Articles | Volume 10, issue 1
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 493–523, 2018
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 493–523, 2018

  13 Mar 2018

13 Mar 2018

Altimetry, gravimetry, GPS and viscoelastic modeling data for the joint inversion for glacial isostatic adjustment in Antarctica (ESA STSE Project REGINA)

Ingo Sasgen1, Alba Martín-Español2, Alexander Horvath3, Volker Klemann4, Elizabeth J. Petrie5, Bert Wouters6, Martin Horwath7, Roland Pail3, Jonathan L. Bamber2, Peter J. Clarke8, Hannes Konrad1,9, Terry Wilson10, and Mark R. Drinkwater11 Ingo Sasgen et al.
  • 1Division of Climate Sciences, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bussestraße 24, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1SS, UK
  • 3Institut für Astronomische und Physikalische Geodäsie, Technische Universität München, Arcisstraße 21, 80333 München, Germany
  • 4Department of Geodesy, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 5School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK
  • 6Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 7Institut für Planetare Geodäsie, Technische Universität Dresden, Helmholtzstr. 10, 01069 Dresden, Germany
  • 8School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle, NE1 7RU, UK
  • 9School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
  • 10School of Earth Science, Ohio State University, 275 Mendenhall Lab, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
  • 11Mission Science Division, European Space Agency, European Space Research and Technology Centre, Keplerlaan 1, Noordwijk 2201 AZ, the Netherlands

Abstract. The poorly known correction for the ongoing deformation of the solid Earth caused by glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is a major uncertainty in determining the mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet from measurements of satellite gravimetry and to a lesser extent satellite altimetry. In the past decade, much progress has been made in consistently modeling ice sheet and solid Earth interactions; however, forward-modeling solutions of GIA in Antarctica remain uncertain due to the sparsity of constraints on the ice sheet evolution, as well as the Earth's rheological properties. An alternative approach towards estimating GIA is the joint inversion of multiple satellite data – namely, satellite gravimetry, satellite altimetry and GPS, which reflect, with different sensitivities, trends in recent glacial changes and GIA. Crucial to the success of this approach is the accuracy of the space-geodetic data sets. Here, we present reprocessed rates of surface-ice elevation change (Envisat/Ice, Cloud,and land Elevation Satellite, ICESat; 2003–2009), gravity field change (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, GRACE; 2003–2009) and bedrock uplift (GPS; 1995–2013). The data analysis is complemented by the forward modeling of viscoelastic response functions to disc load forcing, allowing us to relate GIA-induced surface displacements with gravity changes for different rheological parameters of the solid Earth. The data and modeling results presented here are available in the PANGAEA database ( The data sets are the input streams for the joint inversion estimate of present-day ice-mass change and GIA, focusing on Antarctica. However, the methods, code and data provided in this paper can be used to solve other problems, such as volume balances of the Antarctic ice sheet, or can be applied to other geographical regions in the case of the viscoelastic response functions. This paper presents the first of two contributions summarizing the work carried out within a European Space Agency funded study: Regional glacial isostatic adjustment and CryoSat elevation rate corrections in Antarctica (REGINA).

Short summary
We present a collection of data sets, consisting of surface-elevation rates for Antarctic ice sheet from a combination of Envisat and ICESat, bedrock uplift rates for 118 GPS sites in Antarctica, and optimally filtered GRACE gravity field rates. We provide viscoelastic response functions to a disc load forcing for Earth structures present in East and West Antarctica. This data collection enables a joint inversion for present-day ice-mass changes and glacial isostatic adjustment in Antarctica.