Greenland ice sheet mass balance assessed by PROMICE (1995–2015)

William Colgan*1, Kenneth D. Mankoff1, Kristian K. Kjeldsen1,2, Anders A. Bjørk2, Jason E. Box1, Sebastian B. Simonsen3, Louise S. Sørensen3, S. Abbas Khan3, Anne M. Solgaard1, Rene Forsberg3, Henriette Skourup3, Lars Stenseng4, Steen S. Kristensen5, Sine M. Hvidegaard3, Michele Citterio1, Nanna Karlsson1, Xavier Fettweis6, Andreas P. Ahlstrøm1, Signe B. Andersen1, Dirk van As1 & Robert S. Fausto1


GEUS Bulletin Vol 43 | e2019430201 | Published online: 08 July 2019

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The Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) has measured ice-sheet elevation and thickness via repeat airborne surveys circumscribing the ice sheet at an average elevation of 1708 ± 5 m (Sørensen et al. 2018). We refer to this 5415 km survey as the ‘PROMICE perimeter’. Here, we assess ice-sheet mass balance following the input-output approach of Andersen et al. (2015). We estimate ice-sheet output, or the ice discharge across the ice-sheet grounding line, by applying downstream corrections to the ice flux across the PROMICE perimeter. We subtract this ice discharge from ice-sheet input, or the area-integrated, ice sheet surface mass balance, estimated by a regional climate model. While Andersen et al. (2015) assessed ice-sheet mass balance in 2007 and 2011, this updated input-output assessment now estimates the annual sea-level rise contribution from eighteen sub-sectors of the Greenland ice sheet over the 1995–2015 period.


*Corresponding author | Email:

Department of Glaciology and Climate, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark

Natural History Museum, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Department of Geodynamics, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

Department of Geodesy, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

5 Department of Microwave and Remote Sensing, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

Department of Geography, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium


This article is published in the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin – an international, peer-reviewed and open access journal published by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).


Colgan et al 2019: Greenland ice sheet mass balance assessed by PROMICE (1995–2015). Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 43, e2019430201.


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Date recieved: 07/02/2019

Date accepted: 12/04/2019

First published online: 08/07/2019


Climate Change . Greenland . Greenland Ice Sheet . PROMICE . Database .