Automated Detection of Glacier Surges from Sentinel-1 Surface Velocity Time Series—An Example from Svalbard

Research on surge-type glaciers, although they constitute a small percentage of all glaciers, significantly contributes to understanding glacier flow mechanisms. Recent studies have utilized remote sensing techniques to unravel these processes, highlighting the potential of combining high-performance computing and earth observation. While modeling surge events has gained popularity, there is a lack of comprehensive spatial and temporal data on surge timing. To address this, an algorithm has been developed that not only detects surge-type glaciers but also determines the onset of surges. The algorithm relies on time series analysis of glacier surface velocity using Sentinel-1 data, involving seasonal and trend decomposition and outlier detection via the General Studentized Extreme Deviate Test. Cluster analysis is then applied to identify outlier clusters associated with glacier surges. The method’s effectiveness was demonstrated in the Svalbard archipelago between 2015 and 2021, where 18 glacier surges and their timing were successfully identified.