Greenland equilibrium line from ERS-1/2 scatterometers and surface mass balance model data
Powell, Emily Joy
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Long-term changes in the surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet are thought to respond directly to climate changes. Studies have shown increased thinning mainly along the southwest and northern margins, but thickening has been observed in the higher elevation accumulation regions. Knowledge of whether the overall change is positive or negative remains unclear. Therefore, this study compares data from the first and second Earth Remote Sensing (ERS-1/2) satellites and surface mass balance model data for the years 1992 to 1999. From ERS-1/2 data, the snow/ice zones are delineated and compared with accumulation, runoff, and surface mass balance estimates ascertained for this period. Results show substantial interannual variability between the data sets mainly along the periphery of the ice sheet in the southwest and northern margins. Surface mass balance estimates agreed within higher elevations, but disagreed in lower elevations of the ice sheet.