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Uncertainty in mass-balance trends derived from altimetry: a case study along the EGIG line, central Greenland

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Morris, Elizabeth M 
Wingham, Duncan J 


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pRepeated measurements of density profiles and surface elevation along a 515 km traverse of the Greenland ice sheet are used to determine elevation change rates and the error in determining mass-balance trends from these rates which arises from short-term fluctuations in mass input, compaction and surface density. Mean values of this error, averaged over 100 km sections of the traverse, decrease with time from the start of observations in 2004, with a half-time of ∼4 years. After 7 years the mean error is less than the ice equivalent mass imbalance.</jats:p>


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ice-sheet mass balance

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Journal of Glaciology

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International Glaciological Society
This project is a contribution to the calibration and validation of the European Space Agency (ESA) CryoSat satellite altimeter and is supported by ESA and by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Consortium grant NER/O/S/2003/00620. We are grateful to the NERC Geo- physical Equipment Facility and the University of Edinburgh for the loan of Leica GPS systems. Logistic support for the traverses was provided by CH2M HILL Polar Services, G. Somers, J. Pailthorpe, H. Chamberlain, M. Hignell and J. Sweeny gave invaluable assistance in the field and T. Benham provided Figure 1. Finally, we thank R. Arthern for useful discussions and our Scientific Editor, H. Fricker, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments.