Abstract

Speckle tracking of ALOS PALSAR fine beam data from 2007–2011 are used to determine the surface motion of major ice masses on Baffin Island and Bylot Island in the southern Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Glacier velocities are low overall, with peaks of ∼100 m a−1 and means of ∼20–60 m a−1 common along the main trunk of many outlet glaciers. Peak velocities on Penny and Bylot Island ice caps tend to occur near the mid-sections of their primary outlet glaciers, while the fastest velocities on all other glaciers usually occur near their termini due to relatively large accumulation areas draining through narrow outlets. Estimates of ice thickness at the fronts of tidewater-terminating glaciers are combined with the velocity measurements to determine a regional dynamic discharge rate of between ∼17 Mt a−1 and ∼108 Mt a−1, with a mid-point estimate of ∼55 Mt a−1, revising downward previous approximations. These velocities can be used as inputs for glacier flow models, and provide a baseline dataset against which future changes in ice dynamics can be detected.

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