Search Help
COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Elevation Change Anomalies in West Antarctica and Dynamics of Subglacial Water Transport Beneath Ice Streams and their Tributaries
Entry ID: tulaczyk0636970

Abstract: We performed field and remote sensing investigations of Elevation Change Anomalies (henceforth ECAs) discovered recently in the Ross Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) (Gray et al., 2005). The field component focused on using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to obtain two-year-long time series of ice surface elevation changes for four ECAs identified on Whillans Ice Stream (BIS). We conjecture that the ECAs can be used: (1) to gauge subglacial water volume and pressure changes, (2) to determine regional physical characteristics of subglacial water drainage system, and (3) to verify how sensitive is ice flow velocity to variability in subglacial drainage conditions.

Purpose: This work provided unprecedented insights into dynamics and physics of sub-ice sheet water drainage, which are otherwise difficult to constrain with observations. Furthermore,project results are relevant to other broad scientific issues, such as the relationship between subglacial water drainage and fast ice streaming. They will also help elucidate mechanisms that may be responsible for hydrologic connectivity between subglacial lakes and subglacial drainage systems and address the possibility of subglacial outburst floods beneath ice sheets.
Related URL
Description: NSF Award #0636719 Abstract
Data Center
National Snow and Ice Data Center Supplemental Info
Data Center URL:

Data Center Personnel
Phone: +1 (303) 492-6199
Fax: +1 (303) 492-2468
Email: nsidc at
Contact Address:
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA
View entire list
Extended Metadata Properties
(Click to view more)

Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2011-07-27
Last DIF Revision Date: 2017-08-23