Read about the main features
of the GLIMS Glacier Database.
Read about the Randolph Glacier
GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from
Space) is a project designed to monitor the world's
glaciers primarily using data from optical satellite
instruments, such as ASTER (Advanced
Spaceborne Thermal Emission and reflection Radiometer).
GLIMS began as an ASTER Science Team project. Through this
connection, we have guided the ASTER instrument to acquire imagery
of Earth's glaciers in a way that is optimized (best season and instrument
gain settings) for glacier monitoring. We have also put together a
network of international collaborators who analyze imagery of
glaciers in their regions of expertise. Analysis results include
digital glacier outlines and related metadata, and can also include
snow lines, center flow lines, hypsometry data, surface velocity
fields, and literature references. Results from analysis done by
the Regional Centers are sent for archive to the National Snow and
Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
We continue to develop tools to aid in glacier mapping and for
transfer of analysis results to NSIDC. An older software package
other resources include documented procedures for GLIMS analysis, and web-based tools for
data formatting and quality control. In practice, we have recently
developed more tools for use here at NSIDC to ingest glacier data
from a variety of sources, so a variety of tools may be used by
analysts contributing data to GLIMS.
Over 60 institutions across the globe are involved in GLIMS. Until
early 2015 the project was coordinated by Principal Investigator
Jeffrey S. Kargel of the University of Arizona
Department of Hydrology and Water Resources. General
coordination, technical development, and data management are done
NSIDC in Boulder, Colorado, USA. The research
team at NSIDC currently includes Richard Armstrong (former
Principal Investigator and current advisor), Bruce Raup (General
Coordinator and Technical Lead), and Siri Jodha Singh Khalsa
(Remote Sensing Specialist).
"Glim" is an archaic Scottish term that means "a passing look; a
glimpse; as much as is seen at a glance." In a future historical
perspective, we may well look back on GLIMS and other early-21st Century remote-sensing of Earth's
glaciers as a glim of a passing or changing phenomenon.