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Spaceborne measurements of Arctic glaciers and implications for sea-level change

Spaceborne measurements of Arctic glaciers and implications for sea-level change

SPICE is a 3-year research project which commenced in November 2002 funded under the European Union program Environment and Sustainable Development action for "Global change, climate and biodiversity" (EU 5th Framework). The main objective is:

To develop a scheme in which satellite data of varying nature can be combined to give detailed information on the mass budget of ice caps.

To obtain a certain degree of reliability, an effort will be made to verify retrieval algorithms with in situ measurements, because we believe that this has been a weak point in the application of satellite data for glacier studies.

More information about the project is available at:


Publications arising from this project are:

  • Dowdeswell, J.A. and Benham, T.J., 2003. A surge of Perseibreen, Svalbard, examined using aerial photographs and ASTER high-resolution satellite imagery. Polar Research, v. 22, p. 373-383.
  • Dowdeswell, J.A., Benham, T.J., Gorman, M.R., Burgess, D. and Sharp, M.J., 2004. Form and flow of the Devon Island Ice Cap, Canadian Arctic. Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 109, F02002, doi:10.1029/2003JF000095.
  • Dowdeswell, J.A., Dowdeswell, E.K., Williams, M. and Glazovsky, A.F., In Press. The glaciology of the Russian High Arctic from Landsat imagery. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper, 1386-F.
  • Bamber, J.L., W.B Krabill,. V. Raper, and J.A. Dowdeswell. 2004. Anomalous growth of part of a large Arctic ice cap: Austfonna, Svalbard. Geophysical Research Letters. 31, L12402, doi.10.1029/2004Gl019667
  • Bamber, J.L., W.B. Krabill, V. Raper, J.A. Dowdeswell and J. Oerlemans. In press. Interpretation of elevation changes on Svalbard glaciers and ice caps from airborne lidar data. Annals of Glaciology, 42.
  • Burgess, D.O., Sharp, M., Mair, D.W.F., Dowdeswell, J.A. and Benham, T.J., In Press. Flow dynamics and iceberg calving rates of the Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada. Journal of Glaciology.
  • Hagen, J.O., Melvold, K., Pinglot, F. and Dowdeswell, J.A., 2003. On the net mass balance of the glaciers and ice caps in Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, v. 35, p.
  • 264-270.
  • Oerlemans, J., Bassford, R.P., Chapman, W., Dowdeswell, J.A., Glazovsky, A.F., Hagen, J.O., Melvold, K., de Wildt, M.R. and van de Wal, R.S.W., In Press. Estimating the contribution from Arctic glaciers to sea-level change in the next hundred years. Annals of Glaciology, v. 42.