Climate-driven vertical acceleration of Icelandic crust measured by continuous GPS geodesy

Kathleen Compton, Richard A Bennett, Sigrún Hreinsdõttir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Earth's present-day response to enhanced glacial melting resulting from climate change can be measured using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. We present data from 62 continuously operating GPS instruments in Iceland. Statistically significant upward velocity and accelerations are recorded at 27 GPS stations, predominantly located in the Central Highlands region of Iceland, where present-day thinning of the Iceland ice caps results in velocities of more than 30mm/yr and uplift accelerations of 1-2mm/yr2. We use our acceleration estimates to back calculate to a time of zero velocity, which coincides with the initiation of ice loss in Iceland from ice mass balance calculations and Arctic warming trends. We show, through a simple inversion, a direct relationship between ice mass balance measurements and vertical position and show that accelerated unloading is required to reproduce uplift observations for a simple elastic layer over viscoelastic half-space model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-750
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 16 2015

Fingerprint

geodesy
Iceland
Global Positioning System
climate
crusts
ice
GPS
crust
mass balance
uplift
upland region
ice cap
half space
unloading
highlands
thinning
climate change
warming
half spaces
melting

Keywords

  • climate change
  • glacial isostatic adjustment
  • GPS geodesy
  • Iceland
  • uplift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Climate-driven vertical acceleration of Icelandic crust measured by continuous GPS geodesy. / Compton, Kathleen; Bennett, Richard A; Hreinsdõttir, Sigrún.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, No. 3, 16.02.2015, p. 743-750.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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