NASA Research Leads to First Complete Map of Antarctic Ice Flow

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2011 — (PRNewswire) — NASA-funded researchers have created the first complete map of the speed and direction of ice flow in Antarctica. The map, which shows glaciers flowing thousands of miles from the continent's deep interior to its coast, will be critical for tracking future sea-level increases from climate change. The team created the map using integrated radar observations from a consortium of international satellites.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO)

"This is like seeing a map of all the oceans' currents for the first time. It's a game changer for glaciology," said Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and the University of California (UC), Irvine. Rignot is lead author of a paper about the ice flow published online Thursday in Science Express. "We are seeing amazing flows from the heart of the continent that had never been described before."

Rignot and UC Irvine scientists Jeremie Mouginot and Bernd Scheuchl used billions of data points captured by European, Japanese and Canadian satellites to weed out cloud cover, solar glare and land features masking the glaciers. With the aid of NASA technology, the team painstakingly pieced together the shape and velocity of glacial formations, including the previously uncharted East Antarctica, which comprises 77 percent of the continent.

Like viewing a completed jigsaw puzzle, the scientists were surprised when they stood back and took in the full picture. They discovered a new ridge splitting the 5.4 million-square-mile landmass from east to west.

The team also found unnamed formations moving up to 800 feet annually across immense plains sloping toward the Antarctic Ocean and in a different manner than past models of ice migration.

"The map points out something fundamentally new: that ice moves by slipping along the ground it rests on," said Thomas Wagner, NASA's cryospheric program scientist in Washington. "That's critical knowledge for predicting future sea level rise. It means that if we lose ice at the coasts from the warming ocean, we open the tap to massive amounts of ice in the interior."

The work was conducted in conjunction with the International Polar Year (IPY) (2007-2008). Collaborators worked under the IPY Space Task Group, which included NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Alaska Satellite Facility in Fairbanks, and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. The map builds on partial charts of Antarctic ice flow created by NASA, CSA and ESA using different techniques.

"To our knowledge, this is the first time that a tightly knit collaboration of civilian space agencies has worked together to create such a huge dataset of this type," said Yves Crevier of CSA. "It is a dataset of lasting scientific value in assessing the extent and rate of change in polar regions."

For a video animation of the new Antarctic map, visit:

http://1.usa.gov/poJq1P

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

SOURCE NASA

Contact:
NASA
Steve Cole, Headquarters, Washington
Phone: +1-202-358-0918
Email Contact Alan Buis, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Phone: +1-818-354-0474
Email Contact
Web: http://www.nasa.gov




Review Article Be the first to review this article
HP

Autodesk - DelCAM

Featured Video
Jobs
Senior Mechanical Engineer for Verb Surgical at Mountain View, CA
Principal Research Mechatronics Engineer for Verb Surgical at Mountain View, CA
CAD Systems Administrator for KLA-Tencor at Milpitas, CA
Lead Geospatial Analyst for Alion at McLean, VA
Industrial Designer Intern – Spring 2017 for Nvidia at Santa Clara, CA
Upcoming Events
SOLIDWORKS 2017 Launch Event – Walsall at Village Hotel Club, Walsall, WS2 8TJ Walsall United Kingdom - Mar 30, 2017
PI APPAREL Hong Kong 2017 at SHANGRI-LA KOWLOON 64 Mody Road Tsim Sha Tsui East Kowloon Hong Kong - Apr 5 - 6, 2017
SOLIDWORKS intro and hands on session – Slough at Baylis House, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 3PB Slough United Kingdom - Apr 7, 2017
Engineer 3D! Training + Technology Conference at Hyatt Regency Milwaukee 333 West Kilbourn Avenue Milwaukee WI - Apr 25 - 26, 2017
MasterCAM



Internet Business Systems © 2017 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy Advertise