Elevation changes on the Greenland ice sheet from comparison of aircraft and ICESat laser-altimeter data
Authors: Thomas, R.; Frederick, E.; Krabill, W.; Manizade, S.; Martin, C.; Mason, A.
Source: Annals of Glaciology, Volume 42, Number 1, August 2005 , pp. 77-82(6)
Publisher: International Glaciological Society
Abstract:Precise measurements of surface elevation on the Greenland ice sheet have been made almost every year since 1991 by an airborne scanning laser altimeter operated by NASA/Wallops Flight Facility. Results show substantial thinning over large areas near the coast, with a general increase in thinning rates since 1997, in the drainage basins of thinning glaciers, and a recent thickening in the southeast associated with very high snowfall in this region during 2003. Here, we present first results from the comparison of the aircraft data with similar measurements from the laser altimeter aboard NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), which was launched in January 2003. These show very close agreement with results inferred solely from the aircraft measurements, indicating that accuracies are similar for both datasets. Broad spatial coverage by satellite, together with the baseline dataset of aircraft measurements, offers the prospects of routine surveys of ice-sheet elevation changes by ICESat and follow-on missions.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 2005
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