Seasonal variation of snow-surface elevation in North Greenland as modeled and detected by satellite radar altimetry

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Comparison of the distribution of seasonal variations in surface elevation derived from a firn-densification-elevation model with observed variations derived from ERS-1/-2 satellite radar altimetry shows close similarity in the patterns of the amplitude of the variations over the North Greenland ice sheet. The amplitudes of the seasonal variations decrease from west to east and from south to north, determined by the accumulation rate and the surface-temperature distribution pattern. Several methods of estimating the amplitude of the seasonal variation in the observations are compared, including the use of a three-frequency sinusoidal function derived from the modeled seasonal variation that is asymmetric. The resulting correlation coefficient between the observed amplitude, estimated with the three-frequency function, and the modeled amplitude is 0.66 and the slope is 0.7. Residual differences may be caused by interannual variability in accumulation and temperature and other approximations in the model.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2003

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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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