Remote Sensing of Ice-Sheet Margins


 Dr. Kelly Brunt, Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC)-University of Maryland/ Cryospheric Science Laboratory NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


Most of the ice-mass loss on polar ice sheets occurs where the ice is in direct contact with the atmosphere and the ocean. These losses generally occur in the form of surface melt, basal melt, or iceberg calving; the ratio of the form of loss is variable. Floating ice shelves or glacier tongues, which are the only part of the ice-sheet margins that are in direct contact with both the ocean and the atmosphere, are sensitive indicators of changes in oceanic and atmospheric temperature. They also play an important role in buttressing their grounded source glaciers, influencing their speed and the rate of ice-mass flux off of the continent. This presentation will provide an introduction to the sensitivities of the ice sheet margins and an overview of methods of investigating their dynamics, with a focus on the remote sensing of the grounding zones and calving fronts of Antarctic ice shelves.