Bed topography mapping (BedMachine)

We have devised a new method to infer the bed topography beneath the ice sheets at high resolution (150 m) based on the conservation of mass and optimization. The traditional method for interpolating ice thickness data from airborne radar sounding surveys onto regular grids is to employ geostatistical techniques such as kriging. While this approach provides continuous and seamless maps of ice thickness, it generates products that are not consistent with ice flow dynamics and are impractical for high-resolution ice flow simulations. Recently, we mapped the entire coast of Greenland (Morlighem et al. 2014) and showed that glaciers flow down well-defined, deep topographic channels with deep narrow depressions within mountain block landscapes, suggesting that the ice sheet will be vulnerable to more rapid retreat in the coming century than previously thought.

We released in September 2017 an updated bed topography map of Greenland: BedMachine v3

Selected publications

  • K.H. Kjær, N.K. Larsen, T. Binder, A.A. Bjørk, O. Eisen, M.A. Fahnestock, S. Funder, A.A. Garde, H. Haack, V. Helm, M. Houmark-Nielsen, K.K. Kjeldsen, S.A. Khan, H. Machguth, I. McDonald, M. Morlighem, J. Mouginot, J.D. Paden, T.E. Waight, C. Weikusat, E. Willerslev and J.A. MacGregor, A large impact crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland, Science Advances 4 (2018) [link]
  • H. Jeofry, N. Ross, H.F.J. Corr, J. Li, M. Morlighem, P. Gogineni and M.J. Siegert, A new bed elevation model for the Weddell Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Earth System Science Data 10 (2018) 711-25 [link]
  • R. Millan, E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, M. Wood, A.A. Bjørk and M. Morlighem, Vulnerability of Southeast Greenland Glaciers to Warm Atlantic Water From Operation IceBridge and Ocean Melting Greenland Data, Geophysical Research Letters 45 (2018) 2688-96 [link]
  • M. Morlighem, C.N. Williams, E. Rignot, L. An, J.E. Arndt, J.L. Bamber, G. Catania, N. Chauché, J.A. Dowdeswell, B. Dorschel, I. Fenty, K. Hogan, I. Howat, A. Hubbard, M. Jakobsson, T.M. Jordan, K.K. Kjeldsen, R. Millan, L. Mayer, J. Mouginot, B.P.Y. Noël, C. O’Cofaigh, S. Palmer, S. Rysgaard, H. Seroussi, M.J. Siegert, P. Slabon, F. Straneo, M.R. van den Broeke, W. Weinrebe, M. Wood and K.B. Zinglersen, BedMachine v3: Complete Bed Topography and Ocean Bathymetry Mapping of Greenland From Multibeam Echo Sounding Combined With Mass Conservation, Geophysical Research Letters 44 (2017) 11,051-11,061 [link]
  • R. Millan, E. Rignot, V. Bernier, M. Morlighem and P. Dutrieux, Bathymetry of the Amundsen Sea Embayment sector of West Antarctica from Operation IceBridge gravity and other data, Geophysical Research Letters 44 (2017) 1360-68 [link]
  • J. Schaffer, R. Timmermann, J.E. Arndt, S.S. Kristensen, C. Mayer, M. Morlighem and D. Steinhage, A global, high-resolution data set of ice sheet topography, cavity geometry, and ocean bathymetry, Earth System Science Data 8 (2016) 543-57 [link]
  • M. Morlighem, E. Rignot and J. Willis, Improving Bed Topography Mapping of Greenland Glaciers Using NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) Data, Oceanography 29 (2016) 62-71 [link]
  • M. Morlighem, E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, H. Seroussi and E. Larour, High-resolution ice-thickness mapping in South Greenland, Annals of Glaciology 55 (2014) 64-70 [link]
  • M. Morlighem, E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, H. Seroussi and E. Larour, Deeply incised submarine glacial valleys beneath the Greenland ice sheet, Nature Geoscience 7 (2014) 418-22 [link]
  • M. Morlighem, E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, X. Wu, H. Seroussi, E. Larour and J. Paden, High-resolution bed topography mapping of Russell Glacier, Greenland, inferred from Operation IceBridge data, Journal of Glaciology 59 (2013) 1015-23 [link]
  • M. Morlighem, E. Rignot, H. Seroussi, E. Larour, H. Ben Dhia and D. Aubry, A mass conservation approach for mapping glacier ice thickness, Geophysical Research Letters 38 (2011) [link]