Mapping ice sheet margins from ERs-1 SAR and spot imagery

Hong Gyoo Sohn, K. C. Jezek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate a new technique to automatically map the margin of ice sheets using ERS-1 SAR and SPOT imagery. The technique relieson a series of image processing techniques including edge enhancement, dynamic thresholding, region growing, edge detection, and edge following. The mapping technique is used to measure temporal displacement of the ice sheet margin north and south of the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland. During the 4 year interval between 1988 and 1992 we find ice sheet margin advance/retreat rates of about ± 12m/year, consistent with independent observation. We combine the 1988 and 1992 data to assign an average ice margin location for the observation interval assuming a constant displacement rate. The resulting snapshot of the ice sheet margin can be used as a benchmark for future change detection studies. In both cases the uncertainties are better than 200m.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3201-3216
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number15-16
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NASA’s Polar Ocean and Ice Sheets program. SAR data were provided by the European Space Agency. This is Byrd Polar Research Centre contribution number 1147.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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