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Glacier flow vertical motion measurements, Antarctic Peninsula


Ice cores were drilled at four sites on the Antarctic Peninsula during the 2004-2005 austral summer. Loggers designed to measure the compaction of snow were installed in boreholes, these sensors took a measurement every hour and were sensitive to downward movements of less than a millimetre. Automatic Weather Stations (AWS), sonic snow rangers and thermistor strings were also installed at each site, measuring the snow arriving at hourly intervals. A network of stakes was surveyed by GPS to provide horizontal strain rates, of the glacier, at each location. The flow away from the sites was compared with the snowfall from the ice cores to show up any imbalance.

This work was carried out as part of the CVaCS-DECAP project (Correction, Verification and Context, of Satellite-Derived Elevation Changes on the Antarctic Peninsula). The aim of the project was to measure the various factors that affect altitude of snow surfaces in Antarctica, in order to validate data from satellite altimeters. In particular, it aimed for a better understanding of the factors affecting snowpack compaction rates, by accurate measurement of compaction over a period of several years.

glacier strain rates, ice-sheet surface elevation, mass flux, snow accumulation, snow densification, snowpack compaction rates

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