26.08.2014: Antarctic glaciers respond sensitively to changes in the Atmosphere/Ocean System. Assessing and projecting the dynamic response of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula to changed atmospheric and oceanic forcing requires high-resolution ice thickness data as an essential geometric constraint for ice flow models. Therefore, a Swiss-German team of scientists developed a complete bedrock data set for the Antarctic Peninsula on a 100 m grid. They calculated the spatial distribution of ice thickness based on surface topography and ice dynamic modelling.
Daniel Farinotti, researcher at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences: "Our approach is constrained with all available thickness measurements from Operation IceBridge and gridded ice flow speeds for the entire study region." The new data set resolves the rugged subglacial topography in great detail, indicates deeply incised troughs, and shows that 34% of the ice volume is grounded below sea level. The Antarctic Peninsula has the potential to raise global sea level by 69 ± 5 mm. In comparison to Bedmap2 project that covered all Antarctica on a 1 km grid, a significantly higher mean ice thickness (+48%) is found.
A photo of ice and rock outcrop in Antarctica is found here (photo: Kevin Fleming, GFZ):