Glacier area changes in the Arctic and high latitudes using satellite remote sensing

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Glaciers have been retreating over the last century as a result of climate change, particularly in the Arctic, causing sea levels to rise, affecting coastal communities and potentially changing global weather and climate patterns. In this study, we mapped 2203 glaciers in Novaya Zemlya (Russian Arctic), Penny Ice Cap (Baffin Island), Disko Island (Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland) and part of Kenai (Alaska), using Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA) applied to multispectral Landsat satellite imagery in Google Earth Engine (GEE) to quantify the glacier area changes over three decades. Between 1985–89 and 2019–21, the results show that the overall glacier area loss in Novaya Zemlya is 1319 ± 419 km2 (5.7% of area), 452 ± 227 km2 (6.6%) for Penny Ice Cap, 457 ± 168 km2 (23.6%) in Disko Island and 196 ± 84 km2 (25.7%) in Kenai. A total of seventy-three glaciers have disappeared completely, including sixty-nine on Disko Island, three in Novaya Zemlya and one in Kenai.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2247416
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Maps
Issue number1
Early online date22 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 22 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of Journal of Maps.


  • Glaciers
  • Arctic glaciology
  • Google Earth Engine
  • Arctic
  • glaciers
  • Landsat
  • OBIA


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