IMPECCABLE | IMPECCABLE – Institut für Geographie
Erlangen - Neue Kulturgeographie VIII Erlangen - Neue Kulturgeographie VIII


IMProved gEodetiC glaCier mAss BaLancE measurements by integrating remote sensing, surface mass balance and firn compaction modelling – a case study from James Ross Island, Antarctica (IMPECCABLE)

Duration: 2016-2018

The aim of this project is an improvement of current estimates of glacier mass loss by a combination of remote sensing derived volume changes and a firn compaction model.

James Ross island (JRI) on the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula was selected as study site for comparing and improving geodetic and flux approaches. With an increase in surface air temperature, a strong positive trend in duration of melting conditions as well as an increase in precipitation, the Antarctic Peninsula with its maritime character is a hot spot of global warming. Glaciers draining into the ice shelves respond with flow acceleration and increased ice discharge to ice shelf disintegration and their retreat migrated southwards during the last 50 years.

There are still many uncertainties in mass balance modelling e.g. due to neglecting mass loss due to calving, unclear grounding line position, as well as errors in measured ice-thickness or conversion from volume to mass. Therefore, the differences between different models are not negligible and in situ measurements for validation are necessary.

This projects will try to overcome these limitations by the integration of the following measurements into the model creation:

  • In situ surface mass balance measurements, installation of two automatic weather stations and time lapse cameras on Gourdon Glacier
  • Static and kinematic differential as well as continuous GNSS measurements on JRI plateau and Gourdon Glacier
  • Ground Penetrating Radar surveys by helicopter
  • Elevation and volume change measurements by photogrammetry & DinSAR
  • Ice dynamics from repeat TSX and TDX acquisitions
  • Firn compaction modelling

Project-Members: Stefan Lippl, Prof. Dr. Matthias Braun

Project-Partners: Dr. Daniel Nyvlt, Dr. Kamil Laska, Dr. Zdenek Stachon (Masaryk University, Brno), Dr. Zbynek Engel (Carles University, Prague), Ing. Sebastian Marinsek (Instituto Antártico Argentino)

Founded by DFG under number BR2105/13-1 within the czech-german collaborative candidacy 2015