The Terrain Observation by Progressive Scans (TOPS) acquisition mode of the Sentinel-1 mission provides a wide coverage per acquisition with resolutions of 5 m in range and 20 m in azimuth, which makes this acquisition mode attractive for glacier velocity monitoring. Here, we retrieve surface velocities from the southern Ellesmere Island ice caps (Canadian Arctic) using both offset tracking and Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (D-InSAR) techniques and combining ascending and descending passes. We optimise the offset tracking technique by omitting the azimuth offsets. By doing so, we are able to improve the final resolution of the velocity product, as Sentinel-1 shows a lower resolution in the azimuth direction. Simultaneously, we avoid the undesired ionospheric effect manifested in the data as azimuth streaks. The D-InSAR technique shows its merits when applied to slow-moving areas, while offset tracking is more suitable for fast-moving areas. This research shows that the methods used here are complementary and the use of both to determine glacier velocities is better than only using one or the other. We observe glacier surface velocities of up to 1200 m year −1 for the fastest tidewater glaciers. The land-terminating glaciers show typical velocities between 12 and 33 m year −1 , though with peaks up to 150 m year −1 in narrowing zones of the confining valleys.



Sánchez-Gámez, P., and F.J. Navarro






Remote Sensing



Sánchez-Gámez, P., and F.J. Navarro (2017): 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. In: Remote Sens. 2017, 9(5), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9050442



Get Publication


IASC Related Activity

Network on Arctic Glaciology



Designed & hosted by Arctic Portal