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Extent of Low-accumulation 'Wind Glaze' Areas on the East Antarctic Plateau: Implications for Continental Ice Mass BalancePersistent katabatic winds form widely distributed localized areas of near-zero net surface accumulation on the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) plateau. These areas have been called 'glaze' surfaces due to their polished appearance. They are typically 2-200 square kilometers in area and are found on leeward slopes of ice-sheet undulations and megadunes. Adjacent, leeward high-accumulation regions (isolated dunes) are generally smaller and do not compensate for the local low in surface mass balance (SMB). We use a combination of satellite remote sensing and field-gathered datasets to map the extent of wind glaze in the EAIS above 1500m elevation. Mapping criteria are derived from distinctive surface and subsurface characteristics of glaze areas resulting from many years of intense annual temperature cycling without significant burial. Our results show that 11.2 plus or minus 1.7%, or 950 plus or minus 143 x 10(exp 3) square kilometers, of the EAIS above 1500m is wind glaze. Studies of SMB interpolate values across glaze regions, leading to overestimates of net mass input. Using our derived wind-glaze extent, we estimate this excess in three recent models of Antarctic SMB at 46-82 Gt. The lowest-input model appears to best match the mean in regions of extensive wind glaze.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Scambos, Theodore A.
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Frezzotti, Massimo
(European Nuclear Energy Agency Casaccia, Italy)
Haran, T.
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Bohlander, J.
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Lenaerts, J. T. M.
(Utrecht Univ. Utrecht, Netherlands)
Van Den Broeke, M. R.
(Utrecht Univ. Utrecht, Netherlands)
Jezek, K.
(Ohio State Univ. Columbus, OH, United States)
Long, D.
(Brigham Young Univ. Provo, UT, United States)
Urbini, S.
(Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica Rome, Italy)
Farness, K.
(Ohio State Univ. Columbus, OH, United States)
Neumann, T.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Albert, M.
(Dartmouth Coll. Hanover, NH, United States)
Winther, J.-G.
(Norsk Polarinst. Oslo, Norway)
Date Acquired
June 3, 2014
Publication Date
August 1, 2012
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Glaciology
Publisher: International Glaciology Society (IGS)
Volume: 58
Issue: 210
Subject Category
Geosciences (General)
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
remote sensing
ice sheet
mass balance
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