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Recent iceberg calving events in the Ninnis Glacier region, East Antarctica


Massom, RA, Recent iceberg calving events in the Ninnis Glacier region, East Antarctica, Antarctic Science, 15, (2) pp. 303-313. ISSN 0954-1020 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0954102003001299


This paper describes a major calving of the Ninnis Glacier tongue in January 2000. This event, which took 10 years to complete, produced a major change in the George V Land coastline and a large iceberg (∼800 km2). By grounding or becoming "locked in" by fast ice, bergs produced locally and drifting in from afar reside for long periods (10-20 years) in the region ∼146 to 154°E to have a profound impact on sea ice distribution, both locally and 100s of kilometres up- and downstream. They are responsible for the formation of a lens of thick perennial ice to the east (∼14 000 km2 in area), and polynyas. Iceberg movement is sporadic, with intermittent ungroundings of large bergs occurring every 5-13 years. "Escaping" bergs have a temporary impact on the Mertz Glacier polynya to the west. Although public attention focuses on vast bergs, assemblages of small bergs appear to be equally important in terms of their impact on regional fast and pack ice distribution. Possible global change scenarios are discussed. The need for field observations and improved bathymetric and oceanographic data is emphasized.

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:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Massom, RA (Dr Robert Massom)
ID Code:35696
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:35
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2005-08-26
Last Modified:2018-11-15

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