Exploring Desert Aquifers and Polar Ice Sheets and Their Responses to Climate Evolution: OASIS Mission Concept
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The Orbiting Arid Subsurface and Ice Sheet Sounder (OASIS) mission concept is a single instrument, small-size, venture-class mission directly aimed at exploring the signatures of climate change in both cold and warm deserts regions on Earth: the polar ice sheets and the hyper-arid deserts (Fig. 1). OASIS has two well-defined science objectives. The first is to determine the thickness, inner structure, and basal boundary conditions of Earth’s ice sheets to understand their dynamics and improve models of current and future ice sheet response to climate change and, hence, to better constrain ice sheet contribution to sea level rise. The second objective is to perform detailed mapping of the spatial distribution of shallow (<100 m deep) aquifers in North Africa and the Arabian Peninisula to understand groundwater dynamic in fossil aquifers to assess their current response to climatic stresses and paleoclimatic conditions that formed them. These two mission objectives are achieved using a sounding radar operating at 45 MHz center frequency with 10 MHz bandwidth. The proposed OASIS radar would be able to map only the upper water table of fossil aquifer systems. This proceeding has been updated from the proceeding published in IEEE-IGARSS (2013).
KeywordsClimate change Groundwater Polar Ice Sheets Radar Sounding Sea-level rise
This proceeding has been published in the 2013 IEEE-IGARSS proceedings and the preface of the Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration, it is added to this volume to support the discussion on future groundwater remote sensing experiments for arid areas held at the CAJG conference. The purpose is to have manuscripts associated to large-scale groundwater mapping techniques associated to groundwater case studies performed in arid areas.
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