Document Type


Publication Title

Geophysical Research Letters

Rights and Access Note

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Publication Date


Issue Number


Publication Number


Volume Number


Abstract/ Summary

The presence of surface meltwater on ice caps and ice sheets is an important glaciological and climatological characteristic. We describe an algorithm for estimating the depth and hence volume of surface melt ponds using multispectral ASTER satellite imagery. The method relies on reasonable assumptions about the albedo of the bottom surface of the ponds and the optical attenuation characteristics of the ponded meltwater. We apply the technique to sequences of satellite imagery acquired over the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet to derive changes in melt pond extent and volume during the period 2001 - 2004. Results show large intra- and interannual changes in ponded water volumes, and large volumes of liquid water stored in extensive slush zones.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Sneed, WA, and Hamilton, GS, 2007, Evolution of Melt Pond Volume on the Surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 34, L03501. To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.

Publisher Statement

© Copyright 2007 American Geophysical Union




publisher's version of the published document



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.