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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-105
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-105
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 25 May 2020

Submitted as: research article | 25 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Mapping the Antarctic Grounding Zone from ICESat-2 Laser Altimetry

Tian Li, Geoffrey J. Dawson, Stephen J. Chuter, and Jonathan L. Bamber Tian Li et al.
  • Bristol Glaciology Centre, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1SS, UK

Abstract. We present the results of mapping the grounding zone of the Antarctic Ice Sheet using laser altimetry from the ICESat-2 satellite, based on a combination of repeat track data and crossover analysis of ascending and descending tracks. We use a new automated method to provide estimates for both the landward limit of ice flexure and the inshore limit of hydrostatic equilibrium by detecting the ocean tidal signals, and is demonstrated on the Larsen C Ice Shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula. The results show a 2 times increase in number of observations of the grounding line location compared to ICESat-1, as well as improved precision. The mean absolute separation and the standard deviation between our ICESat-2 derived grounding line and DInSAR grounding line product are 0.29 km and 0.31 km, respectively. The beam pair structure of ICESat-2 enables us to derive the grounding zone features from a minimum of two repeat cycles. Our results demonstrate that ICESat-2 can provide high precision and density observations of grounding line in both space and time. This new method can improve the efficiency of grounding zone calculation and can be applied to other regions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Tian Li et al.

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Tian Li et al.

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Latest update: 04 Jul 2020
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Short summary
Accurate knowledge of the Antarctic grounding zone is important for multiple cryosphere applications including mass balance calculation, ice sheet instability assessment and ice sheet modelling. We developed a new automated technique of mapping the grounding zone based on ICESat-2 laser altimetry to show the capability of ICESat-2 to provide precise and dense grounding zone estimations with an improved time resolution.
Accurate knowledge of the Antarctic grounding zone is important for multiple cryosphere...
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