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Geophysical Research Letters

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Abstract/ Summary

The coastal portions of Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim glaciers in southeast Greenland lost at least 51 +/- 8 km(-3) yr(-1) of ice between 2001-2006 due to thinning and retreat, according to an analysis of sequential digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from stereo ASTER satellite imagery. The dominant contribution to this ice loss was dynamic thinning caused by the acceleration in flow of both glaciers. Peak rates of change, including thinning rates of similar to 90 m yr(-1), coincided with the rapid increases in flow speed. Extrapolation of the measured data to the ice divides yields an estimated combined catchment volume loss of similar to 122 +/- 30 km(-3) yr(-1), which accounts for half the total mass loss from the ice sheet reported in recent studies. These catchment-wide volume losses contributed similar to 0.31 +/- 0.07 mm yr(-1) to global sea level rise over the 5-year observation period with the coastal regions alone contributing at least 0.1 +/- 0.02 mm yr(-1).

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Stearns, LA, and Hamilton, GS, 2007, Rapid Volume Loss from Two East Greenland Outlet Glaciers Quantified Using Repeat Stereo Satellite Imagery: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 34, L05503. To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.

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© Copyright 2007 American Geophysical Union




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