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Ice thickness, subglacial topography, surface velocities, and mass flux of Vestraumen, West Dronning Maud Land, and adjacent areas derived from airborne radio-echo sounding and satellite remote sensing

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Steinhage, D. , Rack, W. , Nixdorf, U. and Miller, H. (2004): Ice thickness, subglacial topography, surface velocities, and mass flux of Vestraumen, West Dronning Maud Land, and adjacent areas derived from airborne radio-echo sounding and satellite remote sensing , SCAR Open Science Conference, 25-31 July 2004, Bremen, Germany. .
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Abstract:

The mass balance of Antarctica varies a lot across the whole continent. While some areas show evidence of a clear deficit in mass balance, for instance the Antarctic Peninsula, the difference between accumulation and ablation in other areas seems to be small and even the sign is not evident. While ice thickness and surface velocities can be determined by means of remote sensing, radio-echo sounding and satellite picture interferometry, accumulation and ablation have to be measured in-situ using snow pits, firn/ice cores, and depth sounders under ice shelves or in ice sheets. Remote sensing techniques can be easily applied for large areas while in-situ measurements will always be restricted to isolated point measurements and therefore are of limited areal density.During the pre-site survey for the EPICA drill site in Dronning Maud Land (DML) the ice tickness of several drainage basins in this region have been mapped using airborne radio-echo sounding (RES). Eventhough this pre-site survey has been concentrated on the interior part of DML the coastal region has been mapped as well as on the way into the interior. These by-product measurements have been completed throughout the three past austral summers up to austral summer 2003/04 by profiles along the ground line and across several distinct outlet glacier of west and central DML. Surface velocities could be elaborated using ERS1/2 satellite images.The contribution will be geographically restricted on the Vestraumen, an outlet glacier in West DML, draining into the western part of the Riiser-Larsenisen, and focus on ice sheet properties of the drainage baisin and the ice stream derived from remote sensing techniques. A comparison of surface velocities and balance velocities, respectively the appropriate derived mass fluxes will provide further information of the sign and possible imbalance of the Vestraumen and its drainage baisin.

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