Investigating the Surge of Negribreen, Svalbard, from Evolving Surface Velocities and Elevation

Odin Haga, Robert McNabb, Bas Altena, Christopher Nuth

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Negribreen, a tidewater glacier located in mid-eastern Svalbard, began accelerating rapidly during spring/summer 2016. Ice horizontal velocities have reached above 30 meters per day making it one of the fastest flowing glaciers on the archipelago. The last surge is thought to have occurred in the 1930s, but due to a very long quiescent phase, prior investigations of this glacier have been limited. As Negribreen is part of one of the largest glacier systems in Svalbard, investigating its current surge event will provide important information on surge behavior within the region. Here, we demonstrate the surge development and propagation using a time series of digital elevation models from various sources (ca. 1970-2018) and surface velocities from the newly available Global Land and Ice Thickness Velocity Extraction from Landsat 8 (GoLIVE) dataset. Preliminary analysis of changes in surface elevation and velocity shows similarities to other Arctic surging glaciers with rapid acceleration of the terminus leading to slight advance and draw down further up-glacier. Finally, we demonstrate the feasibility of using dense time series of data derived from optical sensors to study rapid glacier changes in the High Arctic.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 9 Jul 2019
Event27th IUGG General Assembly - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 8 Jul 201918 Jul 2019


Conference27th IUGG General Assembly
Internet address


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