Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 2, 109–115, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2-109-2008
The Cryosphere, 2, 109–115, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2-109-2008

  12 Sep 2008

12 Sep 2008

Snow melting bias in microwave mapping of Antarctic snow accumulation

O. Magand, G. Picard, L. Brucker, M. Fily, and C. Genthon O. Magand et al.
  • Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement, CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier-Grenoble, 54 Rue Molière, BP 96, 38402 St Martin d'Hères Cedex, France

Abstract. Satellite records of microwave surface emission have been used to interpolate in-situ observations of Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) and build continental-scale maps of accumulation. Using a carefully screened subset of SMB measurements in the 90°–180° E sector, we show a reasonable agreement with microwave-based accumulation map in the dry-snow regions, but large discrepancies in the coastal regions where melt occurs during summer. Using an emission microwave model, we explain the failure of microwave sensors to retrieve SMB by the presence of layers created by melt/refreeze cycles. We conclude that regions potentially affected by melting should be masked-out in microwave-based interpolation schemes.