Publications

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2018
Siegfried, MR, Fricker HA.  2018.  Thirteen years of subglacial lake activity in Antarctica from multi-mission satellite altimetry. Annals of Glaciology. 59:42-55.   10.1017/aog.2017.36   AbstractWebsite

The ability to detect the surface expression of moving water beneath the Antarctic ice sheet by satellite has revealed a dynamic basal environment, with implications for regional ice dynamics, grounding-line stability, and fluxes of freshwater and nutrients to the Southern Ocean. Knowledge of subglacial activity on timescales important for near-term prediction of ice-sheet fluctuations (decadal to century) is limited by the short observational record of NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimetry mission used to generate the last continent-wide survey (2003-08). Here, we use synthetic aperture radar-interferometric-mode data from ESA's CryoSat-2 radar altimetry mission (2010-present), which samples 45 of the ICESat-derived subglacial lakes, to extend their time series to the end of 2016. The extended time series show that there have been surface-height changes at 20 of the 45 lakes since 2008, indicating that some of these features are persistent and potentially cyclic, while other features show negligible changes, suggesting these may be transient or nonhydrological features. Continued monitoring of active lakes for both height and velocity changes, as well as developing methods for identifying additional lakes, is critical to quantifying the full distribution of active subglacial lakes in Antarctica.

2009
Smith, BE, Fricker HA, Joughin IR, Tulaczyk S.  2009.  An inventory of active subglacial lakes in Antarctica detected by ICESat (2003-2008). Journal of Glaciology. 55:573-595. AbstractWebsite

Through the detection of surface deformation in response to water movement, recent satellite studies have demonstrated the existence of subglacial lakes in Antarctica that fill and drain on timescales of months to years. These studies, however, were confined to specific regions of the ice sheet. Here we present the first comprehensive study of these 'active' lakes for the Antarctic ice sheet north of 86 degrees S, based on 4.5 years (2003-08) of NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Our analysis has detected 124 lakes that were active during this period, and we estimate volume changes for each lake. The ICESat-detected lakes are prevalent in coastal Antarctica, and are present under most of the largest ice-stream catchments. Lakes sometimes appear to transfer water from one to another, but also often exchange water with distributed sources undetectable by ICESat, suggesting that the lakes may provide water to or withdraw water from the hydrologic systems that lubricate glacier flow. Thus, these reservoirs may contribute pulses of water to produce rapid temporal changes in glacier speeds, but also may withdraw water at other times to slow flow.

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.