Related Research Areas
Earth Surface & Interior

The stated purpose of the CryoSat mission is to determine the mass changes of the Earth's cryosphere, in particular the major ice sheets and arctic sea ice. The primary instrument aboard CryoSat-2 is SIRAL, the Synthetic Aperture Interferometric Radar Altimeter. As its name suggests, SIRAL uses synthetic aperture and interferometric techniques to improve spatial reaolution. This project aims to perform ground-based validation for two unique data products that can significantly expand CryoSat-2's capability: 1) The ability to detect subsurface layers that serve as iscohronous time horizons, allowing determination of accuulation patterns, and 2) the ability, in areas of relatively steep slope (for an ice sheet) to determine multiple acros-track elevation points from each radar waveform. Each of these two data products requires validation in order to make full use of the information obtained. Each must be validated in different places. Internal layering is best studied in the dry interior of the ice sheets, and across-track elevation retreivals need to be validated in areas of high slope, such as the ice sheet margins. Accordingly, this project plans a target field campaign in two areas of the Greenland ice sheet, to measure the surface and subsurface properties under the CryoSat-2 instrument. To investigate internal layering, we will work outside Summit Camp, in Central Greenland. To validate across-track retreivals, we will work at a sloping (~5 degrees) area near Illulisat, on the West coast of Greenland, to facilitate air transport.

Project PI: Robert Hawley/Dartmouth College

Department of Earth Sciences Dartmouth College 6105 Fairchild Hall Hanover, NH 03755

Phone: (603) 646-1425

Fax: (603) 646-3922



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Started: Sep 29, 2010

Last Activity: Jan 05, 2011


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