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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/tc-2018-160
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-160
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Sep 2018

Research article | 11 Sep 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Assessment of altimetry using ground-based GPS data from the 88S Traverse, Antarctica, in support of ICESat-2

Kelly M. Brunt1,2, Thomas A. Neumann2, and Christopher F. Larsen3 Kelly M. Brunt et al.
  • 1Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
  • 2NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 3Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, USA

Abstract. We conducted a 750km kinematic GPS survey, referred to as the 88S Traverse, based out of South Pole Station, Antarctica between December 2017 and January 2018. This ground-based survey was designed to validate spaceborne altimetry and airborne altimetry developed at NASA. The 88S Traverse intersects 20% of the ICESat-2 satellite orbits on a route that has been flown by 2 different Operation IceBridge airborne laser altimeters: the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM; 26 October 2014) and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF) Lidar (30 November and 3 December, 2017). Here we present an overview of the ground-based GPS data quality and a quantitative assessment of the airborne laser altimetry over a flat section of the ice-sheet interior. Results indicate that the GPS data are internally consistent (1.1±4.1cm). Relative to the ground-based 88S Traverse data, the elevation biases for ATM and the UAF Lidar range from −9.5 to 3.6cm, while surface measurement precisions are equal to or better than 14.1cm. These results suggest that the ground-based GPS data and airborne altimetry data are appropriate for the validation of ICESat-2 surface elevation data.

Kelly M. Brunt et al.
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Kelly M. Brunt et al.
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Short summary
This paper provides an assessment of new GPS elevation data collected near the South Pole, Antarctica, that will ultimately be used for ICESat-2 satellite elevation data validation. Further, using the new ground-based GPS data, this paper provides an assessment of airborne lidar elevation data collected between 2014 and 2017, which will also be used for ICESat-2 data validation.
This paper provides an assessment of new GPS elevation data collected near the South Pole,...
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