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Basal friction of Fleming Glacier, Antarctica – Part 2: evolution from 2008 to 2015

Citation

Zhao, C and Gladstone, RM and Warner, RC and King, MA and Zwinger, T and Morlighem, M, Basal friction of Fleming Glacier, Antarctica - Part 2: evolution from 2008 to 2015, Cryosphere, 12 pp. 2653-2666. ISSN 1994-0416 (2018) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2018 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.5194/tc-12-2653-2018

Abstract

The Wordie Ice Shelf–Fleming Glacier system in the southern Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a longterm retreat and disintegration of its ice shelf in the past 50 years. Increases in the glacier velocity and dynamic thinning have been observed over the past two decades, especially after 2008 when only a small ice shelf remained at the Fleming Glacier front. It is important to know whether the substantial further speed-up and greater surface drawdown of the glacier since 2008 is a direct response to ocean forcing, or driven by feedbacks within the grounded marinebased glacier system, or both. Recent observational studies have suggested the 2008–2015 velocity change was due to the ungrounding of the Fleming Glacier front. To explore the mechanisms underlying the recent changes, we use a full- Stokes ice sheet model to simulate the basal shear stress distribution of the Fleming system in 2008 and 2015. This study is part of the first high resolution modelling campaign of this system. Comparison of inversions for basal shear stresses for 2008 and 2015 suggests the migration of the grounding line ~ 9 km upstream by 2015 from the 2008 ice front/grounding line positions, which virtually coincided with the 1996 grounding line position. This migration is consistent with the change in floating area deduced from the calculated height above buoyancy in 2015. The retrograde submarine bed underneath the lowest part of the Fleming Glacier may have promoted retreat of the grounding line. Grounding line retreat may also be enhanced by a feedback mechanism upstream of the grounding line by which increased basal lubrication due to increasing frictional heating enhances sliding and thinning. Improved knowledge of bed topography near the grounding line and further transient simulations with oceanic forcing are required to accurately predict the future movement of the Fleming Glacier system grounding line and better understand its ice dynamics and future contribution to sea level.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ice sheet modelling, Fleming Glacier
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
Research Field:Glaciology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
Author:Zhao, C (Ms Chen Zhao)
Author:Warner, RC (Dr Roland Warner)
Author:King, MA (Professor Matt King)
ID Code:127893
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2018-08-20
Last Modified:2018-09-10
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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