What lies beneath? BedMachine: Scientists create a high-precision map of Antarctic ice sheet bed topography.
BedMachine is a new Antarctic bed topography product based on ice thickness data from 19 different research institutes dating back to 1967, encompassing nearly a million line-miles of radar soundings.
BedMachine relies on the fundamental physics-based method of mass conservation to estimate what lies between the radar sounding lines, utilizing highly detailed information on ice flow motion from satellite data that dictates how ice moves.
Mathieu Morlighem, UCI associate professor of Earth system science and lead author of the paper explains:
“Ultimately, BedMachine Antarctica presents a mixed picture: Ice streams in some areas are relatively well-protected by their underlying ground features, while others on retrograde beds are shown to be more at risk from potential marine ice sheet instability,”