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Snow Accumulation, Ice Discharge and Mass Balance in Greenland and Antarctica from GRACE

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Velicogna, I. , Wahr, J. , Hanna, E. and Huybrechts, P. (2004): Snow Accumulation, Ice Discharge and Mass Balance in Greenland and Antarctica from GRACE , AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco (USA), 13-17 December 2004, Eos Transactions AGU, 85(47), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract C32A-05. .
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Abstract:

The GRACE satellite mission, launched in March of 2002, provides monthly measurements of time variable gravity at scales of a few hundred kilometers and larger. These data can be used to estimate temporal variations in the distribution of surface mass. We examine here the nineteen monthly GRACE gravity field solutions that are currently available for analyses. We find that these fields can be used to recover mass imbalance and net snow accumulation for the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. GRACE estimates of Greenland mass change agree with ice mass imbalance estimates from altimeter heights within measurement errors. We also estimate net snow accumulation from the nonsecular component of the GRACE signal. If precipitation minus evapo-transpiration (P-E) and runoff (R) are known it is possible to obtain monthly estimates of ice discharge through the grounding line from GRACE. We estimate ice discharge for the Greenland ice sheet by combining GRACE estimates of nonsecular net snow accumulation with ERA40-derived P-E-R.

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