Antarctic surface melting dynamics : enhanced perspectives from radar scatterometer data

dc.contributor.author Trusel, Luke D.
dc.contributor.author Frey, Karen E.
dc.contributor.author Das, Sarah B.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-20T18:18:52Z
dc.date.available 2014-10-22T08:57:24Z
dc.date.issued 2012-05-17
dc.description Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 117 (2012): F02023, doi:10.1029/2011JF002126. en_US
dc.description.abstract Antarctic ice sheet surface melting can regionally influence ice shelf stability, mass balance, and glacier dynamics, in addition to modulating near-surface physical and chemical properties over wide areas. Here, we investigate variability in surface melting from 1999 to 2009 using radar backscatter time series from the SeaWinds scatterometer aboard the QuikSCAT satellite. These daily, continent-wide observations are explored in concert with in situ meteorological records to validate a threshold-based melt detection method. Radar backscatter decreases during melting are significantly correlated with in situ positive degree-days as well as meltwater production determined from energy balance modeling at Neumayer Station, East Antarctica. These results support the use of scatterometer data as a diagnostic indicator of melt intensity (i.e., the relative liquid water production during melting). Greater spatial and temporal melting detected relative to previous passive microwave-based studies is attributed to a higher sensitivity of the scatterometer instrument. Continental melt intensity variability can be explained in part by the dynamics of the Southern Annular Mode and the Southern Oscillation Index, and extreme melting events across the Ross Ice Shelf region may be associated with El Niño conditions. Furthermore, we find that the Antarctic Peninsula accounts for only 20% of Antarctic melt extent but greater than 50% of the total Antarctic melt intensity. Over most areas, annual melt duration and intensity are proportional. However, regional and localized distinctions exist where the melt intensity metric provides greater insight into melting dynamics than previously obtainable with other remote sensing techniques. en_US
dc.description.embargo 2012-11-17 en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Support for this research was provided by NASA grant NNX10AP09G and NSF grant ANT-063203. en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype text/plain
dc.format.mimetype application/postscript
dc.identifier.citation Journal of Geophysical Research 117 (2012): F02023 en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1029/2011JF002126
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/1912/5236
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Geophysical Union en_US
dc.relation.uri https://doi.org/10.1029/2011JF002126
dc.subject Antarctica en_US
dc.subject Melt intensity en_US
dc.subject Remote sensing en_US
dc.subject Surface melting en_US
dc.title Antarctic surface melting dynamics : enhanced perspectives from radar scatterometer data en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dspace.entity.type Publication
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relation.isAuthorOfPublication.latestForDiscovery 3f6e95de-6b1f-4f09-929f-a3c26b255d94
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Figure S1: Decision tree process used in the study to classify surface melting from QuikSCAT data.
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Figure S2: Annual maps of melt duration and the mean melt duration.
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Figure S3: Annual maps of MDD-based melt intensity and the mean melt intensity.
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