Surface expression of basal and englacial features, properties, and processes of the Greenland Ice Sheet

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Title: Surface expression of basal and englacial features, properties, and processes of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Authors: Cooper, M
Jordan, T
Siegert, M
Bamber, J
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Radar‐sounding surveys measuring ice thickness in Greenland have enabled an increasingly “complete” knowledge of basal topography and glaciological processes. Where such observations are spatially limited, bed elevation has been interpolated through mass conservation or kriging. Ordinary kriging fails to resolve anisotropy in bed geometry, however, leaving complex topography misrepresented in elevation models of the ice sheet bed. Here, we demonstrate the potential of new high‐resolution (≤5 m) surface topography data (ArcticDEM) to provide enhanced insight into basal and englacial geometry and processes. Notable surface features, quantified via residual surface elevation, are observed coincident with documented subglacial channels, and new, smaller‐scale tributaries (<2,000 m in width) and valley‐like structures are clearly identified. Residual surface elevation also allows the extent of basal ice units to be mapped, which in conjunction with radar data indicate that they act as “false bottoms,” likely due to a rheological contrast in the ice column.
Issue Date: 14-Feb-2019
Date of Acceptance: 5-Jan-2019
ISSN: 0094-8276
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Start Page: 783
End Page: 793
Journal / Book Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 46
Issue: 2
Copyright Statement: ©2019 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/K004956/2
Keywords: MD Multidisciplinary
Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2019-01-14
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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