Mass Change of the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, 1990’s to the Present

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Thomas Flament1, Andrew Shepherd2, Malcolm McMillan2, Kate Briggs3 and Anna Elizabeth Hogg3, (1)University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment, Leeds, United Kingdom, (2)University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2, United Kingdom, (3)University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
The Amundsen Sea sector is the largest contributor of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to global sea level rise. The UK NERC iSTAR project aims to study the ice sheet stability of the region and the iSTAR-D part is dedicated to estimate more precisely the mass balance of the area. Ground data collected during the iSTAR traverses in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 Antarctic summers will help in the interpretation of satellite data.

While the mass loss of the sector and the acceleration of this loss through the 2000’s have been thoroughly documented, we still lack a combined evaluation of the thinning pattern and rates from different techniques in the more recent past.

Here, we present mass changes estimates from three techniques. Volume change from radar altimetry is converted to mass change and compared to mass change derived from GRACE gravimetry and mass budget method.

We aim to obtain a refined and reliable analysis by, at the same time, comparing the techniques and looking into more details at the distribution of mass change in space and time. The altimetric series from previous ESA satellites are complemented by Cryosat-2 and Altika series.