Changes in water properties and flow regime on the continental shelf off the Adelie/George V Land coast, East Antarctica, after glacier tongue calving
Aoki, S and Kobayashi, R and Rintoul, SR and Tamura, T and Kusahara, K, Changes in water properties and flow regime on the continental shelf off the Adelie/George V Land coast, East Antarctica, after glacier tongue calving, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122, (8) pp. 6277-6294. ISSN 2169-9275 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Oceanic changes before and after the relocation of iceberg B9B and calving of the Mertz Glacier Tongue (MGT) in February 2010 are examined on the continental shelf off the Adélie Land/George V Land coast, East Antarctica. Summer hydrographic observations, including stable oxygen isotope ratio (δ18O), in 2001/2008 and 2011/2015 and results of a numerical model are used. Along the western flank of the MGT, temperature decreased between 2001 and 2015 for most of the water column in the Adélie Depression. δ18O generally decreased, especially at the MGT draft depths on the northern side. West of the MGT, temperature, salinity, and δ18O decreased in the intermediate layer. East of the MGT, in contrast, temperature increased between 2001 and 2011 at intermediate depths, salinity increased in the intermediate and deep layers, and δ18O slightly decreased in the deep layer but did not change much around 300 dbar. The numerical experiment exhibits a change in ocean circulation, revealing an increase in modified Circumpolar Deep Water (mCDW) inflow in the east and a decrease in the west. The contrasting changes in mCDW intrusion are consistent between the observations and numerical model, and are indicative of the effect of removal of the ice barriers. The contrast is overlain by overall decreases in salinity and δ18O, which suggests an increase in the continental meltwater fraction of 5–20% and might reveal a wide-ranging influence from West Antarctica. The oxygen isotope ratio is, hence, effective in monitoring the increase in continental melt over the Antarctic shelf.