Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Land-ice elevation changes from photon-counting swath altimetry: first applications over the Antarctic ice sheet

  • Duncan A. Young (a1), Laura E. Lindzey (a1), Donald D. Blankenship (a1), Jamin S. Greenbaum (a1), Alvaro Garcia De Gorordo (a1), Scott D. Kempf (a1), Jason L. Roberts (a2) (a3), Roland C. Warner (a2) (a3), Tas Van Ommen (a2) (a3), Martin J. Siegert (a4) and Emmanuel Le Meur (a5)...

Abstract

Satellite altimetric time series allow high-precision monitoring of ice-sheet mass balance. Understanding elevation changes in these regions is important because outlet glaciers along ice-sheet margins are critical in controlling flow of inland ice. Here we discuss a new airborne altimetry dataset collected as part of the ICECAP (International Collaborative Exploration of the Cryosphere by Airborne Profiling) project over East Antarctica. Using the ALAMO (Airborne Laser Altimeter with Mapping Optics) system of a scanning photon-counting lidar combined with a laser altimeter, we extend the 2003–09 surface elevation record of NASA’s ICESat satellite, by determining cross-track slope and thus independently correcting for ICESat’s cross-track pointing errors. In areas of high slope, cross-track errors result in measured elevation change that combines surface slope and the actual Δz/Δt signal. Slope corrections are particularly important in coastal ice streams, which often exhibit both rapidly changing elevations and high surface slopes. As a test case (assuming that surface slopes do not change significantly) we observe a lack of ice dynamic change at Cook Ice Shelf, while significant thinning occurred at Totten and Denman Glaciers during 2003–09.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Land-ice elevation changes from photon-counting swath altimetry: first applications over the Antarctic ice sheet
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Land-ice elevation changes from photon-counting swath altimetry: first applications over the Antarctic ice sheet
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Land-ice elevation changes from photon-counting swath altimetry: first applications over the Antarctic ice sheet
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Duncan A. Young <duncan@ig.utexas.edu>

