Ben Smith

Selected Projects

  • Altimetry Data Analysis in Support of the ICESat-2 Science Definition Team

    ICESat-2 is a satellite mission under development by NASA for launch in 2015.  It will make measurements of ice sheet elevations in Antarctica over a 3-5 year period, to accurately the shape of the ice sheet, and to show how the ice sheet is changing over time.  As the satellite is developed, the science definition team, made up of researchers from NASA and from several different universities, provides direction as to what scientific questions the satellite measurements must address.  APL researcher Ben Smith has joined the team to investigate how best to tailor the measurements to the characteristics of ice…

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  • Greenland Ice Mapping Project: Measuring rapid changes in ice flow

    Numerous recent studies have revealed rapid change in ice discharge from Greenland’s outlet glaciers. A near doubling in flow speed of many of Greenland’s glaciers substantially increased the rate at which the ice sheet calved icebergs to the ocean over the last five years.

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  • Elevation Change Anomalies in West Antarctica – Do They Provide Constraints on Subglacial Water Transport Beneath Ice Streams and Their Tributaries?

    We are using field and remote sensing data to investigate Elevation Change Anomalies (ECAs) discovered recently in the Ross Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), which reveal the filling and draining of subglacial lakes.

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  • Antarctic Ice Shelf Change and Basal Melt Using ICESat, Cryosat, and Other Satellite Data

    Deeply embayed ice shelves and narrower fringing ice shelves surround much of Antarctica. Recent results indicate that these ice shelves help regulate the flow of upstream glaciers and ice streams (“ice-shelf buttressing”). This investigation focuses on determining the mass balance of Antarctica’s non-Peninsula ice shelves and on improving our knowledge of the processes that control basal melt.

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  • IceBridge Science Team

    IceBridge is a NASA project that supports the acquisition of various data from aircraft in both polar regions that will bridge the gap in coverage between the now defunct ICESat satellite and the next generation ICESat II to be launched in 2015 at the earliest. The main focuses of the data acquisition will be laser altimetry and radar measurements of ice sheets (Greenland and Antarctica) and sea ice (Arctic and Antarctica).

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