperture radar (UAVSAR) acquired airborne InSAR data from multiple vantage points during the early melt season in June 2012. We develop a Bayesian approach for inferring three-dimensional velocity fields from multiple InSAR acquisitions. The horizontal components generally agree with available GPS measurements wherever ice motion is well constrained by InSAR observations. We provide evidence that changes in volumetric moisture content near the glacier surface induce phase offsets that obfuscate the vertical component of the surface velocity fields, an effect that could manifest itself on any glacier that experiences surface melt. Spatial patterns in the InSAR-derived horizontal speeds are broadly consistent with the results of a simple viscous flow model, and the directionality of the InSAR-derived horizontal flow field is nearly everywhere consistent with the ice surface gradient. Significant differences between the InSAR-derived horizontal speed and the speed predicted by the viscous flow model suggest that basal slip accounts for more than half the observed outlet glacier flow.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Minchew, Brent0000-0002-5991-3926
Simons, Mark0000-0003-1412-6395
Additional Information:© 2015 International Glaciological Society. MS received 25 January 2014 and accepted in revised form 30 November 2014. Published online: 10 July 2017. Funding for the UAVSAR campaign was provided by NASA’s Cryospheric Sciences Program. B.M. was supported by a NASA Earth and Space Sciences fellowship and an ARCS Foundation fellowship. We thank the UAVSAR team and the NASA-Dryden flight crew who collected and helped process the InSAR data, T. Jóhannesson for providing the Hofsjökull surface DEM, S. Owen for assistance with GIPSY-OASIS and F. Ortega for reviewing the manuscript.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Earth and Space Science FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:glacier flow, glaciological instruments and methods, ice cap, ice velocity, remote sensing
Issue or Number:226
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180709-161925653
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Minchew, B., Simons, M., Hensley, S., Björnsson, H., & Pálsson, F. (2015). Early melt season velocity fields of Langjökull and Hofsjökull, central Iceland. Journal of Glaciology, 61(226), 253-266. doi:10.3189/2015JoG14J023
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87671
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Jul 2018 23:27
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:50

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