FUSION OF LASER ALTIMETRY DATA WITH DEMS DERIVED FROM STEREO IMAGING SYSTEMS
Keywords: Ice Sheet, Surface Elevation Changes, Fusion System, Mass Balance Changes
Abstract. During the last two decades surface elevation data have been gathered over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) from a variety of different sensors including spaceborne and airborne laser altimetry, such as NASA’s Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS), as well as from stereo satellite imaging systems, most notably from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Worldview. The spatio-temporal resolution, the accuracy, and the spatial coverage of all these data differ widely. For example, laser altimetry systems are much more accurate than DEMs derived by correlation from imaging systems. On the other hand, DEMs usually have a superior spatial resolution and extended spatial coverage. We present in this paper an overview of the SERAC (Surface Elevation Reconstruction And Change detection) system, designed to cope with the data complexity and the computation of elevation change histories. SERAC simultaneously determines the ice sheet surface shape and the time-series of elevation changes for surface patches whose size depends on the ruggedness of the surface and the point distribution of the sensors involved. By incorporating different sensors, SERAC is a true fusion system that generates the best plausible result (time series of elevation changes) a result that is better than the sum of its individual parts. We follow this up with an example of the Helmheim gacier, involving ICESat, ATM and LVIS laser altimetry data, together with ASTER DEMs.