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Ocean heat drives rapid basal melt of the Totten Ice Shelf

Citation

Rintoul, SR and Silvano, A and Pena-Molino, B and van Wijk, E and Rosenberg, M and Greenbaum, JS and Blankenship, DD, Ocean heat drives rapid basal melt of the Totten Ice Shelf, Science Advances, 2, (12) Article 1601610. ISSN 2375-2548 (2016) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2016 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.1126/sciadv.1601610

Abstract

Mass loss from the West Antarctic ice shelves and glaciers has been linked to basal melt by ocean heat flux. The Totten Ice Shelf in East Antarctica, which buttresses a marine-based ice sheet with a volume equivalent to at least 3.5 m of global sea-level rise, also experiences rapid basal melt, but the role of ocean forcing was not known because of a lack of observations near the ice shelf. Observations from the Totten calving front confirm that (0.22 0.07) 106 m3 s−1 of warm water enters the cavity through a newly discovered deep channel. The ocean heat transport into the cavity is sufficient to support the large basal melt rates inferred from glaciological observations. Change in ocean heat flux is a plausible physical mechanism to explain past and projected changes in this sector of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and its contribution to sea level.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Totten Glacier, ocean-ice shelf interaction, polynya, basal melt, East Antarctic Ice Sheet
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical Oceanography
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Other Environment
Objective Field:Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Oceanography
Author:Rintoul, SR (Dr Steve Rintoul)
Author:Silvano, A (Mr Alessandro Silvano)
Author:Pena-Molino, B (Dr Beatriz Pena-Molino)
Author:Rosenberg, M (Mr Mark Rosenberg)
ID Code:113780
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2017-01-20
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:10 View Download Statistics

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