Brief communication: Unabated wastage of the Juneau and Stikine icefields (southeast Alaska) in the early 21<sup>st</sup> century Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. The large Juneau and Stikine icefields (Alaska, JIF and SIF) lost mass rapidly in the second part of the 20th century. Laser altimetry, gravimetry and sparse field measurements suggest continuing mass loss in the early 21st century. However, two recent studies based on time series of SRTM and ASTER digital elevation models (DEMs) indicate a slowdown in mass loss after 2000. Here, the ASTER-based geodetic mass balance is recalculated, carefully avoiding the use of the SRTM DEM because of the unknown penetration depth of the C-Band radar signal. We find strongly negative mass balances from 2000 to 2016 (−0.68 ± 0.15 m w.e. a-1 for JIF and −0.83 ± 0.12 m w.e. a-1 for SIF), in agreement with laser altimetry, confirming that mass losses are continuing at unabated rates for both icefields. The SRTM DEM should be avoided or used very cautiously to estimate glacier volume change, especially in the North Hemisphere and over timescales of less than ~ 20 yrs.;

publication date

  • January 5, 2018

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • November 6, 2020 11:16 AM

Full Author List

  • Berthier E; Larsen C; Durkin W; Willis M; Pritchard M

author count

  • 5

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