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Ice-shelf/ocean Interactions Measured From Space

Ice-shelf/ocean Interactions Measured From Space


Dr. Laurence Padman
Earth & Space Research
Corvallis, OR 97333, USA

When:    Friday, Sept. 18, 2009 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where:   BEG Conference Room, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 130, Austin, Texas 78758
Host:     Jack Holt, UTIG

Ice shelves influence the offshore flow of the Antarctic ice sheet through their buttressing effect on glaciers and ice streams. Modeling ice shelves in climate system models is, therefore, an important step in developing the ability to predict future changes in global sea level.

In this talk I discuss the contributions of satellite remote sensing data to our understanding of the ocean's role in ice shelf variability. I consider the use of ERS/Envisat radar and ICESat laser altimetry, and ancillary data from InSAR, MODIS and SSM/I, in the following applications: (a) estimating the distribution of basal melt rate; (b) mapping ice shelf geometry (ice thickness and grounding line) as input for models; and (c) identifying causes of oceanic variability that impact ice/ocean interactions. I will conclude with some speculation on the contribution of the proposed swath-mapping Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite to Antarctic studies.