The ice-free topography of Svalbard

Johannes Fürst, Francisco Navarro, Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, Matthias Huss, Geir Moholdt, Xavier Fettweis, Charlotte Lang, Thorsten Seehaus, Sangtao Ai, Toby Benham, Doug Benn, Helgi Björnsson, Julian Dowdeswell, Mariusz Grabiec, Jack Kohler, Ivan Lavrentiev, Katrin Lindbäck , Kjetil Melvold, Rickard Pettersson, David Manish RippinAlbane Saintenoy, Pablo Sánchez-Gámez , Thomas Schuler, Heidi Sevestre, Evgeny Vasilenko, Matthias Braun

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We present a first version of the Svalbard ice-free topography (SVIFT1.0) using a mass-conserving approach for mapping glacier ice thickness. SVIFT1.0 is informed by more than 900’000 point-measurements of glacier thickness, totalling almost 8’300 km of thickness profiles. It is publicly available for download. Our estimate for the total ice volume is 6’253km3, equivalent to 1.6cm sea-level rise. The thickness map suggests that 13% of the glacierised area is grounded below sea-level. Thickness values are provided together with a map of error estimates that comprise uncertainties in the thickness surveys as well as in other input variables. Aggregated error estimates are used to define a likely ice-volume range of 5’200-7’400km3. The ice-front thickness of marine-terminating glaciers is a key quantity for ice-loss attribution because it controls the potential ice discharge by iceberg calving into the ocean. We find a mean ice-front thickness of 133m for the archipelago.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Early online date9 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2018

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