Articles | Volume 9, issue 5
The Cryosphere, 9, 1761–1772, 2015
The Cryosphere, 9, 1761–1772, 2015

Research article 04 Sep 2015

Research article | 04 Sep 2015

Quantifying the resolution level where the GRACE satellites can separate Greenland's glacial mass balance from surface mass balance

J. A. Bonin and D. P. Chambers

Related authors

An ice sheet model validation framework for the Greenland ice sheet
Stephen F. Price, Matthew J. Hoffman, Jennifer A. Bonin, Ian M. Howat, Thomas Neumann, Jack Saba, Irina Tezaur, Jeffrey Guerber, Don P. Chambers, Katherine J. Evans, Joseph H. Kennedy, Jan Lenaerts, William H. Lipscomb, Mauro Perego, Andrew G. Salinger, Raymond S. Tuminaro, Michiel R. van den Broeke, and Sophie M. J. Nowicki
Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 255–270,,, 2017
Short summary
Evaluation of empirical mode decomposition for quantifying multi-decadal variations and acceleration in sea level records
D. P. Chambers
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 22, 157–166,,, 2015
Short summary

Related subject area

Mass Balance Obs
Review article: Earth's ice imbalance
Thomas Slater, Isobel R. Lawrence, Inès N. Otosaka, Andrew Shepherd, Noel Gourmelen, Livia Jakob, Paul Tepes, Lin Gilbert, and Peter Nienow
The Cryosphere, 15, 233–246,,, 2021
Short summary
Geodetic point surface mass balances: A new approach to determine point surface mass balances from remote sensing measurements
Christian Vincent, Diego Cusicanqui, Bruno Jourdain, Olivier Laarman, Delphine Six, Adrien Gilbert, Andrea Walpersdorf, Antoine Rabatel, Luc Piard, Florent Gimbert, Olivier Gagliardini, Vincent Peyaud, Laurent Arnaud, Emmanuel Thibert, Fanny Brun, and Ugo Nanni
The Cryosphere Discuss.,,, 2020
Revised manuscript accepted for TC
Short summary
Applying artificial snowfall to reduce the melting of the Muz Taw Glacier, Sawir Mountains
Feiteng Wang, Xiaoying Yue, Lin Wang, Huilin Li, Zhencai Du, Jing Ming, and Zhongqin Li
The Cryosphere, 14, 2597–2606,,, 2020
Short summary
Satellite-observed monthly glacier and snow mass changes in southeast Tibet: implication for substantial meltwater contribution to the Brahmaputra
Shuang Yi, Chunqiao Song, Kosuke Heki, Shichang Kang, Qiuyu Wang, and Le Chang
The Cryosphere, 14, 2267–2281,,, 2020
Short summary
The regional scale surface mass balance of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica over the period 2005–2014, derived from airborne radar soundings and neutron probe measurements
Stefan Kowalewski, Veit Helm, Elizabeth Morris, and Olaf Eisen
The Cryosphere Discuss.,,, 2020
Revised manuscript accepted for TC
Short summary

Cited articles

Bonin, J. and Chambers, D.: Uncertainty estimates of a GRACE inversion modelling technique over Greenland using a simulation, Geophys. J. Int., 194, 212–229,, 2013.
Döll, P., Kaspar, F., and Lehner, B.: A global hydrological model for deriving water availability indicators: model tuning and validation, J. Hydrol., 270, 105–134,, 2003.
Ettema, J., van den Broeke, M. R., van Meijgaard, E., van de Berg, W. J., Bamber, J. L., Box, J. E., and Bales, R. C.: Higher surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet revealed by high-resolution climate modeling, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L12501,, 2009.
Fukumori, I.: A Partitioned Kalman Filter and Smoother, Mon. Weather Rev., 130, 1370–1383, 2002.
Howat, I. M., Ahn, Y., Joughin, I., van den Broeke, M. R., Lenaerts, J. T. M., and Smith, B.: Mass balance of Greenland's three largest outlet glaciers, 2000–2010, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L12501,, 2011.
Short summary
Separating surface mass balance from glacial mass balance over Greenland would provide important climatological information and constraints for models, but due to poor spatial resolution, the GRACE gravity satellites cannot ordinarily accomplish this. We demonstrate a least-squares technique which allows us to do so, in theory. However we also find that the GRACE errors are too large to make it practical for real-world use at this time. About a 9-fold reduction in noise would be needed.