Ice Mass Loss

The melting of the ice sheets and glaciers is one of the major contributions to sea level rise, which is of obvious relevance for flat Miami. The ice mass loss corresponds to a change of the ice load to which the Earth’s crust responds with deformation. We measure the bedrock displacement in reponse to unloading using space geodetic methods, from which the ice mass loss can be inferred.

Melting Vatnajökull ice cap

 Chaman Fault SystemIcelands Vatnajökull ice cap is rapidly melting. The ice loss at the margin is almost 1 meter per year. The Earth’s crust is rebounding in response to the surface load change, a process known as Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA). Wenliang (Kenny) Zhao has used InSAR to measure the ground deformation caused by the load change. We have developped a method to infer the ice load change (the ice mass loss) from the relative InSAR data. See our GCubed_paper.

Greenland’s Ice Loss

 Chaman Fault SystemWe have started the acquisition of SAR data with DLR’s TerraSAR-X satellite for about 20 locations along Greenland’s ice sheet margin in summer 2013. From these data we hope to put new constraints on how rapidly the ice sheet is melting and how melting rate varies along the ice margin.