Articles | Volume 16, issue 9
The Cryosphere, 16, 3867–3887, 2022
The Cryosphere, 16, 3867–3887, 2022
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 et al.

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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.