N K Vyas
Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 120 Issue 2 April 2011 pp 329-336
The widespread retreat of glaciers can be considered as a response to the climate change. Being the largest retreating glacier–ice shelf system in East Antarctica, the Amery Ice Shelf–Lambert Glacier system plays an important role in contributing to sea level rise as well as the surrounding environment and climate. The present study is focused on the investigation of surface melting over the ice shelf using QuikSCAT Ku-band scatterometer data for more than 100 months covering the period from January 2000 to July 2009. The corresponding weather data of Davis Station was obtained from the website of Australian Antarctic Division. Very prominent dips in the backscatter observed in the month of January form a distinct signature caused by physical process of significant melting of the ice/snow surface. The steep increase again in February is attributed to the initiation of the freezing phenomenon. The derived melting index compared well with the passive microwave-based melting index derived by other researchers. A strong relationship was found between the scatterometer-derived melting index and the cumulative monthly mean air temperature. The highest melting was observed in the summer (January) of 2004, and thereafter gradual cooling appeared to take place in the subsequent years. The snow pack thickness, inferred from the backscatter variations, was found to be higher during winters (June) of 2004 and 2005, compared with other years.
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