Short Name:

Collaborative Research: Long-Term and Interannual Variability of Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Balance From Satellite Gravimetry and Other Geodetic Measurements

This award supports a project to improve the estimate of long-term and inter-annual variability of Antarctic ice sheet mass balance at continental, regional, and catchment scales, using satellite gravity measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and other geodetic measurements. The work will improve the quantification of long-term mass change rates over Antarctica using GRACE gravity data with a longer record and newer generation(s) of products and will develop advanced numerical forward modeling techniques that can accurately correct leakage effects associated with GRACE data processing, and significantly improve spatial resolution of GRACE mass rate estimates over Antarctica. The work will also contribute to a better understanding of crustal uplift rates due to postglacial rebound (PGR) and present day ice load change over Antarctica via PGR models, GPS measurements, and combined analysis of GRACE and ICESat elevation changes. Inter-annual variations of ice mass over Antarctica will be investigated at continental and catchment scales and connections to regional climate change will be studied. The major deliverables from this study will be improved assessments of ice mass balance for the entire Antarctic ice sheet and potential contribution to global mean sea level rise. The work will also provide estimates of regional ice mass change rates over Antarctica, with a focus along the coast in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, the Peninsula in West Antarctica, and in Wilkes Land and Victoria Land in East Antarctica. Estimates of inter-annual ice mass change over Antarctica at various spatial scales, and assessments of uncertainty of GRACE ice rate estimates and PGR models errors over Antarctica will also be made. The intellectual merits of the proposed investigation include 1) providing improved assessments of Antarctic ice mass balance at different temporal and spatial scales with unprecedented accuracy, an important contribution to broad areas of polar science research; 2) combining high accuracy GPS vertical uplift measurements and PGR models to better quantify long-term crust uplift effects that are not distinguishable from ice mass changes by GRACE; and 3) unifying the work of several investigations at the forefront of quantifying ice sheet and glacier mass balance and crustal uplift based on a variety of modern space geodetic observations. The broader impacts include the fact that the project will actively involve student participation and training, through the support of two graduate students. In addition the project will contribute to general education and public outreach (E/PO) activities and the results from this investigation will help inspire future geoscientists and promote public awareness of significant manifestations of climate change.

Map of Earth