Next Article in Journal
Examining Forest Disturbance and Recovery in the Subtropical Forest Region of Zhejiang Province Using Landsat Time-Series Data
Next Article in Special Issue
Annual and Seasonal Glacier-Wide Surface Mass Balance Quantified from Changes in Glacier Surface State: A Review on Existing Methods Using Optical Satellite Imagery
Previous Article in Journal
Estimation and Analysis of Spatiotemporal Dynamics of the Net Primary Productivity Integrating Efficiency Model with Process Model in Karst Area
Previous Article in Special Issue
Glacier Surface Velocity Retrieval Using D-InSAR and Offset Tracking Techniques Applied to Ascending and Descending Passes of Sentinel-1 Data for Southern Ellesmere Ice Caps, Canadian Arctic
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(5), 478; doi:10.3390/rs9050478

Glacier Changes in the Susitna Basin, Alaska, USA, (1951–2015) using GIS and Remote Sensing Methods

1
Institut für Geographie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen 91058, Germany
2
Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks 99775, AK, USA
3
Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala 74010, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Frank Paul, Kate Briggs, Robert McNabb, Christopher Nuth, Jan Wuite, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 18 March 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 14 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Glaciers)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7119 KB, uploaded 18 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

The Susitna River draining from the highly glacierized Central Alaska Range has repeatedly been considered a potential hydro-power source in recent decades, raising questions about the effect of glacier changes on the basin’s river runoff. We determine changes in the glacier area (1951–2010), elevation (1951–2010, 1951–2005 and 2005–2010), equilibrium line altitude (ELA, 1999–2015), and accumulation area ratio (AAR, 1999–2015) of the basin’s five largest glaciers covering 587 km² (2010). We use the Landsat time series, as well as digital elevation models (DEMs) from 1951 (United States Geological Survey (USGS) aerial imagery), 2005 (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, ASTER), and 2010 (airborne interferometric synthetic aperture radar, IfSAR). The glaciers lost an area of 128 ± 15 km² (16%) between 1951 and 2010. The mean ELA was located at 1745 ± 88 m a.s.l. during 1999–2015. The glacier’s annual ELAs do not show any significant trends. We found a glacier-wide elevation change of −0.41 ± 0.07 m yr−1 for the period 1951–2005 and −1.20 ± 0.25 m yr−1 for 2005–2010. The results indicate that the glaciers are in a state of retreat and thinning, and have been losing mass at an accelerated rate in recent years. The interpretation of the thickness changes is complicated by the glaciers’ surge cycles. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacier; geodetic mass balance; glacier elevation change; digital elevation model; equilibrium line altitude; accumulation area ratio; glacier surge; Susitna basin glacier; geodetic mass balance; glacier elevation change; digital elevation model; equilibrium line altitude; accumulation area ratio; glacier surge; Susitna basin
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Wastlhuber, R.; Hock, R.; Kienholz, C.; Braun, M. Glacier Changes in the Susitna Basin, Alaska, USA, (1951–2015) using GIS and Remote Sensing Methods. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 478.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top