Publications

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2014
Moholdt, G, Padman L, Fricker HA.  2014.  Basal mass budget of Ross and Filchner-Ronne ice shelves, Antarctica, derived from Lagrangian analysis of ICESat altimetry. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface.   10.1002/2014JF003171   Abstract

Traditional methods of deriving temporal variability of Antarctic ice-shelf elevation from satellite altimetry use a fixed (“Eulerian”) reference frame, where the measured changes include advection of ice thickness gradients between measurement epochs. We present a new method which removes advection effects by using an independent velocity field to compare elevations in a moving (“Lagrangian”) reference frame. Applying the technique to ICESat laser altimetry for the period 2003-2009 over the two largest Antarctic ice shelves, Ross and Filchner-Ronne, we show that the Lagrangian approach reduces the variability of derived elevation changes by about 50% compared to the Eulerian approach, and reveals clearer spatial patterns of elevation change. The method simplifies the process of estimating basal mass budget from the residual of all other processes that contribute to ice-shelf elevation changes. We use field data and ICESat measurements over ice rises and the grounded ice sheet to account for surface accumulation and changes in firn air content, and remove the effect of ice-flow divergence using surface velocity and ice thickness data. The results show highest basal melt rates (>5 m a-1) near the deep grounding lines of major ice streams, but smaller melt rates (<5 m a-1) near the ice-shelf fronts are equally important to total meltwater production since they occur over larger areas. Integrating over the ice-shelf areas, we obtain basal mass budgets of -50 ± 64 Gt a-1 for Ross and -124 ± 66 Gt a-1 for Filchner-Ronne, with changes in firn air content as the largest error source.

2004
Jacka, TH, Abdalati W, Allison I, Carsey F, Casassa G, Fily M, Frezzotti M, Fricker HA, Genthon C, Goodwin I, Guo Z, Hamilton GS, Hindmarsh RCA, Hulbe CL, Jacka TH, Jezek KC, Scambos TA, Shuman C, Skvarca P, Takahashi S, van de Wal RSW, Vaughan DG, Wang WL, Warner RC, Wingham DJ, Young NW, Zwally HJ, Comm I.  2004.  Recommendations for the collection and synthesis of Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance data. Global and Planetary Change. 42:1-15.   10.1016/j.gloplacha.2003.11.008   AbstractWebsite

Recent unexpected changes in the Antarctic Ice Sheet, including ice sheet thinning, ice shelf collapse and changes in ice velocities, along with the recent realization that as much as one third of ice shelf mass loss is due to bottom melt, place a new urgency on understanding the processes involved in these changes. Technological advances, including very new or forthcoming satellite-based (e.g. ICESat, CryoSat) remote sensing missions, will improve our ability to make meaningful determinations of changes in Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance. This paper is the result of a workshop held to develop a strategy for international collaboration aimed at the collection and synthesis of Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance data, and at understanding the processes involved so that we might predict future change. Nine sets of recommendations are made, concerning the most important and sensitive measurements, temporal ranges and study areas. A final tenth recommendation calls for increased synthesis of ice sheet data and communication between the field measurement, satellite observation and modelling communities. (C) 2004 Published by Elsevier B.V.

2002
Fricker, HA, Allison I, Craven M, Hyland G, Ruddell A, Young N, Coleman R, King M, Krebs K, Popov S.  2002.  Redefinition of the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, grounding zone. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 107   10.1029/2001jb000383   AbstractWebsite

[1] New evidence is presented which shows that the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, extends similar to240 km upstream of the previously reported position. We combine a digital elevation model of the Amery Ice Shelf created from ERS-1 satellite radar altimetry with measured ice thicknesses and a simple density model in a hydrostatic (buoyancy) calculation to map the extent of the floating ice. This reveals that the ice is floating as far south as 73.2degreesS. The result is confirmed by static GPS measurements collected during three consecutive field campaigns on the Amery Ice Shelf where the vertical component of the GPS shows a clear tidal signal at 72.98degreesS. Other evidence for the grounding zone position comes from an analysis of satellite imagery, mass flux calculations, and ice radar data. The southward extension of the grounding line substantially alters the shape and dimensions of the ocean cavity beneath the ice shelf, which has implications for modeling studies of sub-ice shelf processes, such as basal melting and freezing, ocean circulation, and tides. The new grounding line position will also improve geophysical studies, where the computation of ocean tidal loading corrections is important for postglacial rebound estimates and correction of satellite altimetry measurements within the region.