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  25 Nov 2020

25 Nov 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Assessment of ICESat-2 ice surface elevations over the CHINARE route, East Antarctica, based on coordinated multi-sensor observations

Rongxing Li1,2, Hongwei Li1,2, Tong Hao1,2, Gang Qiao1,2, Haotian Cui1,2, Youquan He1,2, Gang Hai1,2, Huan Xie1,2, Yuan Cheng1,2, and Bofeng Li1,2 Rongxing Li et al.
  • 1Center for Spatial Information Science and Sustainable Development and Applications, Tongji University
  • 2College of Surveying and Geo-informatics, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

Abstract. This paper presents the results of the assessment of ICESat-2 ice surface elevations along the CHINARE (CHINese Antarctic Research Expedition) route in East Antarctica. The validation campaign was designed and implemented in cooperation with the 36th CHINARE Antarctic expedition from December 2019 to February 2020. The assessment of the ICESat-2 ATL03 and ATL06 data was performed based on coordinated multi-sensor observations using two roof-mounted kinematic GNSS receivers, two line arrays of corner cube retroreflectors (CCRs), two sets of retroreflective target sheets (RTSs), and two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with cameras. This systematic validation of the ICESat-2 data covered a variety of Antarctic ice surface conditions along the 520 km traverse from the coastal Zhongshan Station to the inland Taishan Station. This comprehensive investigation is complementary to the 750 km traverse validation of flat inland Antarctica containing a 300 km latitude traverse of 88° S by the mission team in a previous study. Overall, the validation results show that the elevation of the ATL06 ice surface points is accurate to 1.1 cm with a precision of 9.7 cm along the 520 km CHINARE route. The elevation of the ATL03 photons has an offset of 2.4 cm from a GNSS-surveyed CCR, and is accurate to 2.5 cm with a precision of 2.7 cm as estimated by using RTSs. The validation results demonstrate that the estimated ICESat-2 elevations are accurate to 1.1–2.5 cm in this East Antarctic region, which is important for overcoming the uncertainties in the estimation of mass balance in East Antarctica. The developed validation methodology and sensor system can be improved for continuous assessment of ICESat-2 data, especially during the later operation period.

Rongxing Li et al.

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Rongxing Li et al.

Rongxing Li et al.


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