Antarctic mass rates from GRACE

Edited: 2011-02-21
TitleAntarctic mass rates from GRACE
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsChen, J., C. Wilson, D. Blankenship, and B. Tapley
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Date Published06/2006
Keywordsclimate, grace, ice
AbstractWe estimate mass trends over Antarctica using gravity variations observed by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission during its first 3.5 years (April 2002-November 2005). An image of surface mass trends is constructed from 1° × 1° pixels over the entire continent, and shows two prominent features, a region of mass loss along the coast of West Antarctica, and one of accumulation in East Antarctica. After adjusting for bias due to smoothing and to GRACE's limited spatial resolution, and removing post glacial rebound (PGR) effects, the rate in West Antarctica is -77 +/- 14 km3/year, similar to a recent estimate of ice mass loss from satellite altimetry and remote sensing data. The prominent East Antarctic feature in the Enderby Land region has a rate of +80 +/- 16 km3/year. Published snow/ice mass rates from remote sensing measurements indicate approximate ice mass balance in this region, suggesting that this feature is either from unquantified snow accumulation in this region or more likely due to unmodeled PGR.