Detecting ice-sheet melt area over western Greenland using MODIS and AMSR-E data for the summer periods of 2002-2006

Matthew F. McCabe*, Petr Chylek, Manvendra K. Dubey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We present the results from two independent approaches for monitoring ice-sheet melt area over western Greenland. The microwave-based cross-polarization gradient ratio (XPGR) approach (Abdalati, W. and Steffen,K., 1995,Detecting ice-sheet melt area over westernGreenland usingMODIS andAMSR-E data for the summer periods of 2002-2006. Geophysical Research Letter, 22, pp. 787-790) is compared with a newly developed technique that exploits reflectance characteristics of snow/ice using near-infrared and visible wavelengths, to assess the extent of ice-sheet melt area over the west coast of Greenland. Data from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor onboard the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth Observing Satellite (EOS) Terra are analysed through the years 2002-2006 to monitor melt area extent between May and September. Concurrently, the XPGR ratio is derived from advanced microwave scanning radiometer (AMSR-E) data to develop a comparativemeasure ofmelt area over the same period of investigation. Although the techniques represent fundamentally different physical approaches, good agreement is observed between these distinct melt area products. The enhanced spatial resolution that is achieved from theMODIS sensor offers additional insight into themelt response over the course of the summermelt period and highlights the advantage of synthesizing diverse sensors and retrieval algorithms for Earth observation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalRemote Sensing Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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