Title Mapping the grounding zone of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, using ICESat laser altimetry
Author Brunt, K.M.; Fricker, H.A.; Padman, L.; Scambos, T.A.; O'Neel, S.
Author Affil Brunt, K.M., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA. Other: Earth & Space Research; University of Colorado; U. S. Geological Survey
Source Glaciology in the International Polar Year, prefaced by G.H. Gudmundsson. Annals of Glaciology, 51(55), p.71-79, . Publisher: International Glaciological Society, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ISSN: 0260- 3055
Publication Date 2010
Notes In English. 28 refs. CRREL Acc. No: 64004759
Index Terms glacial geology; ice shelves; lasers; Antarctica--Ross Ice Shelf; altimetry; Antarctica; data management; Engelhardt Ice Ridge; ICESat; information management; International Polar Year 2007-08; IPY 2007-08 Research Publications; laser methods; Mercer ice stream; Ross Ice Shelf; satellite methods
Abstract We use laser altimetry from the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) to map the grounding zone (GZ) of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, at 491 locations where ICESat tracks cross the grounding line (GL). Ice flexure in the GZ occurs as the ice shelf responds to short-term sea-level changes due primarily to tides. ICESat repeat-track analysis can be used to detect this region of flexure since each repeated pass is acquired at a different tidal phase; the technique provides estimates for both the landward limit of flexure and the point where the ice becomes hydrostatically balanced. We find that the ICESat-derived landward limits of tidal flexure are, in many places, offset by several km (and up to approx. 60 km) from the GL mapped previously using other satellite methods. We discuss the reasons why different mapping methods lead to different GL estimates, including: instrument limitations; variability in the surface topographic structure of the GZ; and the presence of ice plains. We conclude that reliable and accurate mapping of the GL is most likely to be achieved when based on synthesis of several satellite datasets.
URL http://www.igsoc.org/annals/v51/55/a55a044.pdf
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 300287