Copernicus Glacier Service
Glaciers are sensitive to climate change and are changing rapidly due to global warming. Monitoring these changes is crucial for understanding the current health, changes and future development of glaciers. There are also numerous hazards associated with glaciers, such as glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFS), serac falls and crevasses that pose a risk to both infrastructure and people. The goal of the Copernicus glacier service is to monitor glaciers in mainland Norway and on Svalbard using the Sentinel satellites of the Copernicus programme. The project primarily utilizes images from Sentinel-2, with supplemental images from Landsat-8 and Sentinel-1. The Norwegian water resources and energy directorate (NVE) and the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) are responsible for monitoring glaciers in mainland Norway and Svalbard, respectively.
Read more about the project results and use of Sentinel imagery in our final report that summarises the work done from 2016-2021:
Andreassen, L.M. (ed.), G. Moholdt, A. Kääb, A. Messerli, T. Nagy and S.H. Winsvold. 2021.
Monitoring glaciers in mainland Norway and Svalbard using Sentinel. NVE Rapport 3-2021, 94 p.
We have tested using Sentinel for the following glacier products:
Visualization of data
NVE has developed the expert tool Xgeo for viewing Sentinel imagery and glacier products. A selection of glacier products can also be visualized in NVE’s and NPI’s web map services. Read more about these web-based visualizations here.
Sentinel-2 image of glaciers in the Kongsfjorden area, Svalbard, 2 August 2016.
Liss Marie Andreassen, Section for glaciers, ice and snow, Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), Postbox 5091, Majorstua, 0301 Oslo, Norway. Project leader. (lma 'at' nve.no)
Geir Moholdt, Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram centre, Postbox 6606 Langnes, 9296 Tromsø, Norway
Andreas Kääb, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Postbox 1047 Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway