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Surface Elevation Change

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Surface elevation changes (SECs) of an ice sheet are directly linked to the atmospheric forcing and hence climate changes. The SEC reflect the vertical component of ice sheet mass balance. SEC will be derived from radar data, and therefore the product will be the elevation change of the reflecting surface rather than the snow surface, depending on the application of a suitable backscatter parameter or not.

Thanks to a succession of ESA satellite missions starting with ERS-1 in 1992 and continuing with CryoSat-2, satellite altimetry provides the longest unbroken record of ice sheet mass balance from all geodetic techniques. Altimeter measurements of elevation change are extremely precise, because they require only modest adjustments to account for sensor drift, changes in the satellite attitude, atmospheric attenuation, and movements of Earth's surface. The Antarctic_Ice_Sheet_cci project will produce a continuous monthly time series of surface elevation change measured using over 25 years of radar altimetry satellites including ERS-1/2, ENVISAT, CryoSat-2 and in the future, Sentinel-3.

Surface elevation change measured by CryoSat-2 from 2010 to 2014 (McMillan et al., 2014)

SEC products are provided on the UK CPOM Data Portal: Access to SEC CCI product downloads is granted after a simple user registration step and site login.