References

Hide All
Abdalati, W and 16 others (2010) The ICESat-2 laser altimetry mission. IEEE Proc., 98(5), 735751 (doi: 10.1109/JPROC.2009.2034765)
Abshire, JB and 7 others (2005) Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on the ICESat Mission: on-orbit measurement performance. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32(21), L21S02 (doi: 10.1029/2005GL024028)
Blair, JB, Rabine, DL and Hofton, MA (1999) The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor: a medium-altitude, digitisation-only, airborne laser altimeter for mapping vegetation and topography. ISPRS J. Photogramm. Remote Sens., 54(2–3), 115122 (doi: 10.1016/S0924-2716(99)00002-7)
Blankenship, DD, Kempf, SD and Young, DA (2012) IceBridge Riegl Laser Altimeter L2 Geolocated Surface Elevation Triplets [East Antarctica]. NASA Distributed Active Archive Center, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO. Digital media: http://nsidc.org/data/ilutp2 (updated 2013)
Blankenship, DD, Kempf, SD, Young, DA and Lindzey, LE (2013a) IceBridge Merged Photon Counting Lidar/Profiler L4 Surface Slope and Elevations [East Antarctica]. NASA Distributed Active Archive Center, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO. Digital media: http://nsidc.org/data/ilsnp4
Blankenship, DD, Kempf, SD, Young, DA and Lindzey, LE (2013b) IceBridge Photon Counting Lidar L1B Subset Geolocated Photon Elevations [East Antarctica]. NASA Distributed Active Archive Center, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO. (updated 2014) Digital media: http://nsidc.org/data/ilutp2
Borsa, AA, Moholdt, G, Fricker, HA and Brunt, KM (2014) A range correction for ICESat and its potential impact on ice-sheet mass balance studies. Cryosphere, 8(2), 345357 (doi: 10.5194/tc-8-345-2014)
Brunt, KM, Neumann, TA, Walsh, KM and Markus, T (2014) Determination of local slope on the Greenland Ice Sheet using a multibeam photon-counting Lidar in preparation for the ICESat-2 Mission. IEEE Geosci. Remote Sens. Lett., 11(5), 935939 (doi: 10.1109/LGRS.2013.2282217)
Cavitte, M (2011) Using radio-echo sounding as a tool for correlating ice core ages between Dome C and Vostok, East Antarctica. (MSc thesis, University of Cambridge)
Chen, JL, Wilson, CR, Blankenship, D and Tapley, BD (2009) Accelerated Antarctic ice loss from satellite gravity measurements. Nature Geosci., 2(12), 859862 (doi: 10.1038/ngeo694)
Church, JA and 13 others (2013) Sea level change. In Stocker, TF and 9 others eds. Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Davis, CH, Li, Y, McConnell, JR, Frey, MM and Hanna, E (2005) Snowfall-driven growth in East Antarctic ice sheet mitigates recent sea-level rise. Science, 308(5730), 18981901 (doi: 10.1126/science.1110662)
Degnan, JJ (2002) Photon-counting multikilohertz microlaser altimeters for airborne and spaceborne topographic measurements. J. Geodyn., 34(3–4), 503549 (doi: 10.1016/S0264-3707(02)00045-5)
Degnan, J, Wells, D, Machan, R and Leventhal, E (2007) Second generation airborne 3D imaging lidars based on photon counting. In Becker, W ed. Advanced photon counting techniques II. (Proceedings of SPIE 6771) International Society for Optics and Photonics, Bellingham, WA
Flament, T and Rémy, F (2012) Dynamic thinning of Antarctic glaciers from along-track repeat radar altimetry. J. Glaciol., 58(211), 830840 (doi: 10.3189/2012JoG11J118)
Flament, T, Berthier, E and Rémy, F (2014) Cascading water underneath Wilkes Land, East Antarctic Ice Sheet, observed using altimetry and digital elevation models. Cryosphere, 8(2), 673687 (doi: 10.5194/tc-8-673-2014)
Fretwell, P and 59 others (2013) Bedmap2: improved ice bed, surface and thickness datasets for Antarctica. Cryosphere, 7(1), 375393 (doi: 10.5194/tc-7-375-2013)
Fricker, HA, Scambos, T, Bindschadler, R and Padman, L (2007) An active subglacial water system in West Antarctica mapped from space. Science, 315(5818), 15441548 (doi: 10.1126/science.1136897)
Herzfeld, UC and 6 others (2014) Algorithm for detection of ground and canopy cover in micropulse photon-counting lidar altimeter data in preparation for the ICESat-2 Mission. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 52(4), 21092125 (doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2013.2258350)
Hofton, M and 6 others (2000) An airborne laser altimetry survey of Long Valley, California. Int. J. Remote Sens., 21(12), 24132437 (doi: 10.1080/01431160050030547)
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2013) Summary for policymakers. In Stocker, TF and 9 others eds. Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Jordan, TA, Ferraccioli, F, Corr, H, Graham, A, Armadillo, E and Bozzo, E (2010) Hypothesis for mega-outburst flooding from a palaeosubglacial lake beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Terra Nova, 22(4), 283289 (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3121.2010.00944.x)
Khazendar, A, Schodlok, MP, Fenty, I, Ligtenberg, SRM, Rignot, E and Van den Broeke, MR (2013) Observed thinning of Totten Glacier is linked to coastal polynya variability. Nature Commun., 4 (doi: 10.1038/ncomms3857)
Koks, D (2008) Using rotations to build aerospace coordinate systems. (Tech. Rep. DSTO-TN-0640) Defence Science and Technology Organisation Systems Sciences Laboratory, Edinburgh, Australia
Krabill, WB and 8 others (2002) Aircraft laser altimetry measurement of elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet: technique and accuracy assessment. J. Geodyn., 34(3–4), 357376 (doi: 10.1016/S0264-3707(02)00040-6)
Luthcke, SB, Sabaka, TJ, Loomis, BD, Arendt, A, McCarthy, JJ and Camp, J (2013) Antarctica, Greenland and Gulf of Alaska land-ice evolution from an iterated GRACE global mascon solution. J. Glaciol., 59(216), 613631 (doi: 10.3189/2013JoG12J147)
