Ice Motion Measurements

Accumulated snow is carried away by ice flow. If the ice sheet is in "steady-state", this ice flow balances the accumulation. We use the direction and speed of ice flow to determine whether the ice sheet is in a steady-state. If the ice sheet is not in balance, then it must be responding to changes in climate.

This figure shows regional ice velocities measured using satellite positioning techniques.

We also use ice motion measurements to determine th eorigin location and total deformation due to flow for ice deep in the core.

This figure shows local velocities measured near GISP2 by GISP2 scientists using optical survey methods. The GRIP project also measured ice velocities around their site. The two data sets will be combined in 1996.