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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-2018-240
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-240
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Nov 2018

Research article | 13 Nov 2018

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

The Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica

Ian M. Howat1,2, Claire Porter3, Benjamin E. Smith4, Myoung-Jong Noh1, and Paul Morin3 Ian M. Howat et al.
  • 1Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
  • 2School of Earth Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
  • 3Polar Geospatial Center, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA
  • 4Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Abstract. The Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (REMA) is the first, continental scale Digital Elevation Model (DEM) at a resolution of less than 10m. REMA is created from stereo-photogrammetry with submeter resolution, optical, commercial satellite imagery. The higher spatial and radiometric resolutions of these imagery enable high quality surface extraction over the low-contrast ice sheet surface. The DEMs are registered to satellite radar and laser altimetry and are mosaicked to provide a continuous surface covering nearly the entire continent. The mosaic includes an error estimate and a time stamp, enabling change measurement. Typical elevation errors are less than 1 meter, as validated by the comparison to airborne laser altimetry. REMA provides a powerful new resource for Antarctic science and provides a proof of concept for generating high resolution, accurate, repeat topography at continental scales.

Ian M. Howat et al.
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Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica I. Howat, P. Morin, C. Porter and M.-Y. Noh https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/SAIK8B

Ian M. Howat et al.
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Short summary
The Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (REMA) is the first continental-scale terrain map at less than 10 m resolution, and the first with a time stamp, enabling measurements of elevation change. REMA is constructed from over 300,000 individual stereoscopic elevation models (DEM) extracted from submeter resolution satellite imagery. REMA is vertically registered to satellite altimetry, resulting in errors of less than 1 m over most of its area, and relative uncertainties of decimeters.
The Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (REMA) is the first continental-scale terrain map at...
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