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Workshop: Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning

An Inversion Algorithm of Ice Thickness and InSAR Data for the State of Friction at the Base of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Aryan Jain · Jeonghyeop Kim · William Holt


With the advent of climate change and global warming, the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has been melting at an alarming rate, losing over 215 Gt per yr, and accounting for 10% of mean global sea level rise since the 1990s. It is imperative to understand what dynamics are causing ice loss and influencing ice flow in order to successfully project mass changes of ice sheets and associated sea level rise. This work applies machine learning, ice thickness data, and horizontal ice velocity measurements from satellite radar data to quantify the magnitudes and distributions of the basal traction forces that are holding the GrIS back from flowing into the ocean. Our approach uses a hybrid model: InSAR velocity data trains a linear regression model, and these model coefficients are fed into a geophysical algorithm to estimate basal tractions that capture relationships between the ice motion and physical variables. Results indicate promising model performance and reveal significant presence of large basal traction forces around the coastline of the GrIS.

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