Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-204
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-204
04 Aug 2021
 | 04 Aug 2021
Status: this discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

A fine-scale digital elevation model of Antarctica derived from ICESat-2

Xiaoyi Shen, Chang-Qing Ke, Yubin Fan, and Lhakpa Drolma

Abstract. Antarctic digital elevation models (DEMs) are essential for human fieldwork, ice topography monitoring and ice mass change estimation. In the past thirty decades, several Antarctic DEMs derived from satellite data have been published. However, these DEMs either have coarse spatial resolutions or vague time stamps, which limit their further scientific applications. In this study, the new-generation satellite laser altimeter Ice, Cloud, And Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) is used to generate a fine-scale and specific time-stamped Antarctic DEM for both the ice sheet and ice shelves. Approximately 4.69 × 109 ICESat-2 measurement points from November 2018 to November 2019 are used to estimate surface elevations at resolutions of 250 m, 500 m and 1 km based on a spatiotemporal fitting method, which results in a modal resolution of 250 m for this DEM. Approximately 74 % of Antarctica is observed, and the remaining observation gaps are interpolated using the ordinary kriging method. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Operation IceBridge (OIB) airborne data are used to evaluate the generated Antarctic DEM (hereafter called the ICESat-2 DEM) in individual Antarctic regions and surface types. Overall, a median bias of 0.11 m and a root-mean-square deviation of 8.27 m result from approximately 1.4 × 105 spatiotemporally matched grid cells. The accuracy and uncertainty of the ICESat-2 DEM vary in relation to the surface slope and roughness, and more reliable estimates are found in the flat ice sheet interior. The ICESat-2 DEM is superior to previous DEMs derived from satellite altimeters for both spatial resolution and elevation accuracy and comparable to those derived from stereo-photogrammetry and interferometry. The decimeter-scale accuracy and specific time stamp make the ICESat-2 DEM an essential addition to the existing Antarctic DEM groups, and it can be further used for other scientific applications.

Xiaoyi Shen, Chang-Qing Ke, Yubin Fan, and Lhakpa Drolma

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-204', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Sep 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Xiaoyi Shen, 01 Nov 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-204', Veit Helm, 14 Sep 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Xiaoyi Shen, 01 Nov 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on tc-2021-204', Anonymous Referee #3, 29 Sep 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Xiaoyi Shen, 01 Nov 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-204', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Sep 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Xiaoyi Shen, 01 Nov 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-204', Veit Helm, 14 Sep 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Xiaoyi Shen, 01 Nov 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on tc-2021-204', Anonymous Referee #3, 29 Sep 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Xiaoyi Shen, 01 Nov 2021
Xiaoyi Shen, Chang-Qing Ke, Yubin Fan, and Lhakpa Drolma

Data sets

Antarctic DEM at 250 m resolution (May 2019) Xiaoyi Shen; Chang-Qing Ke; Yubin Fan https://doi.org/10.11888/Geogra.tpdc.271448

Xiaoyi Shen, Chang-Qing Ke, Yubin Fan, and Lhakpa Drolma

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Short summary
Obtaining the detailed surface topography in Antarctica is essential for human fieldwork planning, ice surface height changes and mass balance estimations. A definite time-stamped and fine-scale DEM for Antarctica with a modal resolution of 250 m is presented based on the surface height measurements from ICESat-2 by using a model fitting method, which is more valuable for further scientific applications, e.g., land ice height and mass balance estimations.