Antarctic Bed Topography Super-Resolution via Transfer Learning (Papers Track)
Kim Bente (The University of Sydney); Roman Marchant (University of Technology Sydney); Fabio Ramos (NVIDIA, The University of Sydney)
High-fidelity topography models of the bedrock underneath the thick Antarctic ice sheet can improve scientists' understanding of ice flow and its contributions to sea level rise. However, the bed topography of Antarctica is one of the most challenging surfaces on earth to map, requiring aircrafts with ice penetrating radars to survey the vast and remote continent. We propose FROST, Fusion Regression for Optimal Subglacial Topography, a method that leverages readily available surface topography data from satellites as an auxiliary input modality for bed topography super-resolution. FROST uses a non-parametric Gaussian Process model to transfer local, non-stationary covariance patterns from the ice surface to the bedrock. In a controlled topography reconstruction experiment over complex East Antarctic terrain, our proposed method outperforms bicubic interpolation at all five tested magnification factors, reducing RMSE by 67% at x2, and 25% at x6 magnification. This work demonstrates the opportunity for data fusion methods to advance downstream climate modelling and steward climate change adaptation.