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Rapid subglacial erosion beneath Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica

Smith, A. M.; Bentley, C. R.; Bingham, R.G.; Jordan, T.A.. 2012 Rapid subglacial erosion beneath Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L12501. 5, pp. 10.1029/2012GL051651

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Abstract/Summary

We present measurements of ice thickness, gravimetry and surface elevation on Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, separated by a period of 49 years. At one station, on the main trunk of the glacier we measured a surface elevation lowering with no significant change in ice thickness. We interpret these as indicating subglacial erosion of 31.8 � 13.4 m at this location, at a mean rate over the measurement period of 0.6 � 0.3 m a�1, and suggest that a current erosion rate of �1 m a�1 is possible. Our results emphasize that locally, basal processes can have a significant effect on ice sheet changes, particularly where fast-flowing ice has an easily erodible bed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2012GL051651
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Environmental Change and Evolution
BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Ice Sheets
ISSN: 0094-8276
NORA Subject Terms: Glaciology
Date made live: 18 Jul 2012 11:20
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/18799

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