Glacier Monitoring

Glaciers services provide operational analysis and assessment of glaciers within the context of water resource management and hydropower generation. We focus on changes in glacial discharge, current mass balance distribution and glacier dynamics and stability.


The glacier monitoring service provides decision support tools for end-users using Earth Observation and numerical modelling. End-users are typically water resource regulators with links to the hydropower industry, environmental managers and related policy administrators.

Tailor-made Data

The service provides monitoring products and integrated glaciological analyses focusing on the impact of climate change on glacial discharge, current mass balance distribution and glacier dynamics and stability.

Depending on the specific needs of each end-user, a variety of information products can be provided, such as glacier topography, glacier velocity fields, glacier facies distribution, snow retreat and glacier surface energy balance.

Combining Techniques

Our products and services employ a combination of Earth Observation data processing and analysis and surface energy balance modelling.

The implementation of remote sensing/Earth Observation methods is determined by the product/service specification and data availability.

Earth Observation methods include interferometric DEM and velocity map generations using repeat-pass data and the use of feature tracking where coherence is problematic.

The overpass cycle of ENVISAT may mean feature tracking becomes a more important method for deriving velocity maps. Optical-thermal data will be used to support the energy balance modelling.

The energy balance modelling is defined by data inputs and the role of the modelling in the analysis (timescale, scenario definition and objectives).