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AI to Monitor Changes to Globally Important Glacier

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Ice and snow.

The scientists wanted to know if crevassing or fracture formation was more likely to occur with changes to the speed of the ice flow. 

Credit: University of Leeds (U.K.)

U.K. researchers from the University of Leeds and the University of Bristol have adapted an artificial intelligence algorithm to look at satellite images and identify the development of crevasses forming on the Thwaites Glacier in west Antarctica.

The ability to monitor and model changes to the glacier is important given that it has enough ice to cause a 60-centimeter (2-foot) increase in global sea levels.

Using machine learning and images taken by the European Space Agency's Sentinel-1 satellites, the researchers found that crevasses are more likely to occur when ice flow increases or slows, and that the Thwaites Glacier ice tongue sped up and slowed down twice in the last six years.

Said Leeds' Anna Hogg, "Ice sheet models must be evolved to account for the fact that ice can fracture, which will allow us to measure future sea level contributions more accurately."

From University of Leeds (U.K.)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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