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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-196
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-196
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 08 Oct 2019

Submitted as: research article | 08 Oct 2019

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Antarctic grounding zone characteristics from CryoSat-2

Geoffrey J. Dawson and Jonathan L. Bamber Geoffrey J. Dawson and Jonathan L. Bamber
  • Bristol Glaciology Centre, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Abstract. We present the results of mapping the limit of tidal flexure (point F) and hydrostatic equilibrium (point H) of the grounding zone of Antarctic ice shelves from CryoSat-2 standard and swath elevation data. Overall we were able to map 41 % of the grounding zone of the larger floating ice shelves and outlet glaciers in Antarctica. We obtain near-complete coverage of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf and partial coverage of the Ross Ice Shelf, Dronning Maud land and the Antarctic Peninsula, while we could not map a continuous grounding zone for the Amery Ice Shelf and the Amundsen Sea Sector. Tidal amplitude and distance south (i.e. across track spacing) are controlling factors in the quality of the coverage and performance of the approach. The location of the point F agrees well with previous observations that used differential satellite radar interferometry (DInSAR) and ICESat-1, with an average landward bias of 0.1 km and 0.6 km and standard deviation of 1.1 km and 1.5 km for DInSAR and ICESat measurements, respectively. We also compared the results directly with DInSAR interferograms from the Sentinel-1 satellites, acquired over the Evans Ice Stream and the Carlson Inlet (Ronne Ice Shelf) and found good agreement with the mapped points F and H. We present the results of the spatial distribution of the grounding zone width (the distance between points F and H), and used a simple elastic beam model to investigate the relationship between ice thickness and grounding zone width.

Geoffrey J. Dawson and Jonathan L. Bamber

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Geoffrey J. Dawson and Jonathan L. Bamber

Geoffrey J. Dawson and Jonathan L. Bamber

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Short summary
The grounding zone is where grounded ice begins to float and is the boundary at which the ocean has the most significant influence on the inland ice-sheet. Here, we present the results of mapping the grounding zone of Antarctic ice shelves from CryoSat-2 radar altimetry. We found good agreement with previous methods that mapped the grounding zone. Additionally, we investigated the grounding zone width, and this provided information about its structure.
The grounding zone is where grounded ice begins to float and is the boundary at which the ocean...
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