Event Title

Satellite-based western Canadian glacier inventory

Description

We utilized Landsat imagery ~2005 and existing ice polygons from provincial mapping ~1985 to produce a glacier inventory for western Canada south of 60 º N. We corrected errors in the mapping from 1985 due to late lying snow and debris cover using Landsat TM and the provincial digital terrain model (DTM) based on the same aerial images as the ice polygons. The 2005 glacier vectors were produced from a band ratio (TM3/TM5) and the 1985 outlines as a clip layer. Misclassified pixels were corrected with water and slope detection algorithms. Final polygons were manually checked for errors. We also used the provincial DTM to split the glaciers into individual flow sheds. The estimated error in our method, determined by comparison of the digital vectors to those obtained through manual interpretation, is within 2.5%. Glacier cover in British Columbia and Alberta declined by 11.5% over the period 1985-2005. The annual retreat rate 0.6% a-1 is comparable to rates reported in other mountain ranges. Work is underway to compare these rates of ice loss to climate change over the period of study.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

8-3-2008 8:00 AM

Subject - LCSH

Glaciers--Climatic factors--British Columbia; Glaciers--Climatic factors--Alberta; Glaciers--British Columbia; Glaciers--Alberta

End Date

8-3-2008 5:00 PM

Session

Glacial Studies: Inventory, Resources, Applications

Genre/Form

Abstracts

Type

event

Geographic Coverage

Alberta; British Columbia

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Keywords

glacier inventory, glacier recession, remote sensing

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Mar 8th, 8:00 AM Mar 8th, 5:00 PM

Satellite-based western Canadian glacier inventory

We utilized Landsat imagery ~2005 and existing ice polygons from provincial mapping ~1985 to produce a glacier inventory for western Canada south of 60 º N. We corrected errors in the mapping from 1985 due to late lying snow and debris cover using Landsat TM and the provincial digital terrain model (DTM) based on the same aerial images as the ice polygons. The 2005 glacier vectors were produced from a band ratio (TM3/TM5) and the 1985 outlines as a clip layer. Misclassified pixels were corrected with water and slope detection algorithms. Final polygons were manually checked for errors. We also used the provincial DTM to split the glaciers into individual flow sheds. The estimated error in our method, determined by comparison of the digital vectors to those obtained through manual interpretation, is within 2.5%. Glacier cover in British Columbia and Alberta declined by 11.5% over the period 1985-2005. The annual retreat rate 0.6% a-1 is comparable to rates reported in other mountain ranges. Work is underway to compare these rates of ice loss to climate change over the period of study.