EARTH SCIENCE > Cryosphere > Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Elevation/Ice Sheet Elevation

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  • A digital elevation model of the bed of Rutford Ice Stream, Antarctica, derived from radio-echo sounding data. The data cover an 18 x 40 km area immediately upstream of the grounding line of the ice stream. This area is of particular interest because repeated seismic surveys have shown that rapid erosion and deposition of subglacial sediments has taken place. The bed topography shows a range of different subglacial landforms including mega-scale glacial lineations, drumlins and hummocks. This dataset will form a baseline survey which, when compared to future surveys, should reveal how active subglacial landscapes change over time. The dataset comprises observed ice thickness data, an interpolated bed elevation grid, observed surface elevation data and a surface elevation grid.

  • A time series of the mean surface elevation along a transect across Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier from Feb 2012 to May 2018. Funding: Data were processed under NERC project CALISMO NE/P011365/1. Data were acquired under NERC project NE/I007148/1. Data were supplied by DLR.

  • An airborne radar survey was flown as part of the seven nation Antarctica''s Gamburtsev Province (AGAP) expedition over the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains, Dome A, and the interior of East Antarctica during the International Polar Year 2007-2009. Operating from field camps located on either side of Dome A (namely AGAP-N and AGAP-S), we collected ~120,000 km (equivalent to 180,000 km2) of airborne survey data using two Twin Otter aircrafts - one from BAS and one from the United States Antarctic Program (USAP). The aircrafts were equipped with dual-frequency carrier-phase GPS for navigation, laser ranging systems, magnetometers, gravity meters, and ice-sounding radars. We present here the full radar dataset from the BAS PASIN radar system consisting of the deep-sounding chirp and shallow-sounding pulse-acquired data in their processed form, as well as the navigational information of each trace, the surface and bed elevation picks, ice thickness, and calculated absolute surface and bed elevations. This dataset comes primarily in the form of NetCDF and georeferenced SEGY files. To interactively engage with this newly-published dataset, we also created segmented quicklook PDF files of the radar data.

  • Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica. An animated time series plot of 64 profiles of ice base and surface elevation along a flowline based on the mean flow direction. The flowline passes through a region of large elevation change that took place between 2014 and 2017. The work was funded by NERC projects NE/P011365/1 and NE/S006605/1

  • Global monthly outputs of orography, surface air temperature and water stable isotopes (d18O) were run by the isotope-enabled atmosphere/ocean coupled model HadCM3 for the last interglacial (128 ka). An ensemble of ten idealised Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) simulations were processed, included a pre-industrial and a last interglacial control simulations. The eight other simulations used changed topography of the AIS relative to Dome C to ensure the preservation of the atmospheric pathways. The simulations were run 100 years and the last 50 years were used for the analyses. This work was funding through the European Research Council under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 742224, WACSWAIN) and NERC grant NE/P009271/1.

  • The BEDMAP (Bed Topography of the Antarctic) database contains data collected on surveys over the past 50 years that describe the thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet. This has allowed the compilation of a suite of seamless digital topographic models for the Antarctic continent and surrounding ocean. The suite includes grids representing: - ice-sheet ... thickness over the ice sheet and shelves, - water-column thickness beneath the floating ice shelves, - bed elevation beneath the grounded ice sheet, - bathymetry to 60 degrees South including the areas beneath the ice shelves. These grids are consistent with a recent high-resolution surface elevation model of Antarctica. While the digital models have a nominal spatial resolution of 5 km, such high resolution is not strictly justified by the original data density over all parts of the ice sheet. The suite does however provide an unparalleled vision of the geosphere beneath the ice sheet and a more reliable basis for ice sheet modelling. The bed elevation DEM, which includes the entire geosphere south of 60 degrees South, provides an improved delineation of the boundary between East and West Antarctica and sheds new light on the morphology of the contiguous East Antarctic landmass, much of which is buried below an average of 2500 m of ice.

  • This dataset consists of a bed DEM and four velocity maps of Kongsvegen, a surge-type glacier in Svalbard. The bed DEM was generated from ground-penetrating radar surveys in spring 2016 and 2018, and the velocity maps span the period Dec 2017 to Feb 2019. The velocity maps show the initial speed-up of the glacier as it transitions from quiescence to surge. Data acquisition was funded by NERC Urgency Grant NE/R018243/1 REBUS (Resolving Enthalpy Budget to Understand Surges).

  • This dataset contains bed and surface elevation picks derived from airborne radar collected during the POLARGAP 2015/16 project funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and with in-kind contribution from the British Antarctic Survey, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF). This collaborative project collected ~38,000 line-km of new aerogeophysical data using the 150MHz PASIN radar echo sounding system (Corr et al., 2007) deployed on a British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Twin Otter. The primary objective of the POLARGAP campaign was to carry out an airborne gravity survey covering the southern polar gap beyond the coverage of the GOCE orbit. This dataset covers the South Pole as well as parts of the Support Force, Foundation and Recovery Glaciers. The bed pick data acquired during the POLARGAP survey over the Recovery Lakes is archived at NPI:

  • The Antarctic mass trends have been collated from a combination of different remote sensing datasets. These are trends of yearly elevation changes over Antarctica for the period 2003-2013 due to the different geophysical processes driving changes in Antarctica: ice dynamics, surface mass balance and glacio-isostatic adjustment (GIA). Net trends can be easily calculated by adding together surface and ice dynamics trends. 20 km gridded datasets have been produced for each process, per year (except the GIA solution which is time-invariant). To convert elevation to mass trends, we also provide the density fields for surface (SMB) and GIA processes used in Martin-Espanol et al (2016). These can be directly multiplied by the dh/dt. To convert dh/dt from ice dynamics, simply multiply by the density of ice. Mass smb = dh/dt smb * d surf Mass ice = dh/dt ice * d ice (not provided) Mass gia = dh/dt gia * d rock NERC grant: NE/I027401/1

  • This dataset contains bed and surface elevation picks derived from airborne radar collected in 2016/17 over the Filchner Ice Shelf and Halley Ice Shelf (West Antarctica) as part of the 5-year Filchner Ice Shelf System (FISS) project funded by NERC (grant reference number: NE/L013770/1) and awarded to the British Antarctic Survey with contribution from the National Oceanography Centre, the Met Office Hadley Centre, University College London, the University of Exeter, Oxford University, and the Alfred Wenger Institute. The aim of this project was to investigate how the Filchner Ice Shelf might respond to a warmer world, and what the impact of sea-level rise could be by the middle of this century. This collaborative initiative collected ~15,000 line-km of new aerogeophysical data using the 150MHz PASIN radar echo sounding system (Corr et al., 2007) deployed on a British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Twin Otter. The majority of flights were flown as part of FISS over the Support Force, Recovery, Slessor, and Bailey ice streams. Separate flights over Halley 6 research station and Brunt Ice Shelf were also collected as part of this season. The bed and surface elevation picks for the English Coast part of this season are available at: