Antarctic Plumbing: Lake Englehardt's Subglacial Hydraulic System
ICESat satellite laser altimeter elevation profiles from 2003-2006 collected over West Antarctica reveal numerous regions of temporally varying elevation. MODIS satellite imagery over roughly the same time period collaborates where these subglacial fluctuations have occurred. These observations have led scientists to conclude that subglacial water movement is happening in this lake region, revealing a widespread, dynamic subglacial water system that could provide important insights into ice flow and the mass balance of Antarctica's ice.
This animation begins by showing the Antarctic continent through the eyes of the Aqua/AMSR-E sensor. As the camera approaches the Lake area we transition to the MODIS Mosaic Of Antarctica (MOA) revealing a December 2002 3-day average of MODIS data over Lake Englehardt. This then does a quick transition to a December 2005 3-day MODIS average. Next, an orange swathe of ICESat data passes over the lake and ICESat elevation data taken on October 24, 2003 is extruded from the surface eventually hovering above the December 2002 3-day MODIS average. The orange ICESat slice then morphs into ICESat elevation data taken on June 2, 2006 for this same region. As the ICESat elevation data dips, the underlying MODIS data transforms again into the December 2005 3-day average revealing the corresponding lake depression.
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Antarctic Antarctic Ice Sheet Antarctic Oscillation Antarctica Climate Indicators Cryosphere Earth Science Glacier Elevation/Ice Sheet Elevation Glacier Mass Balance/Ice Sheet Mass Balance Glacier Thickness/Ice Sheet Thickness Glacier Topography/Ice Sheet Topography Glaciers/Ice Sheets HDTV Hydrosphere Location Teleconnections
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio The Blue Marble Next Generation data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC) and NASA's Earth Observatory.
- Cindy Starr (Global Science and Technology, Inc.)
Papers used in this visualization
'An Active Subglacial Water System in West Antarctica Mapped from Space', Science Express, 2007 Feb 15
Datasets used in this visualization
Terra and Aqua MOA (MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA) Image Map)ID: 627Mosaic Collected with MODIS National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and the University of New Hampshire 2003/11/30 - 2004/02/29
Staff from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and the University of New Hampshire have assembled two digital image maps of surface morphology and optical snow grain size that cover the Antarctic continent and its surrounding islands. The MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA) image maps are derived from composites of 260 MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) orbit swaths acquired between 20 November 2003 and 29 February 2004. The MOA provides a cloud-free view of the ice sheet, ice shelves, and land surfaces, and a quantitative measure of optical snow grain size for snow- or ice-covered areas. All land areas larger than a few hundred meters that are south of 60° S are included in the mosaic, as well as persistent fast ice regions and some grounded icebergs present near the coast in the 2003-2004 austral summer. The MOA surface morphology image map is derived from digitally processed MODIS Band 1 data. The optical snow grain size image is compiled using a normalized ratio of atmospherically corrected, calibrated band radiance data from Bands 1 and 2.
This dataset can be found at: http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0280.htmlSee all pages that use this dataset
Terra and Aqua BMNG (Blue Marble: Next Generation)ID: 508Collected with MODIS 2004/10
Credit: The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
This dataset can be found at: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/BlueMarble/See all pages that use this dataset
ICESatID: 38Collected with GLAS 2003/10/24 and 2006/06/02 (Orbits 4250 and 18414)
Aqua Daily L3 6.25 km 89 GHz Brightness Temperature (Tb)ID: 236Collected with AMSR-E 2006/10/12
Aqua Sea Ice Concentration (Level 3 12.5 km Sea Ice Concentration)ID: 608Collected with AMSR-E 2006/10/12
AquaID: 5Collected with MODIS 3 day averages: 2002/12 and 2005/12
TerraID: 116Collected with MODIS 3 day averages: 2002/12 and 2005/12
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