Geology Faculty Publications


Theoretical Foundations of Remote Sensing for Glacier Assessment and Mapping

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Source

Global Land Ice Measurements from Space


The international scientific community is actively engaged in assessing ice sheet and alpine glacier fluctuations at a variety of scales. The availability of stereoscopic, multitemporal, and multispectral satellite imagery from the optical wavelength regions of the electromagnetic spectrum has greatly increased our ability to assess glaciological conditions and map the cryosphere. There are, however, important issues and limitations associated with accurate satellite information extraction and mapping, as well as new opportunities for assessment and mapping that are all rooted in understanding the fundamentals of the radiation transfer cascade. We address the primary radiation transfer components, relate them to glacier dynamics and mapping, and summarize the analytical approaches that permit transformation of spectral variation into thematic and quantitative parameters. We also discuss the integration of satellite-derived information into numerical modeling approaches to facilitate understandings of glacier dynamics and causal mechanisms.

Inclusive pages






Place of Publication

Berlin, Germany

Peer Reviewed