Martin, CF and 6 others (2012) Airborne topographic mapper calibration procedures and accuracy assessment. (ASA Tech. Rep. NASA/TM-2012-215891) NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
McGill, M, Markus, T, Scott, VS and Neumann, T (2013) The Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL): an airborne simulator for the ICESat-2 Mission. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., 30(2), 345352 (doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-12-00076.1)
McMillan, M, Corr, H, Shepherd, A, Ridout, A, Laxon, S and Cullen, R (2013) Three-dimensional mapping by CryoSat-2 of subglacial lake volume changes. Geophys. Res. Lett., 40(16), 43214327 (doi: 10.1002/grl.50689)
McMillan, M and 7 others (2014) Increased ice losses from Antarctica detected by CryoSat-2. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(11), 38993905 (doi: 10.1002/2014GL060111)
Operation IceBridge Science Definition Team (2012) IceBridge science requirements summary. NASA Distributed Active Archive Center, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO http://bprc.osu.edu/rsl/IST/index_files/PROJECTDOCUMENTS.htm
Pritchard, HD, Arthern, RJ, Vaughan, DG and Edwards, LA (2009) Extensive dynamic thinning on the margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Nature, 461(7266), 971975 (doi: 10.1038/nature08471)
Pritchard, HD, Ligtenberg, SRM, Fricker, HA, Vaughan, DG, Van den Broeke, MR and Padman, L (2012) Antarctic ice-sheet loss driven by basal melting of ice shelves. Nature, 484(7395), 502505 (doi: 10.1038/nature10968)
Rignot, E, Jacobs, S, Mouginot, J and Scheuchl, B (2013) Ice shelf melting around Antarctica. Science, 341(6143), 266270 (doi: 10.1126/science.1235798)
Roberts, JL and 12 others (2011) Refined broad-scale sub-glacial morphology of Aurora Subglacial Basin, East Antarctica derived by an ice-dynamics-based interpolation scheme. Cryosphere, 5(3), 551560 (doi: 10.5194/tc-5-551-2011)
Scambos, T, Bohlander, J and Raup, B (1996) Images of Antarctic ice shelves [2002–present]. National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO. Digital media: http://nsidc.org/data/iceshelves_images/index_modis.html
Schoof, C (2007) Ice sheet grounding line dynamics: steady states, stability, and hysteresis. J. Geophys. Res., 112(F3), F03S28 (doi: 10.1029/2006JF000664)
Schutz, BE, Zwally, HJ, Shuman, CA, Hancock, D and DiMarzio, JP (2005) Overview of the ICESat Mission. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32(21), L21S01 (doi: 10.1029/2005GL024009)
Siegfried, MR, Fricker, HA, Roberts, M, Scambos, TA and Tulaczyk, S (2014) A decade of West Antarctic subglacial lake interactions from combined ICESat and CryoSat-2 altimetry. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(3), 891898 (doi: 10.1002/2013GL058616)
Smith, BE, Fricker, HA, Joughin, IR and Tulaczyk, S (2009) An inventory of active subglacial lakes in Antarctica detected by ICESat (2003–2008). J. Glaciol., 55(192), 573595 (doi: 10.3189/002214309789470879)
Thomas, R and 17 others (2004) Accelerated sea-level rise from West Antarctica. Science, 306(5694), 255258 (doi: 10.1126/science.1099650)
Vaughan, DG and 13 others (2013) Observations: cryosphere. In Stocker, TF and 9 others eds. Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York
Vaughn, CR, Bufton, JL, Krabill, WB and Rabine, DL (1996) Georeferencing of airborne laser altimeter measurements. Int. J. Remote Sens., 17(11), 21852200 (doi: 10.1080/01431169608948765)
Wouters, B, Bamber, JL, Van den Broeke, MR, Lenaerts, JTM and Sasgen, I (2013) Limits in detecting acceleration of ice sheet mass loss due to climate variability. Nature Geosci., 6(8), 613616 (doi: 10.1038/ngeo1874)
Wright, AP and 12 others (2012) Evidence of a hydrological connection between the ice divide and ice sheet margin in the Aurora Subglacial Basin, East Antarctica. J. Geophys. Res., 117(F1), F01033 (doi: 10.1029/2011JF002066)
Wu, AY and 9 others (2010) Space laser transmitter development for ICESat-2 mission. SPIE Proc., 7578 (doi: 10.1117/12.843342)
Young, DA, Kempf, SD, Blankenship, DD, Holt, JW and Morse, DL (2008a) Airborne laser altimetry of the Thwaites Glacier catchment, West Antarctica. National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO. Digital media: http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0334
Young, DA, Kempf, SD, Blankenship, DD, Holt, JW and Morse, DL (2008b) New airborne laser altimetry over the Thwaites Glacier catchment, West Antarctica. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9(Q6), Q06006 (doi: 10.1029/2007GC001935)
Young, DA and 11 others (2011) A dynamic early East Antarctic Ice Sheet suggested by ice-covered fjord landscapes. Nature, 474(7349), 7275 (doi: 10.1038/nature10114)
Zwally, HJ (2013) GLAS Release 34 Altimetry: correction to the ICESat data product surface elevations due to an error in the range determination from transmit-pulse reference-point selection (centroid vs Gaussian). NASA/Distributed Active Archive Center, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO nsidc. org/data/icesat/correction-to-product-surface-elevations.html
Zwally, HJ and 7 others (2005) Mass changes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and shelves and contributions to sea-level rise: 1992–2002. J. Glaciol., 51(175), 509527 (doi: 10.3189/172756505781829007)
Zwally, HJ and 11 others (2011) Greenland ice sheet mass balance: distribution of increased mass loss with climate warming; 2003– 07 versus 1992–2002. J. Glaciol., 57(201), 88102 (doi: 10.3189/002214311795306682)
Zwally, HJ and 7 others (2012) GLAS/ICESat L2 Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheet altimetry data, version 001 [East Antarctica]. National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed