GPS measurements of crustal uplift near Jakobshavn Isbræ due to glacial ice mass loss

Shfaqat Abbas Khan, Lin Liu, John Wahr, Ian Howat, Ian Joughin, Tonie van van Dam, Kevin Flemming

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Abstract

We analyze 2006–2009 data from four continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers located between 5 and 150 km from the glacier Jakobshavn Isbræ, West Greenland. The GPS stations were established on bedrock to determine the vertical crustal motion due to the unloading of ice from Jakobshavn Isbræ. All stations experienced uplift, but the uplift rate at Kangia North, only 5 km from the glacier front, was about 10 mm yr−1 larger than the rate at Ilulissat, located only ∼45 km further away. This suggests that most of the uplift is due to the unloading of the Earth’s surface as Jakobshavn thins and loses mass. Our estimate of Jakobshavn’s contribution to uplift rates at Kangia North and Ilulissat are 14.6 ± 1.7 mm yr−1 and 4.9 ± 1.1 mm yr−1, respectively. The observed rates are consistent with a glacier thinning model based on repeat altimeter surveys from NASA’s Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), which shows that Jakobshavn lost mass at an average rate of 22 ± 2 km3 yr−1 between 2006 and 2009. At Kangia North and Ilulissat, the predicted uplift rates computed using thinning estimates from the ATM laser altimetry are 12.1 ± 0.9 mm yr−1 and 3.2 ± 0.3 mm yr−1, respectively. The observed rates are slightly larger than the predicted rates. The fact that the GPS uplift rates are much larger closer to Jakobshavn than further away, and are consistent with rates inferred using the ATM‐based glacier thinning model, shows that GPS measurements of crustal motion are a potentially useful method for assessing ice‐mass change models.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume115
Issue numberB9
Pages (from-to)B09405
ISSN2169-9380
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this

Khan, Shfaqat Abbas ; Liu, Lin ; Wahr, John ; Howat, Ian ; Joughin, Ian ; van Dam, Tonie van ; Flemming, Kevin. / GPS measurements of crustal uplift near Jakobshavn Isbræ due to glacial ice mass loss. In: Journal of Geophysical Research. 2010 ; Vol. 115, No. B9. pp. B09405.
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title = "GPS measurements of crustal uplift near Jakobshavn Isbr{\ae} due to glacial ice mass loss",
abstract = "We analyze 2006–2009 data from four continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers located between 5 and 150 km from the glacier Jakobshavn Isbr{\ae}, West Greenland. The GPS stations were established on bedrock to determine the vertical crustal motion due to the unloading of ice from Jakobshavn Isbr{\ae}. All stations experienced uplift, but the uplift rate at Kangia North, only 5 km from the glacier front, was about 10 mm yr−1 larger than the rate at Ilulissat, located only ∼45 km further away. This suggests that most of the uplift is due to the unloading of the Earth’s surface as Jakobshavn thins and loses mass. Our estimate of Jakobshavn’s contribution to uplift rates at Kangia North and Ilulissat are 14.6 ± 1.7 mm yr−1 and 4.9 ± 1.1 mm yr−1, respectively. The observed rates are consistent with a glacier thinning model based on repeat altimeter surveys from NASA’s Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), which shows that Jakobshavn lost mass at an average rate of 22 ± 2 km3 yr−1 between 2006 and 2009. At Kangia North and Ilulissat, the predicted uplift rates computed using thinning estimates from the ATM laser altimetry are 12.1 ± 0.9 mm yr−1 and 3.2 ± 0.3 mm yr−1, respectively. The observed rates are slightly larger than the predicted rates. The fact that the GPS uplift rates are much larger closer to Jakobshavn than further away, and are consistent with rates inferred using the ATM‐based glacier thinning model, shows that GPS measurements of crustal motion are a potentially useful method for assessing ice‐mass change models.",
author = "Khan, {Shfaqat Abbas} and Lin Liu and John Wahr and Ian Howat and Ian Joughin and {van Dam}, {Tonie van} and Kevin Flemming",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.1029/2010JB007490",
language = "English",
volume = "115",
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journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research",
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Khan, SA, Liu, L, Wahr, J, Howat, I, Joughin, I, van Dam, TV & Flemming, K 2010, 'GPS measurements of crustal uplift near Jakobshavn Isbræ due to glacial ice mass loss', Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 115, no. B9, pp. B09405. https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JB007490

