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Comparing Firn Densification Layers Simulated through Regional Climate Models and those Tracked through Radargrams
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  • Debvrat Varshney,
  • Nicole Schlegel,
  • Alex Gardner,
  • Maryam Rahnemoonfar
Debvrat Varshney
Computer Vision and Remote Sensing Laboratory, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Nicole Schlegel
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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Alex Gardner
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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Maryam Rahnemoonfar
Computer Vision and Remote Sensing Laboratory
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The Glacier Energy and Mass Balance (GEMB) module of NASA’s Ice-sheet and Sea-level System Model (ISSM) can simulate the evolution of firn density profiles in the ice sheet snowpack. It is a column model that can give detailed subsurface parameters such as layer depth, snow grain growth, depth dependent albedo, layer density etc. These parameters are model simulation outputs, and lack of observations makes them difficult to evaluate on a broader scale. In this work, we take advantage of remotely-sensed snow conditions in the top ~15m of the firn; more specifically, the layer depth vs density profiles, measured through the Snow Radar sensor from NASA’s Operation IceBridge mission. We use these observations to calibrate the GEMB module over the Greenland Ice Sheet. The module optimized with the help of actual observations will become more reliable for predicting glacial mass loss and associated global sea level rise over time.