Spatial patterns in mass balance of the Siple Coast and Amundsen Sea sectors, West Antarctica
Abstract:Local rates of change in ice-sheet thickness were calculated at 15 sites in West Antarctica using the submergence velocity technique. This method entails a comparison of the vertical velocity of the ice sheet, measured using repeat global positioning system surveys of markers, and local long-term rates of snow accumulation obtained using firn-core stratigraphy. Any significant difference between these two quantities represents a thickness change with time. Measurements were conducted at sites located ∼100–200 km apart along US ITASE traverse routes, and at several isolated locations. All but one of the sites are distributed in the Siple Coast and the Amundsen Sea basin along contours of constant elevation, along flowlines, across ice divides and close to regions of enhanced flow. Calculated rates of thickness change are different from site to site. Most of the large rates of change in ice thickness (∼10 cm a−1 or larger) are observed in or close to regions of rapid flow, and are probably related to ice-dynamics effects. Near-steady-state conditions are calculated mostly at sites in the slow-moving ice-sheet interior and near the main West Antarctic ice divide. These results are consistent with regional estimates of ice-sheet change derived from remote-sensing measurements at similar locations in West Antarctica.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2005-06-01
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