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Channelized ice melting in the ocean boundary layer beneath Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

Stanton, T.P; Shaw, W.J.; Truffer, M.; Corr, H.F.J.; Peters, L.E.; Wilson, K.L.; Bindschadler, R.; Holland, D.M.; Anandakrishnan, S.. 2013 Channelized ice melting in the ocean boundary layer beneath Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica. Science, 341 (6151). 1236-1239. 10.1126/science.1239373

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Abstract/Summary

Ice shelves play a key role in the mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheets by buttressing their seaward-flowing outlet glaciers; however, they are exposed to the underlying ocean and may weaken if ocean thermal forcing increases. An expedition to the ice shelf of the remote Pine Island Glacier, a major outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet that has rapidly thinned and accelerated in recent decades, has been completed. Observations from geophysical surveys and long-term oceanographic instruments deployed down bore holes into the ocean cavity reveal a buoyancy-driven boundary layer within a basal channel that melts the channel apex by 0.06 meter per day, with near-zero melt rates along the flanks of the channel. A complex pattern of such channels is visible throughout the Pine Island Glacier shelf.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1126/science.1239373
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Ice Sheets
ISSN: 0036-8075
Additional Keywords: erosion, melting, glaciers, pine island glacier, ocean boundary
Date made live: 26 Sep 2013 10:48 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/502583

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