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Title: Mapping of ice layer extent and snow accumulation in the percolation zone of the Greenland ice sheet
Authors: Nghiem, S. V.
Steffen, K.
Neumann, G.
Huff, R.
Keywords: disposition
Ice Cloud and Land Evaulation (ICESat)
Issue Date: Jun-2005
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Citation: Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 110, F02017.
Abstract: The Greenland ice sheet underwent record extensive melt in 2002 and prolonged melt in 2003. The severe melting created a significant and extensive ice layer over the Greenland ice sheet. An innovative approach is developed to detect the ice layer formation using data acquired by the SeaWinds scatterometer on the QuikSCAT satellite. QuikSCAT backscatter together with in situ data from automatic weather stations of the Greenland Climate Network are used to map the extent of ice layer formation. The results reveal areas of extensive ice layer formed by the 2002 melt, which is consistent with the maximum melt extent in 2002. Moreover, during freezing seasons, QuikSCAT data show a linear decrease in backscatter (in decibels or dB) that is related to the amount of snow accumulation in the ice layer formation region. This snow accumulation signature is caused by the attenuation of radar waves in the snow layer, accumulating since the last major melt event, whose thickness appears as an exponential function in relation to the backscatter signature. We use the Greenland Climate Network data to calibrate the QuikSCAT accumulation rate in order to estimate and map snow accumulation. QuikSCAT results capture the extreme snowfall in mid-April 2003, which deposited more than 0.5 m of snow in a day as measured by the automated weather station at the NASA South East site. Large-scale QuikSCAT results show an anomalous increase of snow accumulation over the southeast region of Greenland during the 2002–2003 freezing season.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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