GPS measurements of crustal uplift near Jakobshavn Isbræ due to glacial ice mass loss. / Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Liu, Lin; Wahr, John; Howat, Ian; Joughin, Ian; van Dam, Tonie van; Flemming, Kevin.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 115, No. B9, 2010, p. B09405.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - GPS measurements of crustal uplift near Jakobshavn Isbræ due to glacial ice mass loss

AU - Khan, Shfaqat Abbas

AU - Liu, Lin

AU - Wahr, John

AU - Howat, Ian

AU - Joughin, Ian

AU - van Dam, Tonie van

AU - Flemming, Kevin

PY - 2010

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N2 - We analyze 2006–2009 data from four continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers located between 5 and 150 km from the glacier Jakobshavn Isbræ, West Greenland. The GPS stations were established on bedrock to determine the vertical crustal motion due to the unloading of ice from Jakobshavn Isbræ. All stations experienced uplift, but the uplift rate at Kangia North, only 5 km from the glacier front, was about 10 mm yr−1 larger than the rate at Ilulissat, located only ∼45 km further away. This suggests that most of the uplift is due to the unloading of the Earth’s surface as Jakobshavn thins and loses mass. Our estimate of Jakobshavn’s contribution to uplift rates at Kangia North and Ilulissat are 14.6 ± 1.7 mm yr−1 and 4.9 ± 1.1 mm yr−1, respectively. The observed rates are consistent with a glacier thinning model based on repeat altimeter surveys from NASA’s Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), which shows that Jakobshavn lost mass at an average rate of 22 ± 2 km3 yr−1 between 2006 and 2009. At Kangia North and Ilulissat, the predicted uplift rates computed using thinning estimates from the ATM laser altimetry are 12.1 ± 0.9 mm yr−1 and 3.2 ± 0.3 mm yr−1, respectively. The observed rates are slightly larger than the predicted rates. The fact that the GPS uplift rates are much larger closer to Jakobshavn than further away, and are consistent with rates inferred using the ATM‐based glacier thinning model, shows that GPS measurements of crustal motion are a potentially useful method for assessing ice‐mass change models.

AB - We analyze 2006–2009 data from four continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers located between 5 and 150 km from the glacier Jakobshavn Isbræ, West Greenland. The GPS stations were established on bedrock to determine the vertical crustal motion due to the unloading of ice from Jakobshavn Isbræ. All stations experienced uplift, but the uplift rate at Kangia North, only 5 km from the glacier front, was about 10 mm yr−1 larger than the rate at Ilulissat, located only ∼45 km further away. This suggests that most of the uplift is due to the unloading of the Earth’s surface as Jakobshavn thins and loses mass. Our estimate of Jakobshavn’s contribution to uplift rates at Kangia North and Ilulissat are 14.6 ± 1.7 mm yr−1 and 4.9 ± 1.1 mm yr−1, respectively. The observed rates are consistent with a glacier thinning model based on repeat altimeter surveys from NASA’s Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), which shows that Jakobshavn lost mass at an average rate of 22 ± 2 km3 yr−1 between 2006 and 2009. At Kangia North and Ilulissat, the predicted uplift rates computed using thinning estimates from the ATM laser altimetry are 12.1 ± 0.9 mm yr−1 and 3.2 ± 0.3 mm yr−1, respectively. The observed rates are slightly larger than the predicted rates. The fact that the GPS uplift rates are much larger closer to Jakobshavn than further away, and are consistent with rates inferred using the ATM‐based glacier thinning model, shows that GPS measurements of crustal motion are a potentially useful method for assessing ice‐mass change models.

U2 - 10.1029/2010JB007490

DO - 10.1029/2010JB007490

M3 - Journal article

VL - 115

SP - B09405

JO - Journal of Geophysical Research

JF - Journal of Geophysical Research

SN - 0148-0227

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