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Antarctic Grounding Line Mapping From CryoSat-2 Radar Altimetry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Early online date11 Dec 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Nov 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 11 Dec 2017


We present a new technique for mapping the grounding line of Antarctic ice shelves using a combination of CryoSat-2 standard and swath elevation data. Our method is based on detecting the tidal signal in pseudo crossovers, and is tested on the Siple Coast region of West Antarctica. The mapped grounding line is in good agreement with previous observations from differential SAR interferometry (DInSAR) and from ICEsat repeat tracks, with a standard deviation of 1.1 km and 1.0 km, respectively between these methods and ours. There is, however an average seaward bias of 0.6 km, which is due to the poorer precision of CryoSat-2. We have improved coverage particularly near the Echelmeyer Ice Stream where we have shown the grounding zone is approximately 25 km inland from previous estimates. This new method is computationally efficient and can be applied to the rest of Antarctica.

    Research areas

  • grounding line, CryoSat-2

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