University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) glaciologist Joe MacGregor led a recent study that has produced the first comprehensive map of layers inside the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Built with data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge and earlier air-based campaigns that used ice-penetrating radar technology, the new map will help scientists determine the age of large areas of the ice, which is the second largest ice mass on Earth.
In a press release from the Jackson School of Geosciences, MacGregor stated, “This new, huge data volume records how the ice sheet evolved and how it’s flowing today.”
With the more detailed scale of ice layers provided by this new data, scientists may be able to better evaluate ice sheet models necessary to an accurate projection of Greenland’s future contribution to sea level rise.
The study first appeared online on January 16 in Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, and was the result of a collaboration among scientists at UTIG, the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF-GI), Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) and the Department of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine.
The study was supported by NASA’s Operation IceBridge and the National Science Foundation’s Arctic Natural Sciences.