USING LANDSAT IMAGES AND GIS TO ASSESS THE CHANGES OF MER DE GLACE AND MARMOLADA GLACIERS, IN THE LAST THREE DECADES
M. M. NISTOR1
1 Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41121, Modena, Italy, e-mails: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
ABSTRACT. – Using Landsat Images and GIS to Assess the Changes of Mer de Glace and Marmolada Glaciers, in the Last Three Decades. We have demonstrated that Mer de Glace Glacier (GL) and Marmolada GL are in continuous retreat. The changes in size and status of terminus points were estimated in various time intervals by satellite images (SIs) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques, during the last three decades. The aim of the research was to found the value of the ice melting areas of Mer de Glace GL and Marmolada GL and to calculate the decline rate for both GLs. A large number of GLs have lost ice mass all over the world. Often glaciologists monitor the GLs movements under climate changes and they express their opinions about the ocean level rise, ecosystem challenges and the future implications of GLs decline. The analysed information to quantify the Mer de Glace GL and Marmolada GL areas derived from SIs. By manual vectorization we obtained the outlines of GLs in different years. For 1984, 1999, 2013 we defined the limits for Mer de Glace GL and for 1986, 1999, 2013 we defined the limits for Marmolada GL. These vector layers were compared in order to observe the melting area and to establish the withdrawal rate. The first results indicate that Mer de Glace GL area declined by 2.365 km² between 1984 and 2013 and a mean melting rate of 0.082 km²/year was obtained. Marmolada GL decreased by 1.035 km² between 1986 and 2013 and a mean melting rate of 0.038 km²/year was calculated. We believe that these results represent significant quantitative data about GLs movements regarding two different areas in the Alps Range and may provide knowledge for hydrology, geomorphology and environmental sciences.
Keywords: satellite images, GIS, climate change, glacier, Mer de Glace, Marmolada.