The main objective of the proposed project Modelling snow-ice cover evolution and associated gravitational effects with GOCE constraints (ICEAGE) is to set-up the processing environment and to produce a suite of combined cryogravic models serving as a framework for determining, interpreting and mapping the present state and fluctuations of snow and ice resources in the Eurasian Arctic Sector, based on terrestrial, space-borne interferometric, altimetric, and gravity field data. Special emphasis shall be given to estimating the impact and scientific contribution of ESAs satellite gravity gradiometry mission GOCE to regional inland cryospheric studies.
As study areas several large European ice caps situated around the Barents Sea, namely the Main Ice Sheet (22.000 km) in north Novaya Zemlya, Austfonna & Westfonna Ice Domes (8,200 km & 2.600 km) in north-eastern Svalbard, and Tyndall & Moscow Ice Caps (1.900 km & 900 km) in the central part of Franz Josef Land are envisaged.
In the light of climate research the investigation of the cryosphere especially in the European Arctic region will contribute to a better understanding and forecasting of recent and potential changes of the largest European glaciers, where the improved knowledge of the geoid provides a solid datum for glacier remote sensing and mapping in the study regions. From a scientific point of view, novel methodological approaches for the joint processing of space-borne interferometric, altimetric and gravimetric data, new series of glacial models and their expected applications are considered to be innovative.