Related Research Areas
Earth Surface & Interior, Water & Energy Cycles

Antarctic subglacial lake activity is an important part of the overall Antarctic ice sheet system, and may have important impacts on its mass balance and stability. Recent studies have shown that this activity (fill and drain cycling) can be determined by repeat-track analysis of ICESat-1 laser altimetry, and will likely also be detectable by CryoSat-2 radar altimetry in its ice sheet mode. We propose to use three proven methods applying satellite image data to support the study of Antarctic subglacial lakes via satellite altimetry. Satellite image differencing can refine estimates of subglacial extent; satellite image-enhanced topographic mapping can contribute to greatly improved digital elevation models, and thereby improve estimates of the subglacial hydrostatic pressure field; and satellite image pair velocity mapping can identify ice flow changes, and ultimately mass balance changes, in Antarctic outlet glaciers arising from subglacial lake activity. The study will contribute these image-based skills, and the interpretation derived from them, to already-funded studies of Antarctic sub-glacial lake altimetry changes throughout the continent by the listed research collaborator, Dr. Helen A. Fricker of Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The proposed work allows this research team to build upon important results of past research on subglacial lake activity in Antarctica.

Project PI: Ted Scambos/University of Colorado /CIRES

CIRES Campus Box 449; 1540 30th St. University of Colorado, Boulder,CO 80309-0449 ,USA

Phone: (303) 492-1113  

Fax: (303) 492-2468



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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Jan 04, 2011


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