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Regional changes in icescape impact shelf circulation and basal melting


Cougnon, EA and Galton-Fenzi, BK and Rintoul, SR and Legresy, B and Williams, GD and Fraser, AD and Hunter, JR, Regional changes in icescape impact shelf circulation and basal melting, Geophysical Research Letters, 44, (22) pp. 11,519-11,527. ISSN 0094-8276 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1002/2017GL074943


Ice shelf basal melt is the dominant contribution to mass loss from Antarctic ice shelves. However, the sensitivity of basal melt to changes in icescape (grounded icebergs, ice shelves and sea ice) and related ocean circulation is poorly understood. Here, we simulate the impact of the major 2010 calving event of the Mertz Glacier Tongue (MGT), East Antarctica, and related redistribution of sea ice and icebergs on the basal melt rate of the local ice shelves. We find that the position of the grounded tabular iceberg B9B controls the water masses that reach the nearby ice shelf cavities. After the calving of the MGT and the removal of B9B, warmer water is present both within the MGT cavity and on the continental shelf driving a 57% increase of the deep MGT basal melting. Major changes in icescape influence the oceanic heat flux responsible for basal ice shelf melting.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ocean-ice shelf interactions, Mertz Glacier, Antarctica, regional icescape changes, iceberg, calving
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Antarctic and Southern Ocean oceanic processes
UTAS Author:Cougnon, EA (Dr Eva Cougnon)
UTAS Author:Galton-Fenzi, BK (Dr Ben Galton-Fenzi)
UTAS Author:Rintoul, SR (Dr Steve Rintoul)
UTAS Author:Legresy, B (Dr Benoit Legresy)
UTAS Author:Williams, GD (Mr Guy Williams)
UTAS Author:Fraser, AD (Dr Alex Fraser)
UTAS Author:Hunter, JR (Dr John Hunter)
ID Code:122422
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2017-11-14
Last Modified:2018-04-20
Downloads:131 View Download Statistics

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