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Changing pattern of ice flow and mass balance for glaciers discharging into the Larsen A and B embayments, Antarctic Peninsula, 2011 to 2016

Rott, Helmut and Abdel Jaber, Wael and Wuite, Jan and Scheiblauer, Stefan and Floricioiu, Dana and van Wessem, Jan Melchior and Nagler, Thomas and Miranda, Nuno and van den Broeke, Michiel R. (2018) Changing pattern of ice flow and mass balance for glaciers discharging into the Larsen A and B embayments, Antarctic Peninsula, 2011 to 2016. The Cryosphere, 12, pp. 1273-1291. Copernicus Publications. DOI: 10.5194/tc-12-1273-2018 ISSN 1994-0416

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-1273-2018

Abstract

We analysed volume change and mass balance of outlet glaciers on the northern Antarctic Peninsula over the periods 2011 to 2013 and 2013 to 2016, using high-resolution topographic data from the bistatic interferometric radar satellite mission TanDEM-X. Complementary to the geodetic method that applies DEM differencing, we computed the net mass balance of the main outlet glaciers using the mass budget method, accounting for the difference between the surface mass balance (SMB) and the discharge of ice into an ocean or ice shelf. The SMB values are based on output of the regional climate model RACMO version 2.3p2. To study glacier flow and retrieve ice discharge we generated time series of ice velocity from data from different satellite radar sensors, with radar images of the satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X as the main source. The study area comprises tributaries to the Larsen A, Larsen Inlet and Prince Gustav Channel embayments (region A), the glaciers calving into the Larsen B embayment (region B) and the glaciers draining into the remnant part of the Larsen B ice shelf in Scar Inlet (region C). The glaciers of region A, where the buttressing ice shelf disintegrated in 1995, and of region B (ice shelf break-up in 2002) show continuing losses in ice mass, with significant reduction of losses after 2013. The mass balance numbers for the grounded glacier area of region A are −3.98 ± 0.33 Gt a−1 from 2011 to 2013 and −2.38 ± 0.18 Gt a−1 from 2013 to 2016. The corresponding numbers for region B are −5.75 ± 0.45 and −2.32 ± 0.25 Gt a−1. The mass balance in region C during the two periods was slightly negative, at −0.54 ± 0.38 Gt a−1 and −0.58 ± 0.25 Gt a−1. The main share in the overall mass losses of the region was contributed by two glaciers: Drygalski Glacier contributing 61 % to the mass deficit of region A, and Hektoria and Green glaciers accounting for 67 % to the mass deficit of region B. Hektoria and Green glaciers accelerated significantly in 2010–2011, triggering elevation losses up to 19.5 m a−1 on the lower terminus during the period 2011 to 2013 and resulting in a mass balance of −3.88 Gt a−1. Slowdown of calving velocities and reduced calving fluxes in 2013 to 2016 coincided with years in which ice mélange and sea ice cover persisted in proglacial fjords and bays during summer.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/120626/
Document Type:Article
Title:Changing pattern of ice flow and mass balance for glaciers discharging into the Larsen A and B embayments, Antarctic Peninsula, 2011 to 2016
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Rott, HelmutENVEO IT GmbH, Innsbruck, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Abdel Jaber, Waelwael.abdeljaber (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Wuite, JanENVEO IT GmbH, Innsbruck, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Scheiblauer, StefanENVEO IT GmbH, Innsbruck, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Floricioiu, DanaDana.Floricioiu (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1647-7191
van Wessem, Jan MelchiorInstitute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the NetherlandsUNSPECIFIED
Nagler, ThomasENVEO IT GmbH, Innsbruck, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Miranda, NunoEuropean Space Agency/ESRIN, Frascati, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
van den Broeke, Michiel R.Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the NetherlandsUNSPECIFIED
Date:11 April 2018
Journal or Publication Title:The Cryosphere
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:12
DOI :10.5194/tc-12-1273-2018
Page Range:pp. 1273-1291
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
ISSN:1994-0416
Status:Published
Keywords:Antarctic Peninsula, mass balance, TanDEM-X, calving flux
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - SAR-Methodology
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Remote Sensing Technology Institute > SAR Signal Processing
Deposited By: Floricioiu, Dr. Dana
Deposited On:27 Jun 2018 13:11
Last Modified:09 Jan 2019 12:23

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