A new bed elevation dataset for Greenland

Daniel.Steinhage [ at ] awi.de


We present a new bed elevation dataset for Greenland derived from a combination of multiple airborne ice thickness surveys undertaken between the 1970s and 2012. Around 420 000 line kilometres of airborne data were used, with roughly 70 % of this having been collected since the year 2000, when the last comprehensive compilation was un- dertaken. The airborne data were combined with satellite- derived elevations for non-glaciated terrain to produce a con- sistent bed digital elevation model (DEM) over the entire is- land including across the glaciated–ice free boundary. The DEM was extended to the continental margin with the aid of bathymetric data, primarily from a compilation for the Arc- tic. Ice thickness was determined where an ice shelf exists from a combination of surface elevation and radar soundings. The across-track spacing between flight lines warranted in- terpolation at 1 km postings for significant sectors of the ice sheet. Grids of ice surface elevation, error estimates for the DEM, ice thickness and data sampling density were also pro- duced alongside a mask of land/ocean/grounded ice/floating ice. Errors in bed elevation range from a minimum of ±10 m to about ±300 m, as a function of distance from an obser- vation and local topographic variability. A comparison with the compilation published in 2001 highlights the improve- ment in resolution afforded by the new datasets, particularly along the ice sheet margin, where ice velocity is highest and changes in ice dynamics most marked. We estimate that the volume of ice included in our land-ice mask would raise mean sea level by 7.36 m, excluding any solid earth effects that would take place during ice sheet decay.

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Bamber, J. L. , Griggs, J. A. , Hurkmans, R. T. W. L. , Dowdeswell, J. A. , Gogineni, S. P. , Howat, I. , Mouginot, J. , Paden, J. , Palmer, S. , Rignot, E. and Steinhage, D. (2013): A new bed elevation dataset for Greenland , The Cryosphere, 7 (2), pp. 499-510 .

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