The GLIMS-IT Project

GLIMS-IT: italian contribution to the GLIMS Project – satellite-surveying of the globe glaciers.

The Italian contribution to the project GLIMS-Global Land Ice Measurements from Space consists in producing a satellite-derived Atlas of Italian glaciers. From the analysis of five images scanned by the ASTER sensor installed on the TERRA satellite, the limits of glaciers in the mountain ranges of the Lepontine Alps, Pusteresi Alps, the Veneto Dolomites, the Cevedale group in the Noce basin, and Adamello-Presanella were extracted. From a methodological point of view the information from the thermal infrared spectral channels for the recognition of some debris-covered glaciers was used. Once the extent of the glacier is obtained, the geomorphological parameters are extracted automatically with a computer code that implements the requirements of the project GLIMS. The results of processing have been transmitted to the data base maintained by the National Snow and Ice Data Center and the Italian Glaciological Committee, which is involved in the initiative for updating the Italian Glaciers Inventory. The information for the mountain ranges of the Cevedale and Adamello-Presanella have been organized into a geographic information system in KML format. On average, in the areas investigated so far, a decrease from the 80s to 2007, in the extent of glaciers between 34% and 50% was detected, with a marked fragmentation of different glaciological units and the disappearance of some small glaciers, confirming the acceleration in the last decades of the glacier’s retreat started at the end of the Little Ice Age. A detailed analysis of the image of the Adamello-Presanella group, where a 36% glacier’s retreat was observed, is presented

Ranzi R., Baroni C., Pepe M., Rossi E., Vantadori F., Salvatore M.C. “GLIMS-IT: contributo italiano al progetto GLIMS di monitoraggio satellitare dei ghiacciai del globo” Atti 17a Conferenza Nazionale ASITA – Riva del Garda 5-7 novembre 2013, pp. 1126-1132


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