Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
Research article
13 Oct 2016
Research article |  | 13 Oct 2016

A daily, 1 km resolution data set of downscaled Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance (1958–2015)

Brice Noël, Willem Jan van de Berg, Horst Machguth, Stef Lhermitte, Ian Howat, Xavier Fettweis, and Michiel R. van den Broeke

Abstract. This study presents a data set of daily, 1 km resolution Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) surface mass balance (SMB) covering the period 1958–2015. Applying corrections for elevation, bare ice albedo and accumulation bias, the high-resolution product is statistically downscaled from the native daily output of the polar regional climate model RACMO2.3 at 11 km. The data set includes all individual SMB components projected to a down-sampled version of the Greenland Ice Mapping Project (GIMP) digital elevation model and ice mask. The 1 km mask better resolves narrow ablation zones, valley glaciers, fjords and disconnected ice caps. Relative to the 11 km product, the more detailed representation of isolated glaciated areas leads to increased precipitation over the southeastern GrIS. In addition, the downscaled product shows a significant increase in runoff owing to better resolved low-lying marginal glaciated regions. The combined corrections for elevation and bare ice albedo markedly improve model agreement with a newly compiled data set of ablation measurements.

Short summary
We present a 1 km resolution data set (1958–2015) of daily Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB), statistically downscaled from the data of RACMO2.3 at 11 km using elevation dependence, precipitation and bare ice albedo corrections. The data set resolves Greenland narrow ablation zones and local outlet glaciers, and shows more realistic SMB patterns, owing to enhanced runoff at the ice sheet margins. An evaluation of the product against SMB measurements shows improved agreement.