Remote Sensing of East Antarctic Ice Streams
Project Award Date: 09-01-2000
Ice streams are rivers of ice that drain a large portion of an ice sheet. The West Antarctic ice streams have been the subjects of much study over the last few years. This is due to the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet, which is believed to be unstable. In 1997, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency acquired radar images of the entire Antarctic continent with the C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar on board, RADARSAT. These radar images revealed the East Antarctic ice stream system in detail. Ice streams are extensive and drain a significant fraction of the East Antarctic ice. The presence of the ice stream system suggests more active mechanisms for moving ice out of the East Antarctic ice sheet. This is perhaps an indication of a potentially more protean ice sheet.
This research is aimed at determining the mass balance of East Antarctic ice streams by using surface, airborne and space-borne (in particular, RADARSAT) measurements of relevant ice stream characteristics. This project is being conducted in collaboration with the Glaciology and Geophysics group at the Alfred Wagner Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany.
Primary Sponsor(s): NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center