Regional Sea Level Variations from GRACE, InSAR and a Regional Atmospheric Climate Model Output Products

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Chia-Wei Hsu1, Isabella Velicogna1,2, Eric J Rignot1,2 and John M Wahr3, (1)University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, United States, (2)Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (3)Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, United States
We generate static regional sea level variations (sea level fingerprints, SLF) from ice sheets, glaciers and land hydrology using 10 years of monthly NASA/DLR GRACE satellite data and 40 years of ice sheet mass balance from the mass budget method (surface mass balance from a regional atmospheric climate model minus ice discharge along the periphery). We evaluate the impact of the spatial distribution in ice sheet mass balance on the inferred regional sea level pattern. Based on the results, we derive requirements on the spatial scale of mass loss needed to resolve the regional pattern of sea level change. In the calculation of the water and ice mass changes over land, we also need to restore the amplitude of the GRACE signal before calculating the regional sea level pattern. Here, we describe an improved scaling factor method that comprises both a seasonal and a long-term component. We discuss the impact of these components on the retrieved regional sea level pattern. Using the SLF, we identify the sources of observed sea level variations. We show that the cumulative SLF describe a large portion of the trend and annual amplitude of the observed sea level variations at both the global and basin scales. When comparing the cumulative SLF with observations of sea level change from steric corrected altimetry, we find an excellent agreement at the global and basin scales. We discuss differences in sea level pattern between the last decade and the prior 40 years. This work was conducted at the University of California Irvine and at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.