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Antarctic iceberg distribution and dissolution from ship-based observations


Jacka, TH and Giles, AB, Antarctic iceberg distribution and dissolution from ship-based observations, Journal of Glaciology, 53, (182) pp. 341-356. ISSN 0022-1430 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.3189/002214307783258521


The Australian Antarctic Program's iceberg dataset (from ship-based observations), including information from the austral summer seasons 1984/85 to 1999/2000, is examined and used to extend earlier studies. Using 'snapshots' of the iceberg population to provide an idea of the iceberg life cycle, the distribution of icebergs between 60 and 150° E is discussed in terms of calving regions and ocean currents. Temporal changes are also examined. The discussion leads us to the point where we can define an area, bounded to the north by the maximum sea-ice limit and to the south by the Antarctic Divergence, in which icebergs are confined as they drift eastward. This allows estimation of total dissolution, in terms of iceberg numbers and volume, within 10° longitudinal sectors and, with knowledge of drift speeds, iceberg movement rates and freshwater input across the sector. Iceberg dissolution rates are found to be ∼0.03-0.05 m d-1 and the total mass contribution of fresh water to the ocean as the icebergs traverse our 30° of longitude study sector is ∼32 Gt. This amounts to a contribution equivalent to precipitation of ∼15.5cma-1, accounting for ∼2% of the total iceberg discharge from the Antarctic ice sheet.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Glaciology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)
UTAS Author:Jacka, TH (Dr Jo Jacka)
UTAS Author:Giles, AB (Dr Barry Giles)
ID Code:50245
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:35
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2015-07-13

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