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Rapid acceleration of Arctic glaciers detected by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites

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Within the Glaciers_cci project we are using Sentinel-1 data to map Svalbard's glaciers at different times. Over the past year rapid acceleration of two glaciers (Negribreen and Strongbreen) has been detected.

Sitting on Norway's Spitsbergen island in the Svalbard archipelago, the Negribreen and Strongbreen glaciers has recently seen a surge in ice surface speed, increasing from 1 m to more than 13 m a day over the winter.

When a glacier ‘surges' a large amount of ice flows to the end in an unusually short time. While the causes are not completely understood, they are believed to be linked to changes in the amount of heat or water in the lowest layers of the glaciers.

Read more what happens here.

Full series of radar images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission of Negribreen:

Full series of radar images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission of Strongbreen: