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Project Reference


Title Regional glacial isostatic adjustment and CryoSat elevation rate corrections in Antarctica

Thematic Area Cryosphere

Cost 100 - 200 K

Action Line Science Support to Earth Explorers

Status Completed in 2015

Missions GOCE, GRACE, CryoSat-2

Project Description


The project CryoSat+ REGINA (2013-2015; ESA lead: Mark Drinkwater) aimed at the determination of the elevation rate correction for CryoSat-2 data, reflecting the process of glacial-isostatic adjustment (GIA) in Antarctica. To achieve this aim, the REGINA team consisting of five university / non-university partners collected multiple space-geodetic observations (gravity, altimetry, GPS), re-processed the data and accurately analyzed them for their temporal linear trends. Numerical solid Earth modelling provided elastic and viscoelastic response functions to ice-load changes for an ensemble of Earth structures suitable for East and West Antarctica. As an extreme case, we assessed the effect of a low-viscous ductile layer within the elastic lithosphere. In a novel approach, the team combined the refined satellite data sets using the load response functions, allowing the separation of present-day ice-mass change signals from those arising from GIA. The identified GIA signatures were then validated and their impact on CryoSat-2 elevation rates (and GRACE mass balances) were determined. The project was able to explain large bedrock uplift rates in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (~ cm/year) with a strong GIA, enabled by presence of a low viscosity structure in West Antarctica. In summary, the REGINA project successfully combined various types of satellite data, while connecting a team of experts ranging from solid Earth to cryosphere sciences.>/p>

Project Consortium

Project Partners GFZ : GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam(Prime contractor)
U Bristol : University of Bristol(Subcontractor)
TU Munich : Technische Universitaet Muenchen(Subcontractor)
U Newcastle : University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne(Subcontractor)

Contact Points

Project Manager Dr. Ingo Sasgen
GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ)
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Section 1.3, Earth System Modelling
Telegrafenberg, A20 323
14473 Potsdam
Phone: +49 331 288 1145
Fax: +49 331 288 1163

Technical Officer Mark Drinkwater


Useful Information

Brochure: STSE | Support to Science Element
STSE Report 2008-2012
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