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Ice-sheet dynamics by satellite laser altimetryGlaciological applications of a satellite laser altimeter system with a range precision of approximately 10 cm and a footprint diameter of 70 m are discussed. Available data on ice-sheet dynamics are reviewed, and the measurement errors associated with the laser altimeter are examined. It is shown that information collected with the system could make it possible to detect changes in average elevation (i.e., in average ice thickness) of less than 15 cm for areas of hundreds of sq km to a few thousand sq km. Other possible applications of the system are briefly considered, including the mapping of the positions of ice-sheet margins, the mapping of the junction between a grounded ice sheet and a floating ice shelf, and the estimation of iceberg calving rates.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Proceedings
Zwally, H. J.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Bindschadler, R. A.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Oceans and Ice Branch, Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Thomas, R. H.
(OAO Corp. Beltsville, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 11, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1981
Subject Category
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Meeting Information
Meeting: International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
Location: Washington, DC
Start Date: June 8, 1981
End Date: June 10, 1981
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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