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Dataset for: Fast retreat of Pope, Smith, and Kohler glaciers in West Antarctica observed by satellite interferometry

Citation

Milillo, Pietro et al. (2021), Dataset for: Fast retreat of Pope, Smith, and Kohler glaciers in West Antarctica observed by satellite interferometry, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.7280/D1B114

Abstract

Pope, Smith, and Kohler glaciers, in the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica, have experienced enhanced ocean-induced ice-shelf melt, glacier acceleration, ice thinning, and grounding line retreat in the past thirty years, in a glaciological setting with retrograde bedrock slopes conducive to marine ice sheet instability. Here we present observations of the grounding line retreat of these glaciers since 2014 using a constellation of interferometric radar satellites with a short revisit cycle combined with precision surface elevation data. We find that the glacier grounding lines develop spatially-variable, km-sized, tidally-induced migration zones. After correction for tidal effects, we detect a sustained pattern of retreat coincident with high melt rates of un-grounded ice, marked by episodes of more rapid retreat. In 2017, Pope Glacier retreated 3.5 km in 3.6 months, or 11.7 km/yr. In 2016-2018, Smith West retreated at 2 km/yr and Kohler at 1.3 km/yr.  While the retreat slowed down in 2018-2020, these retreat rates are faster than anticipated by numerical models on yearly time scales. We hypothesize that the rapid retreat is caused by un-represented, vigorous ice-ocean interactions acting within newly-formed cavities at the ice-ocean boundary.

Usage Notes

This Dataset contains InSAR double difference interferograms over Pope, Smith and Kohler glaciers in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica. 

Data have been acquired by the COSMO-SkyMed constellation and cover the period 2016-2020.

A shapefile with the mapped grounding lines is also included in this dataset.

Additional dataset:

Ice Thickness and height above flotation derived from Bed Machine Antarctica version 2020_06_18. 

Velocity map derived from Sentinel-1A/B Pixel Offsets for the year 2018-2019

Funding

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Award: 17-CRYO17-0025

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Award: 80NSSC18M0083

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Award: NNX17AI02G

National Science Foundation, Award: F0691-04