Data Set ID: 

Histories of Accumulation, Thickness, and WAIS Divide Location, Antarctica, Version 1

This data set contains radar internal layer and ice sheet topography data for two sites in Antarctica, along with associated model results from two studies. This project used geophysical inverse theory and a 2.5 D flowband ice-flow forward model to extract robust transient accumulation patterns from multiple deeper layers. Histories of divide migration, or the movement of the ice sheet and ice-surface evolution are also provided. The data used to solve the inverse problem, and the model solutions are provided. Internal layers, modern ice-surface velocities, and modern ice-sheet geometry at Taylor Mouth are available, as well as the pattern of accumulation inferred by Waddington et al. (2007).

Data are available via FTP in Matlab (.mat) format. Supporting information is available as text files (.rtf and .txt).

NSIDC does not archive these data.

  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ablation Zones/Accumulation Zones > ABLATION ZONES/ACCUMULATION ZONES
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glaciers > GLACIERS
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets > ICE SHEETS
Data Format(s):
  • MAT
Spatial Coverage:
N: -79.416667, 
N: -77.783333, 
S: -79.416667, 
S: -77.783333, 
E: -111.816667, 
E: 158.716667, 
W: -111.816667
W: 158.716667
Spatial Resolution:Not SpecifiedSensor(s):GPS RECEIVERS
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2004
Temporal ResolutionNot specifiedMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Edwin Waddington, Michelle Koutnik

Geographic Coverage

Please contact the data provider for the correct Data Citation for this data set.

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Detailed Data Description


Data and models are available in Matlab (.mat) format. Each Matlab file also has an associated text file with supporting information, available in .rtf or .txt format.

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory. Within this directory, there are three Matlab files, each with an associated .rtf file that describes the data columns. There are also two associated text files, wais_u_geometry.txt and wais_bdot.txt.

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File Naming Convention

Files are named according to the following convention and as described in Table 1:



Table 1. File Naming Convention
Variable Description
SN Site Name:
tm: Taylor Mouth
wais: West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide
type Record type: data or results
.mat Matlab file extension

Example: wais_data.mat is a Matlab file containing data from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet divide site. Descriptions of each variable in the file are provided in the associated wais_data.rtf file.

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File Size

Files range in size from 2 KB to 19 KB.

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Total volume of the data set is approximately 52 KB.

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Spatial Coverage

Data are based on radar data collected at two locations in Antarctica:

Taylor Mouth
Southernmost Latitude: 77º 47' S
Northernmost Latitude: 77º 47' S
Westernmost Longitude: 158º 43' E
Easternmost Longitude: 158º 43' E

West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide
Southernmost Latitude: 79° 25' S
Northernmost Latitude: 79° 25' S
Westernmost Longitude: 111° 49' W
Easternmost Longitude: 111° 49' W

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Temporal Coverage

Radar data were collected during two Antarctic field seasons, 2002 to 2003 and 2003 to 2004

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Parameter or Variable

Variables in this model data set include Ice Surface Velocity, Accumulation Rate, Bedrock Elevation, Ice Surface Slope, Ice Thickness, Layer Ages, and Layer Depth. The variables for each of the Matlab (.mat) files are described in the text file of the same name. Model data are based upon radar measurements of surface velocity, surface topography, and ice thickness, collected by H. Conway and L. A. Rasmussen.

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Software and Tools

Data are accessible using Matlab software.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Theory of Measurements

This data set provides model data and model results, from a study of accumulation patterns from deep layers of Antarctic ice sheets. The investigators built models based on radar data. For more information on methods, see Waddington, et. al., 2007 and Neumann, et al., 2008.

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Sensor or Instrument Description

These model data are based upon radar data collected with ice-penetrating radar, on the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Dr. Edwin D. Waddington
Department of Earth and Space Sciences
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington 98195

Dr. Michelle Koutnik
Department of Earth and Space Sciences
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington 98195


This research was supported by NSF OPP grant 0440666.

Document Information


8 July 2010

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