Dynamics of Subglacial Water Exchange
This animation, based on the research of WISSARD Principal Investigator Helen Amanda Fricker, (An Active Subglacial Water System in West Antarctica Mapped from Space Helen Amanda Fricker, Ted Scambos, Robert Bindschadler, Laurie Padman in Science, 2007) helps to explain the dynamics of subglacial water exchange and how it can be observed from space. It begins with a nadir camera view looking down onto the Antarctic continent, then the camera moves down to a cross section of the ice sheet with lakes hidden deep beneath the ice. As pressure is exerted on one lake, the water in it is forced to an adjacent lake. This water movement results in an elevation change at the surface, detectable by ICESat. The camera then moves to a "top-down" view of a larger system of these hidden lakes and streams before dissolving into actual observed ICESat data. Movie credit: NASA/GSFC/Susan Twardy.