Velocities, elevation changes and mass budgets of Antarctic Peninsula glaciers



Professor Dr. Matthias Holger Braun 
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Institut für Geographie



Climate conditions along the Antarctic Peninsula have considerably changed in the last 50 years. The glaciers on the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) have already shown reactions of change by speedup and surface lowering. The disintegration of the Larsen-A and B Ice Shelves, the ice shelves in the Larsen Inlet, Prinz-Gustav-Channel and Wordie Ice Shelf have led to a surge-type behaviour of tributary glaciers to which much of the current contribution of Antarctic Peninsula ice to sea level rise is attributed. However, quantifications of mass loss from the peninsula using different observations and methods are still ambiguous. We propose to improve the quantifications of mass loss in the area of the former Northern Larsen-A embayment as well as for Western Antarctic Peninsula glaciers including tributaries to former Wordie Ice Shelf. In order to achieve those goals we analyse time series of SAR satellite data from the ESA archive to determine glacier velocity changes for these regions over the last 20 years. We use data from the new national mission TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X to generate ice velocity fields, to determine surface elevation changes and to map the grounding line of tidewater glaciers. We will back our products with ground truth measurements from two field campaigns and laser altimetry from collaborating partners. In an integrated analysis we link those data sets to achieve a better glaciological understanding of underlying processes. We apply a novel approach to quantify volume changes and to derive ice thickness maps for selected areas using a mass conserving approach that leverages on the various remote sensing data sets generated.


DFG-Verfahren: Infrastruktur-Schwerpunktprogramme

Förderung von 2012 bis 2016