Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Waleed Abdalati

Second Advisor

Kristy Tiampo

Third Advisor

Ted Scambos

Abstract

With the rise of temperatures in the Arctic, Sentinel 1A and 1B data are used to examine the current state of Bylot Island's glaciers. This will provide valuable data for future sea-level and climate models to accurately predict the contribution the High Canadian Arctic has to sea-level rise. Bylot Island is in a unique location in the High Canadian Arctic, as it sits on a transition zone between warming in the north and historical cooling to the south. By using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), the three dimensional velocity vectors are calculated and used to produce horizontal velocity and melt loss maps for Bylot Island. Optical Feature Tracking is employed using Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 data to validate results and calculate Bylot Island's ice cap extent. Results show a decrease in overall glacier velocity, but increased glacier thinning from surface melt. Increased glacial thinning can be contributed to a Melt-Albedo positive feedback cycle. With melting beginning earlier each season, the overall extent of Bylot Island is rapidly decreasing and contributing more melt to sea-level than previously thought.

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