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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 5, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 5, 445-452, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-445-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
The Cryosphere, 5, 445-452, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-445-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 27 May 2011

Research article | 27 May 2011

In-situ multispectral and bathymetric measurements over a supraglacial lake in western Greenland using a remotely controlled watercraft

M. Tedesco1,2 and N. Steiner1,2 M. Tedesco and N. Steiner
  • 1The City College of New York, CUNY, NYC, NY, USA
  • 2The Graduate Center, CUNY, NYC, NY, USA

Abstract. Supraglacial lakes form from meltwater on the Greenland ice sheet in topographic depressions on the surface, affecting both surface and sub-glacial processes. As the reflectance in the visible and near-infrared regions of a column of water is modulated by its height, retrieval techniques using spaceborne remote sensing data (e.g. Landsat, MODIS) have been proposed in the literature for the detection of lakes and estimation of their volume. These techniques require basic assumptions on the spectral properties of the water as well as the bottom of the lake, among other things. In this study, we report results obtained from the analysis of concurrent in-situ multi-spectral and depth measurements collected over a supraglacial lake during early July 2010 in West Greenland (Lake Olivia, 69°36'35" N, 49°29'40" W) and aim to assess some of the underlying hypotheses in remote sensing based bathymetric approaches. In particular, we focus our attention on the analysis of the lake bottom albedo and of the water attenuation coefficient. The analysis of in-situ data (collected by means of a remotely controlled boat equipped with a GPS, a sonar and a spectrometer) highlights the exponential trend of the water-leaving reflectance with lake depth. The values of the attenuation factor obtained from in-situ data are compared with those computed using approaches proposed in the literature. Also, the values of the lake bottom albedo from in-situ measurements are compared with those obtained from the analysis of reflectance of shallow waters. Finally, we quantify the error between in-situ measured and satellite-estimated lake depth values for the lake under study.

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