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Four decades of elevation change of the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Matt King, Anna Freemantle


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Comparing multi-decadal surface elevation profiles of Antarctica's large ice shelves enables reliable ice shelf elevation change rates to be determined largely unaffected by inter-annual variations in surface mass balance. Geodetic quality levelling surveys from 1968-69, covering more than 500 km of the northern Amery Ice Shelf, have recently been unlocked through developments in geoid and ocean tide modelling. By correcting for these and other smaller corrections we may determine ice shelf elevation changes at crossover points of GPS profiles (1995, 1998-99, 2000-01) and with ICESat data (2003-present). Initial comparison of the 1998-99 GPS profiles with the 1968-69 levelling data suggests that, for 35 cross-over points, the northern 250 km of the ice shelf has thinned by, on average, 3 m with a mean dh/dt of 0.08 m/yr and an RMS of 0.05 m/yr. This estimate, spanning three decades, compares with a mean elevation increase detected by satellite altimetry of 0.15 m/yr for the period 1992-2001. We will present the results from the full set of levelling/GPS/ICESat crossover points along with their uncertainties.

Publication metadata

Author(s): King MA, Freemantle A, Coleman R, Hurd RS

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Eos Transactions: Fall Meeting

Year of Conference: 2006

Pages: Abstract C43B-04 Invited

Publisher: American Geophysical Union