Ice Sheet Surface and Subsurface Melt Water Discrimination Using Multi-Frequency Microwave Radiometry

Andreas Colliander, Mohammad Mousavi, Shawn Marshall, Samira Samimi, John S. Kimball, Julie Z. Miller, Joel Johnson, Mariko Burgin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

For understanding englacial hydrology and its impact on ice sheet mass balance, observations of the liquid water content (LWC) within the ice sheets are needed. We combined 1.4–10.7 GHz passive microwave measurements with traditional 18.7–36.5 GHz measurements to detect subsurface LWC. In situ measurements from the DYE-2 experiment site in Greenland and a modeled LWC at this site were used to calibrate and validate the method. Our analysis showed sensitivity of the lower microwave frequencies to LWC in surface and subsurface layers down to at least 2 m, enabling detection of seasonal subsurface LWC and its refreezing. A simplified retrieval detected a delayed refreezing of subsurface LWC following surface freezing, while also capturing total seasonal meltwater production. These advancements open the door to detection of subsurface meltwater and refreezing twice a day at pan-Greenland scale, thereby enabling improved estimates of ice sheet contributions to global sea level rise.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GL096599
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2022

Funding

This work was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The work was also supported by NASA grant 80NSSC18K0980. This work was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The work was also supported by NASA grant 80NSSC18K0980.

FundersFunder number
National Aeronautics and Space Administration80NSSC18K0980
California Institute of Technology

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Ice Sheet Surface and Subsurface Melt Water Discrimination Using Multi-Frequency Microwave Radiometry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this