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A new digital elevation model of Antarctica derived from CryoSat-2 altimetry

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Thomas Slater
  • Andrew Shepherd
  • Malcolm Mcmillan
  • Alan Muir
  • Lin Gilbert
  • Anna E. Hogg
  • Hannes Konrad
  • Tommaso Parrinello
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2/05/2018
Issue number4
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1551-1562
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We present a new digital elevation model (DEM) of the Antarctic ice sheet and ice shelves based on 2.5×108 observations recorded by the CryoSat-2 satellite radar altimeter between July 2010 and July 2016. The DEM is formed from spatio-temporal fits to elevation measurements accumulated within 1, 2, and 5 km grid cells, and is posted at the modal resolution of 1 km. Altogether, 94 % of the grounded ice sheet and 98 % of the floating ice shelves are observed, and the remaining grid cells north of 88° S are interpolated using ordinary kriging. The median and root mean square difference between the DEM and 2.3×107 airborne laser altimeter measurements acquired during NASA Operation IceBridge campaigns are ĝ'0.30 and 13.50 m, respectively. The DEM uncertainty rises in regions of high slope, especially where elevation measurements were acquired in low-resolution mode; taking this into account, we estimate the average accuracy to be 9.5 m - a value that is comparable to or better than that of other models derived from satellite radar and laser altimetry.