Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mass loss of the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica from four independent techniques

  • Author(s): Sutterley, TC
  • Velicogna, I
  • Rignot, E
  • Mouginot, J
  • Flament, T
  • Van Den Broeke, MR
  • Van Wessem, JM
  • Reijmer, CH
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. We compare four independent estimates of the mass balance of the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica, an area experiencing rapid retreat and mass loss to the sea. We use ICESat and Operation IceBridge laser altimetry, Envisat radar altimetry, GRACE time-variable gravity, RACMO2.3 surface mass balance, ice velocity from imaging radars, and ice thickness from radar sounders. The four methods agree in terms of mass loss and acceleration in loss at the regional scale. Over 1992-2013, the mass loss is 83 ± 5 Gt/yr with an acceleration of 6.1 ± 0.7 Gt/yr2. During the common period 2003-2009, the mass loss is 84 ± 10 Gt/yr with an acceleration of 16.3 ± 5.6 Gt/yr2, nearly 3 times the acceleration over 1992-2013. Over 2003-2011, the mass loss is 102 ± 10 Gt/yr with an acceleration of 15.7 ± 4.0 Gt/yr2. The results reconcile independent mass balance estimates in a setting dominated by change in ice dynamics with significant variability in surface mass balance.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View