Articles | Volume 16, issue 9
Research article
29 Sep 2022
Research article |  | 29 Sep 2022

Inverting ice surface elevation and velocity for bed topography and slipperiness beneath Thwaites Glacier

Helen Ockenden, Robert G. Bingham, Andrew Curtis, and Daniel Goldberg

Related authors

Antarctic Bedmap data: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) sharing of 60 years of ice bed, surface, and thickness data
Alice C. Frémand, Peter Fretwell, Julien A. Bodart, Hamish D. Pritchard, Alan Aitken, Jonathan L. Bamber, Robin Bell, Cesidio Bianchi, Robert G. Bingham, Donald D. Blankenship, Gino Casassa, Ginny Catania, Knut Christianson, Howard Conway, Hugh F. J. Corr, Xiangbin Cui, Detlef Damaske, Volkmar Damm, Reinhard Drews, Graeme Eagles, Olaf Eisen, Hannes Eisermann, Fausto Ferraccioli, Elena Field, René Forsberg, Steven Franke, Shuji Fujita, Yonggyu Gim, Vikram Goel, Siva Prasad Gogineni, Jamin Greenbaum, Benjamin Hills, Richard C. A. Hindmarsh, Andrew O. Hoffman, Per Holmlund, Nicholas Holschuh, John W. Holt, Annika N. Horlings, Angelika Humbert, Robert W. Jacobel, Daniela Jansen, Adrian Jenkins, Wilfried Jokat, Tom Jordan, Edward King, Jack Kohler, William Krabill, Mette Kusk Gillespie, Kirsty Langley, Joohan Lee, German Leitchenkov, Carlton Leuschen, Bruce Luyendyk, Joseph MacGregor, Emma MacKie, Kenichi Matsuoka, Mathieu Morlighem, Jérémie Mouginot, Frank O. Nitsche, Yoshifumi Nogi, Ole A. Nost, John Paden, Frank Pattyn, Sergey V. Popov, Eric Rignot, David M. Rippin, Andrés Rivera, Jason Roberts, Neil Ross, Anotonia Ruppel, Dustin M. Schroeder, Martin J. Siegert, Andrew M. Smith, Daniel Steinhage, Michael Studinger, Bo Sun, Ignazio Tabacco, Kirsty Tinto, Stefano Urbini, David Vaughan, Brian C. Welch, Douglas S. Wilson, Duncan A. Young, and Achille Zirizzotti
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 15, 2695–2710,,, 2023
Short summary
Coupled ice/ocean interactions during the future retreat of West Antarctic ice streams
David T. Bett, Alexander T. Bradley, C. Rosie Williams, Paul R. Holland, Robert J. Arthern, and Daniel N. Goldberg
The Cryosphere Discuss.,,, 2023
Preprint under review for TC
Short summary
High mid-Holocene accumulation rates over West Antarctica inferred from a pervasive ice-penetrating radar reflector
Julien A. Bodart, Robert G. Bingham, Duncan A. Young, Joseph A. MacGregor, David W. Ashmore, Enrica Quartini, Andrew S. Hein, David G. Vaughan, and Donald D. Blankenship
The Cryosphere, 17, 1497–1512,,, 2023
Short summary
A framework for time-dependent Ice Sheet Uncertainty Quantification, applied to three West Antarctic ice streams
Beatriz Recinos, Daniel Goldberg, James R. Maddison, and Joe Todd
The Cryosphere Discuss.,,, 2023
Revised manuscript accepted for TC
Short summary
Englacial Architecture of Lambert Glacier, East Antarctica
Rebecca J. Sanderson, Kate Winter, S. Louise Callard, Felipe Napoleoni, Neil Ross, Tom A. Jordan, and Robert G. Bingham
The Cryosphere Discuss.,,, 2023
Revised manuscript under review for TC
Short summary

Related subject area

Discipline: Ice sheets | Subject: Antarctic
Statistically parameterizing and evaluating a positive degree-day model to estimate surface melt in Antarctica from 1979 to 2022
Yaowen Zheng, Nicholas R. Golledge, Alexandra Gossart, Ghislain Picard, and Marion Leduc-Leballeur
The Cryosphere, 17, 3667–3694,,, 2023
Short summary
Widespread slowdown in thinning rates of West Antarctic ice shelves
Fernando S. Paolo, Alex S. Gardner, Chad A. Greene, Johan Nilsson, Michael P. Schodlok, Nicole-Jeanne Schlegel, and Helen A. Fricker
The Cryosphere, 17, 3409–3433,,, 2023
Short summary
Seasonal variability in Antarctic ice shelf velocities forced by sea surface height variations
Cyrille Mosbeux, Laurie Padman, Emilie Klein, Peter D. Bromirski, and Helen A. Fricker
The Cryosphere, 17, 2585–2606,,, 2023
Short summary
Revisiting temperature sensitivity: how does Antarctic precipitation change with temperature?
Lena Nicola, Dirk Notz, and Ricarda Winkelmann
The Cryosphere, 17, 2563–2583,,, 2023
Short summary
Cosmogenic-nuclide data from Antarctic nunataks can constrain past ice sheet instabilities
Anna Ruth W. Halberstadt, Greg Balco, Hannah Buchband, and Perry Spector
The Cryosphere, 17, 1623–1643,,, 2023
Short summary

Cited articles

Bamber, J. L., Gomez-Dans, J. L., and Griggs, J. A.: A new 1 km digital elevation model of the Antarctic derived from combined satellite radar and laser data – Part 1: Data and methods, The Cryosphere, 3, 101–111,, 2009. a
Barnes, J. M., Dias dos Santos, T., Goldberg, D., Gudmundsson, G. H., Morlighem, M., and De Rydt, J.: The transferability of adjoint inversion products between different ice flow models, The Cryosphere, 15, 1975–2000,, 2021. a, b
Bingham, R. G., Vaughan, D. G., King, E. C., Davies, D., Cornford, S. L., Smith, A. M., Arthern, R. J., Brisbourne, A. M., De Rydt, J., Graham, A. G., Spagnolo, M., Marsh, O. J., and Shean, D. E.: Diverse landscapes beneath Pine Island Glacier influence ice flow, Nat. Commun., 8, 1618,, 2017. a
Brisbourne, A. M., Smith, A. M., Vaughan, D. G., King, E. C., Davies, D., Bingham, R. G., Smith, E. C., Nias, I. J., and Rosier, S. H. R.: Bed conditions of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth, 122, 419–433,, 2017. a
Davies, D., Bingham, R. G., King, E. C., Smith, A. M., Brisbourne, A. M., Spagnolo, M., Graham, A. G. C., Hogg, A. E., and Vaughan, D. G.: How dynamic are ice-stream beds?, The Cryosphere, 12, 1615–1628,, 2018. a
Short summary
Hills and valleys hidden under the ice of Thwaites Glacier have an impact on ice flow and future ice loss, but there are not many three-dimensional observations of their location or size. We apply a mathematical theory to new high-resolution observations of the ice surface to predict the bed topography beneath the ice. There is a good correlation with ice-penetrating radar observations. The method may be useful in areas with few direct observations or as a further constraint for other methods.