Antarctic regional ice loss rates from GRACE

Edited: 2011-02-21
TitleAntarctic regional ice loss rates from GRACE
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsChen, J., C. Wilson, B. Tapley, D. Blankenship, and D. Young
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Date Published02/2008
Keywordsclimate, grace, ice
AbstractUsing recent improved time-variable gravity solutions from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), we estimate rates of Antarctic ice mass change for the period January 2003 through September 2006. Combined improvements in data and filtering techniques allow observation of ice loss in the northern Antarctic Peninsula (AP) and along the coast of the west and central Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) in West Antarctica. There is also evidence of ice loss along the coast near the Stancomb Wills (STA) and Jutulstraumen (JUT) glaciers in Queen Maud Land. Apparent rates are adjusted for influences of limited spatial resolution, filtering, and estimated postglacial rebound (PGR) to obtain ice loss rates for the northern AP, coastal ASE, and STA/JUT of ‑ 28.8 ± 7.9, ‑ 81 ± 17, and ‑ 16.7 ± 9.7 km3/yr, respectively. This is the first estimate for the northern AP from satellite gravity data. The ASE estimate (‑ 81 ± 17 km3/yr) is consistent with a previous value (‑ 77 ± 14 km3/yr) using an earlier GRACE data release. These results indicate significant improvement in GRACE data quality, increased spatial resolution, and applicability of GRACE data to a wider class of problems than previously possible.