Long-term and inter-annual mass changes in the Iceland ice cap determined from GRACE gravity

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Max von Hippel, Christopher Harig


The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites have measured anomalies in the Earth’s time-variable gravity field since 2002, allowing for the measurement of the melting of glaciers due to climate change. Many techniques used with GRACE data have difficulty constraining mass change in small regions such as Iceland, often requiring broad averaging functions in order to capture trends. These techniques also capture data from nearby regions, causing signal leakage. Alternatively, Slepian functions may solve this problem by optimally concentrating data both in the spatial domain (e.g., Iceland) and spectral domain (i.e., the bandwidth of the data). In this project, we use synthetic experiments to show that Slepian functions can capture trends over Iceland without meaningful leakage and influence from ice changes in Greenland. We estimate a mass change over Iceland from GRACE data of approximately -9.68 ± 0.99 Gt/yr between January 2002 and
November 2016, with an acceleration of 1.07 ± 0.50 Gt/yr^2 .




Earth Sciences, Glaciology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


mass loss, GRACE, Iceland, gravity, Slepian


Published: 2019-01-03 11:36

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