Snow melting bias in microwave mapping of Antarctic snow accumulation O. Magand, G. Picard, L. Brucker, M. Fily, and C. Genthon Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement, CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier-Grenoble, 54 Rue Molière, BP 96, 38402 St Martin d'Hères Cedex, France
Abstract. Satellite records of microwave surface emission have been used to
interpolate in-situ observations of Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) and
build continental-scale maps of accumulation. Using a carefully screened
subset of SMB measurements in the 90°–180° E sector, we show a
reasonable agreement with microwave-based accumulation map in the dry-snow
regions, but large discrepancies in the coastal regions where melt occurs
during summer. Using an emission microwave model, we explain the failure of
microwave sensors to retrieve SMB by the presence of layers created by melt/refreeze cycles. We conclude that regions potentially affected by melting
should be masked-out in microwave-based interpolation schemes.
Citation: Magand, O., Picard, G., Brucker, L., Fily, M., and Genthon, C.: Snow melting bias in microwave mapping of Antarctic snow accumulation, The Cryosphere, 2, 109-115, doi:10.5194/tc-2-109-2008, 2008.