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Published on May 27, 2014 by Aaron Dubrow

The left image shows the observed surface velocity of the Antarctic ice sheet from the InSAR satellite. The right image shows the surface velocity predicted by the researchers' calibrated model. As one can see, the model closely reproduces the observations. Credits: Omar Ghattas, Tobin Isaac, Noemi Petra, and Georg Stadler, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES), Departments of Geological Sciences and Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Ice Streams from Antarctica

Accurate climate predictions depend on a precise understanding of the interactions between ice, ocean, land, and atmosphere. However, it is difficult to model ice flow in Antarctica, because the base of the ice sheet is beneath a mile of ice, and as a result the boundary conditions are uncertain.

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin used Stampede to infer the boundary conditions in Antarctica by solving a large-scale inverse problem using satellite observations of surface ice flow. The results indicate that regions with little resistance to sliding could extend deep into the interior of Antarctica.

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