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Local Rates of Ice-Sheet Thickness Change in Greenland
Annals of Glaciology
  • Gordon S. Hamilton, University of Maine - Main
  • Ian M. Whillans
Document Type
Conference Proceeding
Publication Date
Abstract/ Summary
The rate of ice-sheet thickness change is calculated for 10 sites in Greenland by comparing measured values of ice vertical velocity and snow-accumulation rate. Vertical velocities are derived from repeat surveys of markers using precision global positioning system techniques, and accumulation rates are determined from stratigraphic analysis of firn cores. The results apply to time-scales covered by the firn-core records, which in most cases are a few decades. A spectrum of thickness-change rates is obtained, ranging from substantial thinning to slow thickening. The sites where ice-sheet thinning is indicated are located near the ice-sheet margin or in outlet glacier catchments. Interior and high-elevation sites are predominantly in balance or thickening slowly. Uncertainties in the rates of thickness change are dominated by errors in the determination of accumulation rates. The results of this work are broadly comparable with regional estimates of mass balance obtained from the analysis of catchment input vs discharge.
Citation/Publisher Attribution
Hamilton, GS, and Whillans, IM, 2002, Local Rates of Ice-Sheet Thickness Change in Greenland: Annals of Glaciology, Vol 35, v. 35, p. 79-83. Available on publisher's site at:
Publisher Statement
© Copyright 2002 by the International Glaciological Society
publisher's version of the published document
Citation Information
Gordon S. Hamilton and Ian M. Whillans. "Local Rates of Ice-Sheet Thickness Change in Greenland" Annals of Glaciology Vol. 35 (2002) p. 79 - 83
Available at: