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Impact of the Mertz Glacier Tongue calving on dense water formation and export


Kusahara, K and Hasumi, H and Williams, GD, Impact of the Mertz Glacier Tongue calving on dense water formation and export, Nature Communications, 2 Article 159. ISSN 2041-1723 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited

DOI: doi:10.1038/ncomms1156


Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) is a critical component of the global climate system, occupying the abyssal layer of the World Ocean and driving the lower limb of the global meridional overturning circulation. Around East Antarctica, the dense shelf water (DSW) precursor to AABW is predominantly formed by enhanced sea ice formation in coastal polynyas. The dominant source region of AABW supply to the Australian–Antarctic Basin is the Adélie and George V Land coast, in particular, polynyas formed in the western lee of the Mertz Glacier Tongue (MGT) and the grounded iceberg B9b over the Adélie and the Mertz Depressions, respectively. The calving of the MGT, which occurred on 12–13 February 2010, dramatically changed the environment for producing DSW. Here, we assess its impact using a state-of-the-art ice-ocean model. The model shows that oceanic circulation and sea ice production in the region changes immediately after the calving event, and that the DSW export is reduced by up to 23%.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Earth Sciences, Climate science, Oceanography, Antarctic Bottom Water, Mertz Glacier Tongue
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
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:Kusahara, K (Dr Kazuya Kusahara)
UTAS Author:Williams, GD (Associate Professor Guy Williams)
ID Code:96876
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:42
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2014-11-25
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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