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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tcd-8-537-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tcd-8-537-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 23 Jan 2014

Submitted as: research article | 23 Jan 2014

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Hybrid inventory, gravimetry and altimetry (HIGA) mass balance product for Greenland and the Canadian Arctic

W. Colgan1,2, W. Abdalati2, M. Citterio1, B. Csatho3, X. Fettweis4, S. Luthcke5, G. Moholdt6, and M. Stober7 W. Colgan et al.
  • 1Marine Geology and Glaciology, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Department of Geology, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA
  • 4Department of Geography, University of Liége, Liége, Belgium
  • 5Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 6Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA
  • 7Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, Stuttgart, Germany

Abstract. We present a novel inversion algorithm that generates a mass balance field that is simultaneously consistent with independent observations of glacier inventory derived from optical imagery, cryosphere-attributed mass changes derived from satellite gravimetry, and ice surface elevation changes derived from airborne and satellite altimetry. We use this algorithm to assess mass balance across Greenland and the Canadian Arctic over the December 2003 to December 2010 period at 26 km resolution. We assess a total mass loss of 316 ± 37 Gt a−1 over Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, with 217 ± 20 Gt a−1 being attributed to the Greenland Ice Sheet proper, and 38 ± 6 Gt a−1 and 50 ± 8 Gt a−1 being attributed to peripheral glaciers in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, respectively. These absolute values are dependent on the gravimetry-derived spherical harmonic representation we invert. Our attempt to validate local values of algorithm-inferred mass balance reveals a paucity of in situ observations. At four sites, where direct comparison between algorithm-inferred and in situ mass balance is valid, we find an RMSD of 0.18 m WE a−1. Differencing algorithm-inferred mass balance with previously modelled surface mass balance, in order to solve the ice dynamic portion of mass balance as a residual, allows the transient glacier continuity equation to be spatially partitioned across Greenland.

W. Colgan et al.
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W. Colgan et al.
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