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Ocean forced variability of Totten Glacier mass loss


Roberts, J and Galton-Fenzi, BK and Paolo, FS and Donnelly, C and Gwyther, DE and Padman, L and Young, D and Warner, R and Greenbaum, J and Fricker, HA and Payne, AJ and Cornford, S and Le Brocq, A and van Ommen, T and Blankenship, D and Siegert, MJ, Ocean forced variability of Totten Glacier mass loss, Geological Society Special Publication, 461 pp. 175-186. ISSN 0305-8719 (2017) [Refereed Article]



Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.1144/SP461.6


A large volume of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet drains through the Totten Glacier (TG) and is thought to be a potential source of substantial global sea-level rise over the coming centuries. We show that the surface velocity and height of the floating part of the TG, which buttresses the grounded component, have varied substantially over two decades (1989–2011), with variations in surface height strongly anti-correlated with simulated basal melt rates (r = 0.70, p < 0.05). Coupled glacier–ice shelf simulations confirm that ice flow and thickness respond to both basal melting of the ice shelf and grounding on bed obstacles. We conclude the observed variability of the TG is primarily ocean-driven. Ocean warming in this region will lead to enhanced ice-sheet dynamism and loss of upstream grounded ice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctica, melting, Totten Glacier, pinning, glaciology, ice shelf
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Glaciology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Roberts, J (Dr Jason Roberts)
UTAS Author:Galton-Fenzi, BK (Dr Ben Galton-Fenzi)
UTAS Author:Gwyther, DE (Dr David Gwyther)
UTAS Author:Warner, R (Dr Roland Warner)
UTAS Author:van Ommen, T (Dr Tas van Ommen)
ID Code:120525
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2017-08-28
Last Modified:2018-05-24
Downloads:171 View Download Statistics

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