Preparing for GPS mapping of a glacier

Preparing for GPS mapping of a glacier

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Credit: DAVID HAY JONES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: GPS topographical glacier mapping. Glaciologist setting up a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit on a snowmobile, prior to mapping a glacier. This technique is called differential GPS (DGPS). DGPS is a way of improving the accuracy of GPS by using a signal from a fixed base station as well as the usual signals from orbiting satellites. It allows measurement of positional accuracy within a metre. Once set up, the glaciologist will drive the snowmobile over the entire glacier, mapping its extent and topography. Photographed on the Marmaglaciaren glacier in Swedish Lapland, in spring 2006.

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