Earth  ID: 4376

Antarctic Mass Change from GRACE derived Gravity Observations: Jan 2004 - Jun 2014

GRACE, NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, consists of twin co-orbiting satellites that fly in a near polar orbit separated by a distance of 220 km. GRACE precisely measures the distance between the two spacecraft in order to make detailed measurements of the Earth's gravitational field. Since its launch in 2002, GRACE has provided a continuous record of changes in the mass of the Earth's ice sheets.

These animations show the change in the mass of the Antarctic Ice Sheet between January 2004 and June 2014 as measured by the pair of GRACE satellites. The 1-arc-deg NASA GSFC mascon solution data was resampled to a 5130 x 5130 data array using Kriging interpolation. A color scale was applied where blue values indicate an increase in the ice sheet mass while red shades indicate a decrease. In addition, a graph overlay shows the running total of the accumulated mass change in gigatons.

Four separate animations are shown here: one of the full Antarctic Ice Sheet (above) and three of individual regional views (below) showing the regions of West Antarctica, the Antarctic Peninsula and East Antarctica. The time-series of each region is shown with a graph depicting the ice loss for the region alone. Note that the range on the color scale is different for each regional view in order to portray the most detail possible. Areas outside the region being shown are colored in a pale green to indicate that it is not included in the view. The floating ice shelves, shown in a lighter shade of green, are also not included.

Technical Note: The glacial isostatic adjustment signal (Earth mass redistribution in response to historical ice loading) has been removed using the ICE-6G model (Peltier et al. 2015).

Visualization Credits

Cindy Starr (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Lead Visualizer
Scott Luthcke (NASA/GSFC): Lead Scientist
Bryant Loomis (SGT): Chief Scientist
Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
Ian Jones (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
Leann Johnson (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Project Support
Joycelyn Thomson Jones (NASA/GSFC): Project Support
Eric Sokolowsky (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Project Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Science Paper:
Luthcke, S.B., T.J. Sabaka, B.D. Loomis, A.A. Arendt, J.J. McCarthy, J. Camp (2013), Antarctica, Greenland and Gulf of Alaska land ice evolution from an iterated GRACE global mascon solution, J. Glac., Vol. 59, No. 216, 613-631, doi:10.3189/2013jJoG12j147.

Peltier, W.R., Argus, D.F. and Drummond, R. (2015) Space geodesy constrains ice-age terminal deglaciation: The global ICE-6G_C (VM5a) model. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 120, 450-487, doi:10.1002/2014JB011176.

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Data Used:
Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)/Star Camera/Mascon Solution
NASA - Jan 2004 - June 2014
Antarctic Bedmap2 Topography also referred to as: Bedmap2
Data Compilation - British Antarctic Survey
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.

This item is part of this series:
GRACE Mass Change: 2004-2014

SVS >> Antarctic
SVS >> Antarctic Ice
SVS >> Antarctic Ice Sheet
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Presentation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Terrestrial Hydrosphere >> Glaciers/Ice Sheets >> Ice Sheets

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version