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Modeling ocean processes below Fimbulisen, Antarctica

Smedsrud, Lars H.; Jenkins, Adrian; Holland, David M.; Nost, Ole A.. 2006 Modeling ocean processes below Fimbulisen, Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research, 111 (C1), C01007. 13, pp. 10.1029/2005JC002915

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Abstract/Summary

Model simulations of circulation and melting beneath Fimbulisen, Antarctica, obtained using an isopycnic coordinate ocean model, are presented. Model results compare well with available observations of currents and hydrography in the open ocean to the north of Fimbulisen and suggest that Warm Deep Water exists above the level of a sub-ice-shelf bedrock sill, the principal pathway for warm waters to enter the sub-ice-shelf cavity. The model shows a southward inflow of Warm Deep Water over this sill and into the cavity, producing a mean cavity temperature close to −1.0°C. This leads to high levels of basal melting (>10 m/a) at the grounding line of Jutulstraumen and an average melting over the ice shelf base close to 1.9 m/a. The southward inflow is a compensating flow caused by the northward outflow of fresh, cold water produced by the basal melting. Results on inflow and melting are difficult to validate since no in situ measurements yet exist in the cavity. If such high melt rates are realistic, the mass balance of Fimbulisen must be significantly negative, and the ice shelves along Dronning Maud Land must contribute about 4.4 mSv of melt water to the Weddell Sea, about 15% of the total Antarctic meltwater input to the Southern Ocean.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2005JC002915
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Antarctic Science in the Global Context (2000-2005) > Global Interactions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet
ISSN: 0148-0227
Format Availability: Electronic, Print
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Full text not available from this repository
Additional Keywords: Ice shelves ; Melting ; Ocean circulation ; Under-ice ; Dronning Maud Land
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Glaciology
Date made live: 30 Jul 2007 10:50
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/123

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