Jakobshavn Velocity

Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland's largest glacier, drains approximately 6.5% of the ice sheet and is a key factor in the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Although the interior of the ice sheet is in a state of balance, the coastal region has continued to thin. While there has been variability in the velocity of Jakobshavn over time, the ice front has steadily retreated. It wasn't until the year 2000 that an increase in ice flow velocities was recorded and an increasing trend observed.Since the acceleration was detected, several space agencies (e.g., the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR)) have tasked their satellites with collecting frequent measurements on the glaciers. As a result, an ongoing time series of the speed on this glacier is being developed.

Ian Joughin of the Polar Science Center at the University of Washington has produced comprehensive maps ice flow velocity for Greenland for the winters of 2000-2001 and 2005-2006 and is extending these measurements for additional years. This was accomplished using satellite data to produce velocity in all ice sheet locations, except where limited by satellite coverage and poor interferometric correlation. Recently a great deal of effort has gone into improving the speckle tracking to maximize the coverage on fast moving glaciers.

During Phase I, OSU's BPRC Remote Sensing Lab processed Radarsat synthetic aperture radar data acquired over Jacobshavn Glacier, Greenland, to compute ice sheet surface velocities for the years 2000, 2004, 2005, and 2006.