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GPS-Observed Elastic Deformation Due to Surface Mass Balance Variability in the Southern Antarctic Peninsula

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Achraf Koulali IdrissiORCiD, Professor Peter ClarkeORCiD, Grace Nield, Professor Matt King



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022. The Authors. In Antarctica, Global Positioning System (GPS) vertical time series exhibit non-linear signals over a wide range of temporal scales. To explain these non-linearities, a number of hypotheses have been proposed, among them the short-term rapid solid Earth response to contemporaneous ice mass change. Here we use GPS vertical time series to reveal the solid Earth response to variations in surface mass balance (SMB) in the Southern Antarctic Peninsula (SAP). At four locations in the SAP we show that interannual variations of SMB anomalies cause measurable elastic deformation. We use regional climate model SMB products to calculate the induced displacement assuming a perfectly elastic Earth. Our results show a reduction of the misfit when fitting a linear trend to GPS time series corrected for the elastic response to SMB variations. Our results imply that, for a better understanding of the glacial isostatic adjustment signal in Antarctica, SMB variability must be considered.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Koulali A, Whitehouse PL, Clarke PJ, van den Broeke MR, Nield GA, King MA, Bentley MJ, Wouters B, Wilson T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geophysical Research Letters

Year: 2022

Volume: 49

Issue: 4

Print publication date: 28/02/2022

Online publication date: 10/02/2022

Acceptance date: 07/02/2022

Date deposited: 23/03/2022

ISSN (print): 0094-8276

ISSN (electronic): 1944-8007

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1029/2021GL097109


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Funder referenceFunder name
NE/R002029/1Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
NE/K004085/1Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)