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Mass balance assessment using GPSMass balance is an integral part of any comprehensive glaciological investigation. Unfortunately, it is hard to determine at remote locations where there is no fixed reference. The Global Positioning System (GPS) offers a solution. Simultaneous GPS observations at a known location and the remote field site, processed differentially, will accurately position the camp site. From there, a monument planted in the firn atop the ice can also be accurately positioned. Change in the monument's vertical position is a direct indicator of ice thickness change. Because the monument is not connected to the ice, its motion is due to both mass balance change and to the settling of firn as it densifies into ice. Observations of relative position change between the monument and anchors at various depths within the firn are used to remove the settling effect. An experiment to test this method has begun at Byrd Station on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the first epoch of observations was made. Analysis indicates that positioning errors will be very small. It appears likely that the largest errors involved with this technique will arise from ancillary data needed to determine firn settling.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hulbe, Christina L.
(Ohio State Univ. Columbus, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, The First Annual West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Science Workshop
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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