Shape of Greenland’s ice sheet as ‘seen’ by CryoSat

Image from Rob (ESA) NL, 4 May

As the team prepares for the Greenland leg of the campaign, this new image, derived from CryoSat data, shows the summit of this vast ice cap.

Plot of Greenland ice sheet (credits: ESA) – Click for full size

The profile, which runs from south to north over central Greenland, shows the height of the ice cap – peaking at over 3000 m above sea level.

Next week will be the last step in the year’s campaign with scientists from various institutes working together to gather airborne and ground measurements of the ice and snow on land.

One of the challenges for the CryoSat mission is being able to acquire accurate measurements of two different types of ice. The missions sets out to acquire measurement of the thickness of floating sea ice so that annual variations can be detected and to survey the vast ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica accurately enough to detect small changes.

The validation field campaign for CryoSat, therefore, goes to great lengths to acquire in situ measurements of both types of ice.

The focus is now of the huge Greenland ice sheet.

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