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Glacier tongue calving reduced dense water formation and enhanced carbon uptake


Shadwick, EH and Rintoul, SR and Tilbrook, BD and Williams, GD and Young, NW and Fraser, AD and Marchant, H and Smith, J and Tamura, T, Glacier tongue calving reduced dense water formation and enhanced carbon uptake, Geophysical Research Letters, 40, (5) pp. 904-909. ISSN 0094-8276 (2013) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2013 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1002/grl.50178


[1] Dense shelf water formed in the Mertz Polynya supplies the lower limb of the global overturning circulation, ventilating the abyssal Indian and Pacific Oceans. Calving of the Mertz Glacier Tongue (MGT) in February 2010 altered the regional distribution of ice and reduced the size and activity of the polynya. The salinity and density of dense shelf water declined abruptly after calving, consistent with a reduction of sea ice formation in the polynya. Breakout and melt of thick multiyear sea ice released by the movement of iceberg B9B and the MGT freshened near-surface waters. The input of meltwater likely enhanced the availability of light and iron, supporting a diatom bloom that doubled carbon uptake relative to precalving conditions. The enhanced biological carbon drawdown increased the carbonate saturation state, outweighing dilution by meltwater input. These observations highlight the sensitivity of dense water formation, biological productivity, and carbon export to changes in the Antarctic icescape.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:glacier calving, dense water formation, carbon uptake
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Measurement and assessment of estuarine water quality
UTAS Author:Shadwick, EH (Dr Elizabeth Shadwick)
UTAS Author:Rintoul, SR (Dr Steve Rintoul)
UTAS Author:Tilbrook, BD (Dr Bronte Tilbrook)
UTAS Author:Williams, GD (Associate Professor Guy Williams)
UTAS Author:Young, NW (Mr Neal Young)
UTAS Author:Fraser, AD (Dr Alex Fraser)
UTAS Author:Tamura, T (Dr Takeshi Tamura)
ID Code:83966
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:45
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2013-04-04
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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