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Rapid formation of an ice doline on Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica


Warner, RC and Fricker, HA and Adusumilli, S and Arndt, P and Kingslake, J and Spergel, JJ, Rapid formation of an ice doline on Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, Geophysical Research Letters, 48, (14) Article e2020GL091095. ISSN 0094-8276 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1029/2020GL091095


Surface meltwater accumulating on Antarctic ice shelves can drive fractures through to the ocean and potentially cause their collapse, leading to increased ice discharge from the continent. Implications of increasing surface melt for future ice shelf stability are inadequately understood. The southern Amery Ice Shelf has an extensive surface hydrological system, and we present data from satellite imagery and ICESat-2 showing a rapid surface disruption there in winter 2019, covering ∼60 km2. We interpret this as an ice-covered lake draining through the ice shelf, forming an ice doline with a central depression reaching 80 m depth amidst over 36 m uplift. Flexural rebound modeling suggests 0.75 km3 of water was lost. We observed transient refilling of the doline the following summer with rapid incision of a narrow meltwater channel (20 m wide and 6 m deep). This study demonstrates how high-resolution geodetic measurements can explore critical fine-scale ice shelf processes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ice doline, Amery 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:Warner, RC (Dr Roland Warner)
ID Code:151694
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Australian Antarctic Program Partnership
Deposited On:2022-08-03
Last Modified:2022-08-03

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