Resolving bathymetry from airborne gravity along Greenland fjords

Boghosian, Alexandra; Tinto, Kirsteen J.; Cochran, James R.; Porter, David F.; Elieff, Stefan; Burton, Bethany; Bell, Robin E.

Recent glacier mass loss in Greenland has been attributed to encroaching warming waters, but knowledge of fjord bathymetry is required to investigate this mechanism. The bathymetry in many Greenland fjords is unmapped and difficult to measure. From 2010 to 2012, National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Operation IceBridge collected a unique set of airborne gravity, magnetic, radar, and lidar data along the major outlet glaciers and fjords in Greenland. We applied a consistent technique using the IceBridge gravity data to create 90 bathymetric profiles along 54 Greenland fjords. We also used this technique to recover subice topography where warm or crevassed ice prevents the radar system from imaging the bed. Here we discuss our methodology, basic assumptions and error analysis. We present the new bathymetry data and discuss observations in six major regions of Greenland covered by IceBridge. The gravity models provide a total of 1950 line kilometers of bathymetry, 875 line kilometers of subice topography, and 12 new grounding line depths.

Geographic Areas


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Also Published In

JGR Solid Earth

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Marine Geology and Geophysics
Published Here
June 28, 2019


Note from James Cochran: I have appended the Supplementary Information to the end of the paper, since it is important in evaluating the results