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Measurements beneath an Antarctic ice shelf using an autonomous underwater vehicle

Nicholls, K.W.; Abrahamsen, E.P.; Buck, J.J.H.; Dodd, P.A.; Goldblatt, C.; Griffiths, G.; Heywood, K.J.; Hughes, N.E.; Kaletzky, A.; Lane-Serff, G.F.; McPhail, S.D.; Millard, N.W.; Oliver, K.I.C.; Perrett, J.; Price, M.R.; Pudsey, C.J.; Saw, K.; Stansfield, K.; Stott, M.J.; Wadhams, P.; Webb, A.T.; Wilkinson, J.P.. 2006 Measurements beneath an Antarctic ice shelf using an autonomous underwater vehicle. Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (8). L08612-[4pp]. 10.1029/2006GL025998

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Abstract/Summary

The cavities beneath Antarctic ice shelves are among the least studied regions of the World Ocean, yet they are sites of globally important water mass transformations. Here we report results from a mission beneath Fimbul Ice Shelf of an autonomous underwater vehicle. The data reveal a spatially complex oceanographic environment, an ice base with widely varying roughness, and a cavity periodically exposed to water with a temperature significantly above the surface freezing point. The results of this, the briefest of glimpses of conditions in this extraordinary environment, are already reforming our view of the topographic and oceanographic conditions beneath ice shelves, holding out great promises for future missions from similar platforms.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2006GL025998
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Global Science in the Antarctic Context (2005-2009) > Antarctic Climate and the Earth System
NOC Programmes > Ocean Technology and Engineering
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Keywords: Oceanography ; Water masses ; Under-ice ; Ice shelves ; Autosub
Date made live: 12 May 2006 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/132854

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