West Antarctic Glacier Ice Flows and Elevation Change
This animation shows glacier changes detected by ATM, ICESat and ice bridge data in the highly dynamic Amundsen Embayment of West Antarctica. We know that ice speeds in this area have increased dramatically from the late 1990s to the present as the ice shelves in this area have thinned and the bottom of the ice has lost contact with the bed beneath. As the ice has accelerated, ice upstream of the coast must be stretched more vigorously, causing it to thin. NASA-sponsored aircraft missions first measured the ice surface height in this region in 2002, followed by ICESat data between 2002 and 2009. Ice Bridge aircraft have measured further surface heights in 2009 and 2010, and these measurements continue today. Integrating these altimetry sources allows us to estimate surface height changes throughout the drainage regions of the most important glaciers in the region. We see large elevation changes at the coast on Thwaites glacier, at the center of the images, and large and accelerating elevation changes extending inland from the coast on Pine Island and Smith glaciers, to the left and right of the images, respectively. The changes on Pine Island and Smith glaciers mark these as potential continuing sources of ice to the sea, and they have been surveyed in 2011 by Ice Bridge aircraft and targeted for repeat measurements in coming years.
Animation showing ice velocity and elevation change with dates, labels and colorbars.
The above animation without the title, date and colorbar overlay
The label, date and colorbar overlay with transparency
The color bar used to show the ice velocity vector flows
The color bar used to show the change in elevation
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
Datasets used in this visualization
IceBridge L2 Icessn Elevation, Slope, and RoughnessID: 717Collected with ATM NASA Sept. 2009 and Oct. 2010
Landsat-7 LIMA (Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica)ID: 599Mosaic Collected with ETM+ NASA/GSFC, British Antarctic Survey, USGS EROS Data Center Dec. 2002 to Feb. 2003
Advanced Land Observation System (ALOS) L-band frequency (1.27 GHz) radarID: 721Collected with Phased-Array Synthetic-Aperture Radar (PALSAR) Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency 1994 to 1996
Pre-IceBridge L2 Icessn Elevation, Slope, and RoughnessID: 718Collected with ATM NASA Nov. to Dec. 2002 and Nov. to Dec. 2004
Pre-IceBridge BLVIS2 (L2 Geolocated Ground Elevation and Return Energy Quartiles)ID: 719Collected with LVIS NASA 2009, updated 2010
ERS-1 and ERS-2 Differential InterferometryID: 720Collected with SAR European Space Agency 2008
ICESat GLA14 (L2 Global Land Surface Altimetry Data)ID: 716Collected with GLAS NASA Feb. 2003 to Nov. 2008
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.