Oceans Melting Greenland

Glacier elevation data from the OMG Mission derived from the GLISTIN-A Instrument


The OMG mission has released final glacier elevation data via the Physical Oceanography DAAC from the GLISTIN-A campaigns performed in March 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Current versions meet the accuracy requirements for the OMG mission of better than 3 meter accuracy. The height data have accompanying height precision files that indicate the expected random error for each pixel. Note that this precision will further improve with spatial averaging to aggregate independent samples [1]. In addition to the random error (precision), a residual systematic error may present as a linear ramp increasing from near-to-far range in the swaths. Comparison with independent observations suggests that overall accuracy is 1-2 meters or better, even in the far range of the swath where remaining systematic error is largest. For clarification on instrument performance, contact Delwyn Moller, or on science issues, contact Ala Khazendar or Josh Willis.

Note that data from the 2017 campaign were updated and released in July 2019 to correct a systematic error in across track slope that resulted in 3-4 meter errors in the far range of the swaths. Since this correction, 2017 data accuracy is expected to be in line with with the 1-2 meter accuracy stated above.

[1] Moller, D., Hensley, S., Mouginot, J., Willis, J., Wu, X., Larsen, C., Rignot, E., Muellerschoen, R., Khazendar, A. Validation of Glacier Topographic Acquisitions from an Airborne Single-Pass Interferometer. Sensors 2019, 19(17), 3700. DOI: 10.3390/s19173700.
Information
DOI/Short Name
10.5067/OMGEV-ICEGAOMG_Ice_GLISTIN-A
10.5067/OMGEV-GLNA1OMG_L3_ICE_ELEV_GLISTINA
DescriptionGlobal sea level rise will be one of the major environmental challenges of the 21st Century. Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) will pave the way for improved estimates of sea level rise by addressing the question: To what extent are the oceans melting Greenland’s ice from below? Over a five-year campaign, OMG will observe changing water temperatures on the continental shelf surrounding Greenland, and how marine glaciers react to the presence of warm, salty Atlantic Water. The complicated geometry of the sea floor steers currents on the shelf and often determines whether Atlantic Water can reach into the long narrow fjords and interact with the coastal glaciers. Because knowledge of these pathways is a critical component of modeling the interaction between the oceans and ice sheet, OMG will facilitate improved measurements of the shape and depth of the sea floor in key regions as well.

The surveys of Greenland’s ice sheet were conducted with the GLacier and Ice Surface Topography INterferometer (GLISTIN-A), which aims to produce high spatial resolution (25 m), high-precision (< 50 cm) height maps of Greenland’s coastal glaciers, at 10 to12-km wide swaths using Ka-Band (8.4 mm wavelength) single-pass interferometry. By measuring ice surface elevation changes over several years, volume changes of marine terminating glaciers can be inferred. The GLISTIN-A radar is mounted in a pod under a Gulfstream III airplane. Operating at Ka-Band enhances interferometric accuracy, reduces penetration into the top layers of snow and firn and limits signal attenuation in the atmosphere.

The swaths generally cover the lower parts of the glaciers. The near edges of most swaths are set as close as possible to, and just downstream from, glacier fronts. The remainder of the swaths extend up-glacier from the fronts. Most swaths are flown across glacier flow, capturing as many glacier fronts as possible in each single swath. In the cases of a few large glaciers, swaths are flown along glacier flow, again extending from the front upstream towards the interior of the ice sheet.
Version1
Measurement Earth Science > Cryosphere > Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Elevation/Ice Sheet Elevation
Earth Science > Cryosphere > Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Mass Balance/Ice Sheet Mass Balance
Earth Science > Cryosphere > Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Thickness/Ice Sheet Thickness
Earth Science > Cryosphere > Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Topography/Ice Sheet Topography
Earth Science > Cryosphere > Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets > Ice Sheet Measurements
CampaignsA campaign was conducted by the GLISTIN-A Instrument Team in March 2016.

A campaign was conducted by the GLISTIN-A Instrument Team in March 2017. See the field report for more information.

A campaign was conducted by the GLISTIN-A Instrument Team in March 2018. See the field report for more information.

A campaign was conducted by the GLISTIN-A Instrument Team in March and April 2019. See the field report for more information.
PlatformGrumman Gulfstream III (G-III) operated by NASA
SensorGlacier and Ice Surface Topography Interferometer (GLISTIN-A)
ProjectOceans Melting Greenland (OMG)

Data Access
Portal OMG Ice GLISTIN-A Level 2 Data (available from UAVSAR)
The released products are also listed in two separate downloadable files that contain links to the data products:
  • Google Earth KML
    This file provides a map-based view of the tracks when loaded into the Google Earth application.
  • Excel Spreadsheet
    This file provides a table-based view of the tracks by flight line and campaign year.
OMG Ice GLISTIN-A Level 3 Data (available from PO.DAAC)
FormatBinary
NetCDF

Citation
GLISTIN-A data acquired from the UAVSAR PortalOMG Mission. 2020. Glacier elevation data from the GLISTIN-A campaigns. Ver. 0.1. OMG SDS, CA, USA. Dataset accessed [YYYY-MM-DD] at https://dx.doi.org/10.5067/OMGEV-ICEGA.
GLISTIN-A data acquired from PO.DAACOMG Mission. 2020. Glacier elevation data from the GLISTIN-A campaigns. Ver. 1. PO.DAAC, CA, USA. Dataset accessed [YYYY-MM-DD] at https://dx.doi.org/10.5067/OMGEV-GLNA1.