NOAA AVHRR data reveal clear images of meso-scale spatial scale on the order of tens of kilometers undulating topography, surface properties and katabatic wind field on the Antarctic ice sheet. Katabatic wind is visualized as fluctuations of brightness temperature which align parallel to the wind direction. The temperature fluctuation is probably caused by the fluctuation of wind velocity. Two typical patterns of undulations on the ice sheet were detected. One of them appears on the slope region where katabatic wind prevails. The band-shaped undulations develop normal to the prevailing wind with a spacing of a few tens of kilometers and an amplitude of a few tens of meters. A few percent of albedo change associated with the variation of accumulation co-exists with the undulation. The eolian process can be considered a dominant force in making this pattern. Another undulating pattern can be seen further inland on the plateau. This undulation has a different orientation with an approximate spacing of 50 km and an amplitude of a few tens of meters.
This article is from 'Proceedings of the International Conference on the Role of the Polar Regions in Global Change Held in Fairbanks, Alaska on 11-15 June 1990. Volume 1', AD-A253 027, p238-242. See also Volume 2, AD-A253 028.