Ice motion in Antarctica using ALOS PALSAR observations from 2006 and 2007

Eric Rignot(1)

(1) University of California Irvine, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, United States


The PALSAR interferometric instrument onboard ALOS has collected unique data in the Antarctic during the first cycles of 2006 and during three consecutive cycles of 2007. Despite the long repeat cycle of the satellite, we have successfully employed a speckle tracking technique on the data which provides ice velocity estimates at an unprecedented level of accuracy averaged over 46 days. The results have been employed to reveal a large acceleration of ice on Pine Island Glacier that is unprecedented in the last 16 years. A comparison with ERs-1 data from 1996 have also revealed the extent of the speed up of the glaciers in this region for the first time. We have also employed the data in double interferometry mode to map the grounding line of these glaciers. Again, due to the exceptional temporal coherence of the data and the fine beam resolution of PALSAR, we are able to restitute the visibility of interferometric fringes in double differential mode. On Pine Island Glacier, the signal is blurred by the ongoing acceleration but suggests that the grounding line retreat is not as large as suspected. Finally, we have begun a large scale efforts of ice sheet motion mapping with PALSAR. The first results on Larsen C ice shelf and Getz ice shelf will be shown, as well as future plans and recommendations for mission continuation.

This work was conducted at UCI and at JPL under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cryosphere Science Program.


Symposium presentation


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