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Sustained retreat of the Pine Island Glacier

Park, J. W.; Gourmelen, N.; Shepherd, A.; Kim, S. W.; Vaughan, D. G.; Wingham, D. J.. 2013 Sustained retreat of the Pine Island Glacier. Geophysical Research Letters, 40. 2137-2142. 10.1002/grl.50379

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Abstract/Summary

We use satellite observations to show that, between 1992 and 2011, the Pine Island Glacier hinge line retreated at a rate of 0.95 ± 0.09 km yr−1 despite a progressive steepening and shoaling of the glacier surface and bedrock slopes, respectively, which ought to impede retreat. The retreat has remained constant because the glacier terminus has thinned at an accelerating rate of 0.53 ± 0.15 m yr−2, with comparable changes upstream. This acceleration is consistent with an intensification of ocean-driven melting in the cavity beneath the floating section of the glacier. The pattern of hinge-line retreat meanders and is concentrated in isolated regions until ice becomes locally buoyant. Because the glacier-ocean system does not appear to have reached a position of relative stability, the lower limit of sea level projections may be too conservative.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/grl.50379
Programmes: BAS Programmes > EU:Ice2Sea
BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Ice Sheets
ISSN: 00948276
Additional Keywords: Antarctica, InSAR, Pine Island Glacier
NORA Subject Terms: Glaciology
Date made live: 28 Jun 2013 14:02 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/502339

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