Satellite-based glacier monitoring in the ESA project Glaciers-CCI

F. Paul*, T. Bolch, A. Kaab, T. Nagler, A. Shepherd, T. Strozzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Glaciers and their changes have been in the focus of the public and the media over the past decade, as they reflect impacts of climate change in an extraordinarily clear and understandable way. They are thus considered as key indicators of climate change and play a most important role in globally coordinated climate-related monitoring programs like the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). Glacier changes are widely reported with related adverse impacts when errors occur [4]. In consequence, all measurements must be performed with great care and should have been quality checked. Complementary to the field-based observations of changes in glacier length and mass on selected glaciers world-wide [12], satellite data offer the unique possibility to cover entire mountain ranges with a consistent method and thus help creating a more complete and representative picture of ongoing changes. From the large number of possible glacier observations that can be made with (repeat) satellite data, the Glaciers-cci project is focusing on three of them: Glacier area, elevation changes and velocity fields. The characteristics of the satellite sensors used to derive these three products are rather complimentary in regard to spectral properties (optical, microwave, LIDAR), spatial resolution, temporal coverage, repeat interval, etc. Glaciological studies greatly benefit from this wealth of data types and can utilize the different possibilities to derive specific properties of glaciers.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 32nd IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2012 - Munich, Germany
Duration: 22 Jul 201227 Jul 2012


Conference2012 32nd IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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