Evolution of melt pond volume on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Article first published online: 14 FEB 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 3, February 2007
How to Cite
2007), Evolution of melt pond volume on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L03501, doi:10.1029/2006GL028697., and (
- Issue published online: 14 FEB 2007
- Article first published online: 14 FEB 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 JAN 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 29 DEC 2006
- Manuscript Received: 6 NOV 2006
- melt ponds;
- ice sheets;
- surface water
 The presence of surface meltwater on ice caps and ice sheets is an important glaciological and climatological characteristic. We describe an algorithm for estimating the depth and hence volume of surface melt ponds using multispectral ASTER satellite imagery. The method relies on reasonable assumptions about the albedo of the bottom surface of the ponds and the optical attenuation characteristics of the ponded meltwater. We apply the technique to sequences of satellite imagery acquired over the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet to derive changes in melt pond extent and volume during the period 2001–2004. Results show large intra- and interannual changes in ponded water volumes, and large volumes of liquid water stored in extensive slush zones.