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Regional changes in icescape impact shelf circulation and basal melting

Citation

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 pp. 30. ISSN 0094-8276 (In Press) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1002/2017GL074943

Abstract

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:Environment
Objective Group:Other Environment
Objective Field:Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Oceanography
Author:Cougnon, EA (Dr Eva Cougnon)
Author:Galton-Fenzi, BK (Dr Ben Galton-Fenzi)
Author:Rintoul, SR (Dr Steve Rintoul)
Author:Legresy, B (Dr Benoit Legresy)
Author:Williams, GD (Dr Guy Williams)
Author:Fraser, AD (Dr Alex Fraser)
Author:Hunter, JR (Dr John Hunter)
ID Code:122422
Year Published:In Press
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2017-11-14
Last Modified:2017-11-14
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