Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Patagonian Icefields, South America, Ice Motion 1984-2014

In this paper Mouginot & Rignot present the first comprehensive high-resolution mosaic of the velocity of the ice of the Northern Patagonian Icefields (NPI) and Southern Patagonian Icefields (SPI), based on multiple synthetic aperture radar, as well as optical data that had been collected between 1984 and 2014. It was revealed by these results that many of the outlet glaciers extend far inland into the central ice plateaus, and this indicates that changes in ice dynamics propagate long distances into the accumulation areas. It is reported in this paper that pronounced seasonal to interannual variability of the motion of the ice of Pío XI and Jorge Montt, a doubling of the speed of Jorge Montt, a major slowdown of O’Higgins, significant fluctuations of the Upsala and a deceleration of San Rafael, which illustrates the need for sustained, continuous time series of the motion of the ice in order to understand the evolution in the long term of the icefields that are thinning rapidly. Major ambiguities in the drainage of glaciers are also resolved by the velocity product  in areas with topography that is relatively flat, which illustrates the need to combine topography and the direction of flow in order to map drainage basins.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Mouginot, J. and E. Rignot (2015). "Ice motion of the Patagonian Icefields of South America: 1984–2014." Geophysical Research Letters 42(5): 2014GL062661.


Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated:  20/11/2015
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