An updated and quality controlled surface mass balance dataset for Antarctica 1UJF-CNRS, LGGE, 54 rue Molière, BP 96, 38402 Saint-Martin-d' Hères, France
03 Apr 2013
2IRSTEA, UR ETGR Erosion Torrentielle Neige Avalanches, Domaine universitaire, 2, rue de la Papeterie, 38402 Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France
3Department of Geography, University of Liege, Belgium
Received: 31 Jul 2012 – Published in The Cryosphere Discuss.: 03 Sep 2012 Abstract. We present an updated and quality controlled surface mass balance (SMB)
database for the Antarctic ice sheet. Importantly, the database includes
formatted metadata, such as measurement technique, elevation, time covered,
etc, which allows any user to filter out the data. Here, we discard data
with limited spatial and temporal representativeness, too small measurement
accuracy, or lack of quality control. Applied to the database, this
filtering process gives four times more reliable data than when applied to
previously available databases. New data with high spatial resolution are
now available over long traverses, and at low elevation in some areas.
However, the quality control led to a considerable reduction in the spatial
density of data in several regions, particularly over West Antarctica. Over
interior plateaus, where the SMB is low, the spatial density of measurements
remains high. This quality controlled dataset was compared to results from
ERA-Interim reanalysis to assess whether field data allow us to reconstruct
an accurate description of the main SMB distribution features in Antarctica.
We identified large areas where data gaps impede model validation: except
for very few areas (e.g., Adelie Land), measurements in the elevation range
between 200 m and 1000 m above sea level are not regularly distributed and
do not allow a thorough validation of models in such regions with complex
topography, where the highest scattering of SMB values is reported. Clearly,
increasing the spatial density of field measurements at low elevations, in
the Antarctic Peninsula and in West Antarctica is a scientific priority.
Revised: 17 Feb 2013 – Accepted: 08 Mar 2013 – Published: 03 Apr 2013
Citation: Favier, V., Agosta, C., Parouty, S., Durand, G., Delaygue, G., Gallée, H., Drouet, A.-S., Trouvilliez, A., and Krinner, G.: An updated and quality controlled surface mass balance dataset for Antarctica, The Cryosphere, 7, 583-597, doi:10.5194/tc-7-583-2013, 2013.