Ice Flow of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

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Science  18 Aug 2011:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208336


We present a reference, comprehensive, high-resolution, digital mosaic of ice motion in Antarctica assembled from multiple satellite interferometric synthetic-aperture radar data acquired during the International Polar Year 2007-2009. The data reveal widespread, patterned, enhanced flow with tributary glaciers reaching hundreds to thousands of kilometers inland, over the entire continent. This view of ice-sheet motion emphasizes the importance of basal-slip–dominated tributary flow over deformation-dominated ice-sheet flow, redefines our understanding of ice-sheet dynamics, and has far-reaching implications for the reconstruction and prediction of ice-sheet evolution.