Geostatistical methods for mapping Antarctic ice surfaces at continental and regional scales
Abstract:The Antarctic ice sheet plays a major role in the global system and the large ice streams discharging into the circumpolar sea represent its gateways to the world's oceans. Satellite radar-altimeter data provide an opportunity for mapping surface elevation at kilometer resolution with meter accuracy. Geostatistical methods have been developed to accomplish this. We distinguish two goals in mapping the Antarctic ice surface: (a) construction of a continent-wide atlas of maps and digital terrain models, and (b) calculation of maps and models suitable for the study of individual glaciers, ice streams and ice shelves. The atlases consist of accurate maps of ice-surface elevation compiled from Seasat, Geosat and ERS-1altimeter data, covering all of Antarctica surveyed by Geosat (to 72.1° S) and by ERS-1 (to 81.5° S). With a 3 km grid they are the highest-resolution maps available today with continent-wide coverage. The resolution permits geophysical study and facilitates monitoring of changes in ice-surface elevation and changes in flux across the ice–ocean boundary, which is essential for monitoring sea-level changes.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2000-01-01
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