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Alaska: Glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park and Katmai National Park and PreserveThere are hundreds of glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park (KEFJ) and Katmai National Park and Preserve (KATM) covering over 2,276 sq km of park land (ca. 2000). There are two primary glacierized areas in KEFJ (the Harding Icefield and the Grewingk-Yalik Glacier Complex) and three primary glacierized areas in KATM (the Mt. Douglas area, the Kukak Volcano to Mt. Katmai area, and the Mt. Martin area). Most glaciers in these parks terminate on land, though a few terminate in lakes. Only KEFJ has tidewater glaciers, which terminate in the ocean. Glacier mapping and analysis of the change in glacier extent has been accomplished on a decadal scale using satellite imagery, primarily Landsat data from the 1970s, 1980s, and from2000. Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS),Thematic Mapper (TM), and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM) imagery was used to map glacier extent on a park-wide basis. Classification of glacier ice using image-processing software, along with extensive manual editing, was employed to create Geographic Information System (GIS)outlines of the glacier extent for each park. Many glaciers that originate in KEFJ but terminate outside the park boundaries were also mapped. Results of the analysis show that there has been a reduction in the amount of glacier ice cover in the two parks over the study period. Our measurements show a reduction of approximately 21 sq km, or 1.5(from 1986 to 2000), and 76 sq km, or 7.7 (from19861987 to 2000), in KEFJ and KATM, respectively. This work represents the first comprehensive study of glaciers of KATM. Issues that complicate the mapping of glacier extent include debris cover(moraine and volcanic ash), shadows, clouds, fresh snow, lingering snow from the previous season, and differences in spatial resolution between the MSS,TM, or ETM sensors. Similar glacier mapping efforts in western Canada estimate mapping errors of 34. Measurements were also collected from a suite of glaciers in KEFJ and KATM detailing terminus positions and rates of recession using datasets including 15 min USGS quadrangle maps(19501951), Landsat imagery (19861987, 2000,2006), and 2005 IKONOS imagery (KEFJ only).
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Book Chapter
Giffens, Bruce A.
(National Park Service Anchorage, AK, United States)
Hall, Dorothy K.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Chien, Janet Y. L.
(Science Applications International Corp. Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
April 3, 2015
Publication Date
December 3, 2014
Publication Information
Publication: Global Land Ice Measurements from Space
Publisher: Springer Praxis Books
Subject Category
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Kenai Fjords
National Park
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