TermPicks: a century of Greenland glacier terminus data for use in scientific and machine learning applications

Goliber, Sophie, Black, Taryn, Catania, Ginny, Lea, James M., Olsen, Helene, Cheng, Daniel, Bevan, Suzanne, Bjørk, Anders, Bunce, Charlie, Brough, Stephen, Carr, J. Rachel, Cowton, Tom, Gardner, Alex, Fahrner, Dominik, Hill, Emily, Joughin, Ian, Korsgaard, Niels J., Luckman, Adrian, Moon, Twila, Murray, Tavi, Sole, Andrew, Wood, Michael and Zhang, Enze (2022) TermPicks: a century of Greenland glacier terminus data for use in scientific and machine learning applications. The Cryosphere, 16 (8). pp. 3215-3233. ISSN 1994-0424

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-16-3215-2022


Marine-terminating outlet glacier terminus traces, mapped from satellite and aerial imagery, have been used extensively in understanding how outlet glaciers adjust to climate change variability over a range of timescales. Numerous studies have digitized termini manually, but this process is labor intensive, and no consistent approach exists. A lack of coordination leads to duplication of efforts, particularly for Greenland, which is a major scientific research focus. At the same time, machine learning techniques are rapidly making progress in their ability to automate accurate extraction of glacier termini, with promising developments across a number of optical and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite sensors. These techniques rely on high-quality, manually digitized terminus traces to be used as training data for robust automatic traces. Here we present a database of manually digitized terminus traces for machine learning and scientific applications. These data have been collected, cleaned, assigned with appropriate metadata including image scenes, and compiled so they can be easily accessed by scientists. The TermPicks data set includes 39 060 individual terminus traces for 278 glaciers with a mean of 136 ± 190 and median of 93 of traces per glacier. Across all glaciers, 32 567 dates have been digitized, of which 4467 have traces from more than one author, and there is a duplication rate of 17 %. We find a median error of ∼ 100 m among manually traced termini. Most traces are obtained after 1999, when Landsat 7 was launched. We also provide an overview of an updated version of the Google Earth Engine Digitization Tool (GEEDiT), which has been developed specifically for future manual picking of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: We acknowledge support from a NASA Earth and Space Sciences fellowship to Sophie Goliber (18-EARTH18F-323) and terminus tracers everywhere. At the University of Texas this includes Lucero Casteneda, Gene Hsu, David Peters, Andrea Jimenez, and Mason Fried. Niels J. Korsgaard was supported by the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE). Michael Wood was supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, administered by the Universities Space Research Association under contract with NASA. James M. Lea is supported by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship (grant no. MR/S017232/1). Dominik Fahrner acknowledges support for this study through the EPSRC and ESRC Centre for Doctoral Training on Quantification and Management of Risk and Uncertainty in Complex Systems Environments (grant no. EP/L015927/1). Tavi Murray is funded by the Leverhulme Trust Research Leadership scheme F/00391/J and the UK NERC NE/G010366/1. Landsat images used in figures were downloaded from USGS Earth Explorer https://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/ (last access: May 2021).
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2022 14:22
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2022 14:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/50129

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