The ice flux to the Lambert Glacier and Amery Ice Shelf along the Chinese inland traverse and implications for mass balance of the drainage basins, East Antarctica

  • Xiangbin Cui Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai, China
  • Wenjia Du Center for Spatial Information Science and Sustainable Development and College of Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
  • Huan Xie Center for Spatial Information Science and Sustainable Development and College of Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
  • Bo Sun Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai, China
Keywords: Surface mass balance, ice-penetrating radar, ice thickness, drainage system, Dome A, Antarctic Ice Sheet


Study of the mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is critical to estimate its potential contribution to global sea-level rise in the future. As the largest drainage system, the Lambert Glacier–Amery Ice Shelf drainage system plays an important role in the mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. In this study, the ice thickness measured by airborne ice-penetrating radar with high spatial resolution and accuracy and accurate ice velocity measured by in situ GPS stations along the route of the Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition inland traverse were used to calculate the ice flux with unprecedented accuracy. This transverse is from Zhongshan Station to Dome A, passing through the east side of the Lambert Glacier and the smaller coastal glacier in the C-Cp basin. The results show that the ice flux across the entire traverse is 24.7 ± 2.8 Gt a−1, along which the section in drainage basin B–C (Lambert Glacier) has an ice flux of 20.9 ± 1.9 Gt a−1 and the section in drainage basin C–Cp (basin adjacent to Lambert Glacier) contributed 3.8 ± 0.4 Gt a−1. The ice flux values in both regions are coincident with the mass balance calculated from the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite, Earth Observing System. Meanwhile, the C–Cp basin shows an ice flux value of 6.6 ± 0.8 Gt a−1 across the grounding line.


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How to Cite
Cui, X., Du, W., Xie, H., & Sun, B. (2020). The ice flux to the Lambert Glacier and Amery Ice Shelf along the Chinese inland traverse and implications for mass balance of the drainage basins, East Antarctica. Polar Research, 39.
Research Articles