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Altimetry, gravimetry, GPS and viscoelastic modeling data for the joint inversion for glacial isostatic adjustment in Antarctica (ESA STSE Project REGINA)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Ingo Sasgen
  • Alba Martín-Español
  • Alexander Horvath
  • Volker Klemann
  • Elizabeth J. Petrie
  • Bert Wouters
  • Martin Horwath
  • Roland Pail
  • Jonathan L. Bamber
  • Peter J. Clarke
  • Hannes Konrad
  • Terry Wilson
  • Mark R. Drinkwater
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-523
Number of pages31
JournalEarth System Science Data
Issue number1
Early online date13 Mar 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 4 Dec 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 13 Mar 2018
DatePublished (current) - Mar 2018


The poorly known correction for the ongoing deformation of the solid Earth caused by glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is a major uncertainty in determining the mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet from measurements of satellite gravimetry and to a lesser extent satellite altimetry. In the past decade, much progress has been made in consistently modeling ice sheet and solid Earth interactions; however, forward-modeling solutions of GIA in Antarctica remain uncertain due to the sparsity of constraints on the ice sheet evolution, as well as the Earth's rheological properties. An alternative approach towards estimating GIA is the joint inversion of multiple satellite data - namely, satellite gravimetry, satellite altimetry and GPS, which reflect, with different sensitivities, trends in recent glacial changes and GIA. Crucial to the success of this approach is the accuracy of the spacegeodetic data sets. Here, we present reprocessed rates of surface-ice elevation change (Envisat/Ice, Cloud,and land Elevation Satellite, ICESat; 2003-2009), gravity field change (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, GRACE; 2003-2009) and bedrock uplift (GPS; 1995-2013). The data analysis is complemented by the forward modeling of viscoelastic response functions to disc load forcing, allowing us to relate GIA-induced surface displacements with gravity changes for different rheological parameters of the solid Earth. The data and modeling results presented here are available in the PANGAEA database ( The data sets are the input streams for the joint inversion estimate of present-day ice-mass change and GIA, focusing on Antarctica. However, the methods, code and data provided in this paper can be used to solve other problems, such as volume balances of the Antarctic ice sheet, or can be applied to other geographical regions in. The case of the viscoelastic response functions. This paper presents the first of two contributions summarizing the work carried out within a European Space Agency funded study: Regional glacial isostatic adjustment and CryoSat elevation rate corrections in Antarctica (REGINA).

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