Analysis of ice types along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada, and their relationship to Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) backscatter

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Richer McCallum, Miriam




Ice shelves and other ice features along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island are a complex mixture of ice originating from marine and meteoric sources. This is reflected in the considerable variability in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) backscatter in remotely sensed imagery. This study analyzed the properties of three different ice types across the Milne and Petersen ice shelves and associated them with SAR backscatter. The results indicated that the grain diameter of each ice type was unique in horizontal thin sections and that bubble shape and size were associated with SAR variables. Furthermore, cores extracted from areas originally thought to be glacially-fed were identified as being marine in origin, suggesting that considerable surface ablation has taken place over the past three decades. This research offers the potential to improve our ability to assess long-term changes (past and future) of the ice cover along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island.


Physical Geography




Carleton University

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