16 Aug

Greenland CCI+ - Optical Ice Velocity

  • Scientific Data Processing
  • Technical R&D Consulting

Project type: Scientific Data Processing

Region: Greenland

Duration: 9 yr (October 2015 - October 2024)

Collaboration partner: Technical University of Denmark (DTU), ENVEO


Over the last decade, the Greenland Ice Sheet has shown rapid change, characterized by rapid thinning along the margins, accelerating outlet glaciers and overall increasing mass loss. The state of the Greenland Ice Sheet is of global importance, and has consequently been included in the CCI Programme, described by several Essential Climate Variables (ECVs).

Ice Velocity (IV) is identified as an essential climate change variable. S&T is responsible for calculating the optical IV from Sentinel-2 imagery within the GIS CCI project.

To measure the ice velocity optically we seek to compare to satellite images of the same region, but temporarily different. From this we compare each image and try to detect shifts using what is called feature tracking. By finding out the shifts within an image in the northing and easting directions, we can together with the temporal length extract the glacier velocity.


The project delivered improved maps of the ice velocity for 9 key glaciers in Greenland. WA sneak peak of the the Petermann glacier can be seen below, where we display the northing component of the ice velocity:


Contact us if you find this interesting!

Link to project website: https://climate.esa.int/en/projects/ice-sheets-greenland/