Comparison between computed balance velocities and GPS measurements in the Lambert Glacier basin, East Antarctica
Abstract:Comparisons between computed balance velocities, obtained from two different computing schemes, and global positioning system (GPS)-derived velocities were made in the Lambert Glacier basin region, East Antarctica. The two computing schemes used for the balance-velocity computations (a flowline (FL) scheme (Rémy and Minster, 1993) and a finite-difference (BW) scheme (Budd and Warner, 1996; Fricker and others, 2000)) were first evaluated and compared. One of the key issues studied was the spatial resolution of the digital elevation model (DEM), representing the surface topography of the ice sheet, and the sensitivity of the balance velocities to the length of smoothing applied to the DEM. Comparison with the GPS velocities validated the two schemes to within 5-25% but showed the high sensitivity of the flowline method to the length scale of the smoothing. The finite-difference scheme was found to be robust to the chosen smoothing scale, but the balance-velocity values increased when a finer-resolution DEM was used. Both FL and BW computing schemes tended to overestimate the balance velocities in comparison with the GPS values; some of this discrepancy can be attributed to ice-sheet sliding.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2003
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