Ice-shelf elevation changes due to atmospheric pressure variations

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The inverse barometer effect (IBE) is the isostatic response of ocean surface height to changes in atmospheric pressure (Pair) at a rate of about 1cm hPa-1. The IBE is a significant contributor to variability of ice-shelf surface elevation (ice), as we demonstrate with simultaneous global positioning system measurements of ice and local measurements of Pair from the Amery, Brunt and Ross Ice Shelves, Antarctica. We find that an IBE correction is justified for frequencies () covering the ''weather band'', 0.03 <  < 0.5 cpd (cycles per day). The IBE correction reduces the standard deviation of the weather-band signal of ice from 9 cm to 3 cm. With this correction, the largest remaining high-frequency error signal in ice is the inaccuracy of the present generation of Antarctic tide models, estimated to be of order 10 cm for most of Antarctica.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2003

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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