UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER ENVIROMENT CENTRE (GB)
The aim of the Earth Observation for Surface Mass Balance (EO4SMB) study is to investigate the feasibility of measuring ice sheet Surface Mass Balance from space.
Accurate measurements of Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance (SMB) are key to understanding the response of ice sheets to a changing polar climate. However, traditionally information on SMB has come from climate model simulations alone. This exploratory study will therefore investigate whether a new generation of satellite instruments can be used to directly quantify SMB, thereby addressing the growing need within the polar community for such data.
In the EO4SMB study, we will focus primarily on exploiting measurements from ESA’s ice mission, CryoSat-2, to derive a portfolio of SMB parameters, which will cover the period 2010-2020. The study will focus on developing, validating and interpreting measurements at three test sites in Greenland, producing a proof-of-concept prototype SMB product, and undertaking several science use cases.
Alongside this core activity, we shall also develop two exploratory techniques to leverage more information from satellite measurements; firstly by combining altimetry measurements with gravimetry data, and secondly by exploring the potential of Deep Learning to extract additional information from the CryoSat-2 satellite data.
Through this project, we aim to demonstrate the feasibility of measuring SMB from space, and thereby establish the firm foundations for future operationally-derived SMB products.