This work is supported by U.S. National Science Foundation grant DPP-9020760. Ms Hulbe is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Fellowships for Global Change Program, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Engineering.
Annals of Glaciology
Ice sheets -- Mathematical models, Glaciology -- Polar regions, Ice -- Remote sensing
Ice-thickness changes at remote locations on ice sheets can be determined by means of precise Global Positioning System (GPS) surveys with interferometric solutions. Remote sites are precisely surveyed relative to GPS receivers on rock. Repeat observations of the position of a remote site provide its vertical velocity. The difference between this velocity and accumulation rate is an indicator of change in ice-sheet thickness. Allowance must be made for the movement of survey markers due to firn compaction and down-slope ice motion, To allow for firn compaction, very long- poles arc placed to a sufficient depth in the firn that the densification rate can be considered steady. This assumption may be tested by measurements with poles set to different depths. An analysis of errors in pilot studies indicates that the limit to precision is the determination of accumulation rate.
Hulbe, C.L. and I.M. Whillans, 1994, A method for determining ice-thickness change at remote locations using GPS, Annals of Glaciology, v 20, 263-268.