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On the errors involved in ice-thickness estimates II: errors in digital elevation models of ice thickness

  • J. J. LAPAZARAN (a1), J. OTERO (a1), A. MARTÍN-ESPAÑOL (a1) (a2) and F. J. NAVARRO (a1)

This paper is the second (Paper II) in a set of studies concerning the errors involved in the estimate of ice thickness and ice volume. Here we present a detailed analysis of the errors involved in the generation of ice-thickness DEMs constructed, most often, from GPR data, complemented by boundary data and sometimes, additional synthetic data arising from estimates based on theoretical considerations supported by independent data. We describe a complete methodology of error analysis that, starting from the errors in the data, propagates them to the grid nodes. In turn, the interpolation error at the grid nodes is calculated using a novel procedure that also provides an estimate of the bias introduced by the interpolation process. Finally, both errors are combined at the grid nodes to produce a gridpoint-dependent error estimate, which is complemented by an overall error estimate providing an assessment of the quality of the DEM. This methodology is illustrated with the case study of Werenskioldbreen, a land-terminating polythermal glacier in Svalbard.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Correspondence: J. J. Lapazaran <>
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