The contributions of the global fiducial program to the long-term satellite monitoring of the Bering Glacier, Alaska

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Conference Paper/Presentation

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The United States Global Fiducial Program is a significant contribution to the time series monitoring and ongoing observations of the Bering Glacier system. The Bering Glacier, in south-central coastal Alaska, is undergoing rapid change largely due to increasing summer air temperatures. These changes to the largest surging glacier in North America (nearly 5000 km2 in area and over 190 km in length), have been documented via satellite remote sensing observations using a suite of electro-optical and microwave systems. The satellite record has documented changes in the terminus location, glacier velocity, snow equilibrium line altitude, snow-versus-ice area, surface elevation and volume change estimates, iceberg production and calving rates, surface albedo, and glacier features, as well as changes in the area of the ice-marginal lakes. Additionally, the satellite remote sensing observations documented the 1994-95 and 2010-11 surges of the Bering Glacier where glacial velocities in excess of 20 m/day were measured. These remote sensing products drive surface-based models of ablation and glacial hydrology where equivalent meltwater and the adiabatic lapse rate are required inputs. The United States Global Fiducials Program is an archive of free publicly available images from U.S. National Imagery Systems (http://gfp.usgs.gov) and represents a long-term periodic record for time series analysis at selected scientifically important sites.

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© 2013 American Geophysical Union.

Publication Title

AGU Fall Meeting 2012