Coronavirus Information for the UC San Diego Community

Our leaders are working closely with federal and state officials to ensure your ongoing safety at the university. Stay up to date with the latest developments. Learn more.

Thirteen years of subglacial lake activity in Antarctica from multi-mission satellite altimetry

TitleThirteen years of subglacial lake activity in Antarctica from multi-mission satellite altimetry
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSiegfried M.R, Fricker H.A
JournalAnnals of Glaciology
Date Published2018/04
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0260-3055
Accession NumberWOS:000440821000006
Keywordsbeneath; east antarctica; flow; Geology; glacier; icesat laser altimetry; laser altimetry; Physical Geography; Remote sensing; sheet; stream-c; subglacial lakes; subglacial processes; system; water-piracy; west antarctica

The ability to detect the surface expression of moving water beneath the Antarctic ice sheet by satellite has revealed a dynamic basal environment, with implications for regional ice dynamics, grounding-line stability, and fluxes of freshwater and nutrients to the Southern Ocean. Knowledge of subglacial activity on timescales important for near-term prediction of ice-sheet fluctuations (decadal to century) is limited by the short observational record of NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimetry mission used to generate the last continent-wide survey (2003-08). Here, we use synthetic aperture radar-interferometric-mode data from ESA's CryoSat-2 radar altimetry mission (2010-present), which samples 45 of the ICESat-derived subglacial lakes, to extend their time series to the end of 2016. The extended time series show that there have been surface-height changes at 20 of the 45 lakes since 2008, indicating that some of these features are persistent and potentially cyclic, while other features show negligible changes, suggesting these may be transient or nonhydrological features. Continued monitoring of active lakes for both height and velocity changes, as well as developing methods for identifying additional lakes, is critical to quantifying the full distribution of active subglacial lakes in Antarctica.

Short TitleAnn. Glaciol.
Student Publication: