BedMachine: A high-precision map of Antarctic ice sheet bed topography

  • Released Thursday, December 12th, 2019
  • Updated Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 12:14AM
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BedMachine is a new Antarctic bed topography product based on ice thickness data from 19 different research institutes dating back to 1967, encompassing nearly a million line-miles of radar soundings. BedMachine relies on the fundamental physics-based method of mass conservation to estimate what lies between the radar sounding lines, utilizing highly detailed information on ice flow motion from satellite data that dictates how ice moves. The dataset is available from the National Snow & Ice Data Center here.

This is an image of the bed topography under the Ninnis Glacier in Antarctica colored by the elevation.  Areas below sea level are colored in shades of blue while areas above sea level are colored in green, yellow and brown.

This is an image of the bed topography under the Ninnis Glacier in Antarctica colored by the elevation. Areas below sea level are colored in shades of blue while areas above sea level are colored in green, yellow and brown.

This is an image of the bed topography under the Denman Glacier in Antarctica colored by the elevation. Areas below sea level are colored in shades of blue while areas above sea level are colored in green, yellow and brown.

This is an image of the bed topography under the Denman Glacier in Antarctica colored by the elevation. Areas below sea level are colored in shades of blue while areas above sea level are colored in green, yellow and brown.

This is an image of the bed topography under the Recovery Glacier in Antarctica colored by the elevation. Areas below sea level are colored in shades of blue while areas above sea level are colored in green, yellow and brown.

This is an image of the bed topography under the Recovery Glacier in Antarctica colored by the elevation. Areas below sea level are colored in shades of blue while areas above sea level are colored in green, yellow and brown.

The overlay with the colorbar, glacier names and exaggeration with transparency

The overlay with the colorbar, glacier names and exaggeration with transparency



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


Papers used in this visualization

Morlighem M. et al., (2019), Deep glacial troughs and stabilizing ridges unveiled beneath the margins of the Antarctic ice sheet, Nature Geoscience, doi: 10.1038/s41561-019-0510-8 ( https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0510-8 )


Datasets used in this visualization

  • Terra and Aqua BMNG (Blue Marble: Next Generation)

    ID: 508
    Collected with MODIS

    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
  • MEaSUREs BedMachine Antarctica

    ID: 1065
    Data Compilation NASA

    Part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, contains a bed topography/bathymetry map of Antarctica based on mass conservation, streamline diffusion, and other methods. The data set also includes ice thickness, surface elevation, an ice/ocean/land mask, ice thickness estimation errors, and a map showing where each method was utilized.

    This dataset can be found at: https://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0756

    See all pages that use this dataset

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.