Persistent surface snowmelt over Antarctica (1987–2006) from 19.35 GHz brightness temperatures

Tedesco, Marco; Abdalati, W.; Zwally, H. J.

[1] Persistent melting (e.g., continuing for more than three days or for one consecutive day and night) is mapped in Antarctica (1987–2006) using night- and day-time Special Sensor Microwave Imager brightness temperatures (Tb) at 19.35 GHz, horizontal polarization. Snowmelt is indicated when Tb and relative daily difference exceed threshold values, respectively Tc and ΔT, computed for each pixel and year, or when both daytime and nighttime Tb exceed Tc. Results from an electromagnetic model suggest that the minimum detectable liquid water content ranges between 0.2 and 0.5%, in volume. We find that melting areas have been moving inland since 1987. A first-time extensive melting (1987–2006) is detected over the Transantarctic Mountains on January 2005, 875 Km inland and 2000 m above sea level. Melting extent and index have been decreasing over Antarctica, since 1987, although either positive and negative trends are observed from a sub-continental scale analysis.

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Also Published In

Geophysical Research Letters

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Marine Geology and Geophysics
American Geophysical Union
Published Here
March 30, 2016