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Balance velocities and measured properties of the Antarctic ice sheet from a new compilation of gridded data for modelling

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This paper presents a new compilation of gridded datasets for three-dimensional modelling of the Antarctic ice sheet. These are for surface elevation, ice thickness, bedrock elevation and accumulation rate as interpolated on a 281 × 281 mesh with 20 km spacing, and encompass all the ice sheet and surrounding continental shelf. Data sources include the Bamber digital-elevation model from ERS-1 radar-altimeter data, a redigitization of available ice-thickness data, the Giovinetto accumulation data, recent ice-thickness data from British and German expeditions as well as accumulation data from German and Norwegian expeditions. In particular, new data were incorporated for the Filchner–Ronne Ice Shelf and for Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, arising from the EPICA pre-site survey. Special attention was devoted to matching the various data sources carefully, both among themselves and across the grounding line and below the ice shelves, to enable ice-sheet expansion and retreat in dynamic situations. As an application, the balance flow is calculated over the entire ice sheet using a two-dimensional finite-difference scheme and compared with a previous assessment. This brought to light the existence of ice-streaming features extending well inland. A detailed zoom over Dronning Maud Land exhibits the general flow characteristics of interest for locating a future deep-drilling site. As a by-product, an updated value of 26.4 × 106 km3 was obtained for the total volume of the ice sheet and ice shelves, or equivalent to 61.1 m of global sea-level rise after removal of the ice sheet and subsequent oceanic invasion and isostatic rebound. The total accumulation over the grounded ice sheet, including the Antarctic Peninsula, is 1924 Gt a−1, or between 5 and 20% higher than earlier estimates. Including all the ice shelves, the value is 2344 Gt a−1.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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