Glacier elevation and mass changes over the central Karakoram region estimated from TanDEM-X and SRTM/X-SAR digital elevation models

Journal article
(Original article)


Publication Details

Author(s): Rankl M, Braun M
Journal: Annals of Glaciology
Publisher: International Glaciological Society
Publication year: 2016
Volume: 51
Journal issue: 71
Pages range: 273-281
ISSN: 0260-3055
Language: English


Abstract


Snow cover and glaciers in the Karakoram region are important freshwater resources for many down-river communities as they provide water for irrigation and hydropower. A better understanding of current glacier changes is hence an important informational baseline. We present glacier elevation changes in the central Karakoram region using TanDEM-X and SRTM/X-SAR DEM differences between 2000 and 2012. We calculated elevation differences for glaciers with advancing and stable termini or surge-type glaciers separately using an inventory from a previous study. Glaciers with stable and advancing termini since the 1970s showed nearly balanced elevation changes of –0.09 ± 0.12 m a–1 on average or mass budgets of –0.01 ± 0.02 Gt a–1 (using a density of 850 kg m–3). Our findings are in accordance with previous studies indicating stable or only slightly negative glacier mass balances during recent years in the Karakoram. The high-resolution elevation changes revealed distinct patterns of mass relocation at glacier surfaces during active surge cycles. The formation of kinematic waves at quiescent surge-type glaciers could be observed and points towards future active surge behaviour. Our study reveals the potential of the TanDEM-X mission to estimate geodetic glacier mass balances, but also points to still existing uncertainties induced by the geodetic method.



FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Braun, Matthias Prof. Dr.
Professur für Geographie (Fernerkundung und GIS)


How to cite

APA:
Rankl, M., & Braun, M. (2016). Glacier elevation and mass changes over the central Karakoram region estimated from TanDEM-X and SRTM/X-SAR digital elevation models. Annals of Glaciology, 51(71), 273-281. https://dx.doi.org/10.3189/2016AoG71A024

MLA:
Rankl, Melanie, and Matthias Braun. "Glacier elevation and mass changes over the central Karakoram region estimated from TanDEM-X and SRTM/X-SAR digital elevation models." Annals of Glaciology 51.71 (2016): 273-281.

BibTeX: 

Last updated on 2018-18-10 at 04:20