Jukes Liu – Thesis Proposal

Title: Investigating spatiotemporal patterns in Greenland glacier terminus changes using automated edge detection in satellite images

Abstract: Glaciers around the world have been losing mass over the last ~3 decades as a result of increased surface meltwater runoff, changes in glacier extent, and changes in ice flow driven by the changes in runoff and extent. I investigate the mass loss of Greenland’s peripheral glaciers due to ice discharge, a key driver of their contribution to sea level rise, by examining their changes in terminus position. Changes in glacier terminus position influence the glacier mass balance directly through changes in glacier extent and indirectly through modulation of the balance of stresses that govern ice flow. Therefore, quantification of terminus position change provides valuable information regarding spatio-temporal variations in glacier mass loss. I generate time series of glacier terminus position for marine-terminating glaciers aroundGreenland’s periphery through the adaption of an automated edge detection method originally developed for biomedical image analysis. Here I focus on applying the method to analyze Landsat satellite images. Landsat’s frequent repeat interval of 16days and long record of 40+ years of imagery allows the investigation of factors influencing glacier terminus change at sub-seasonal to decadal temporal scales.My work on this project focuses primarily on developing an efficient method for mapping hundreds of glaciers and analysis of a representative sample of these peripheral glaciers. Here I present the motivation for the research, description of the nearly-finalized method, and the results from analysis of 10 sample glaciers for the Landsat-8 record (2013-present).

Where: RUCH 103
When: Friday, Nov 15th
Time: 3:00 pm
Directions: Map