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A deep subglacial embayment adjacent to the grounding line of Institute Ice Stream, West Antarctica

Jeofry, Hafeez; Ross, Neil; Corr, Hugh F.J.; Li, Jilu; Gogineni, Prasad; Siegert, Martin J.. 2017 A deep subglacial embayment adjacent to the grounding line of Institute Ice Stream, West Antarctica. In: Siegert, M.J.; Jamieson, S.S.R.; White, D.A., (eds.) Exploration of subsurface Antarctica: uncovering past changes and modern processes. London, Geological Society of London. (Geological Society of London, Special Publication, 461).

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Abstract/Summary

The Institute Ice Stream (IIS) in West Antarctica may be increasingly vulnerable to melting at the grounding line through modifications in ocean circulation. Understanding such change requires knowledge of grounding-line boundary conditions, including the topography on which it rests. Here, we discuss evidence from new radio-echo sounding (RES) data on the subglacial topography adjacent to the grounding line of the IIS. In doing so, we reveal a previously unknown subglacial embayment immediately inland of the IIS grounding zone which is not represented in the Bedmap2 compilation. We discuss whether there is an open-water connection between the embayment and the ice-shelf cavity. The exact location of the grounding line over the embayment has been the subject of considerable uncertainty, with several positions being proposed recently. From our compilation of data, we are able to explain which of these grounding lines is most likely and, in doing so, highlight the need for accurate bed topography in conjunction with satellite observations to fully comprehend ice-sheet processes in this region and other vulnerable locations at the grounded margin of Antarctica.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1144/SP461.11
Programmes: BAS Programmes > BAS Programmes 2015 > Ice Dynamics and Palaeoclimate
ISSN: 0305-8719
Date made live: 27 Jun 2017 08:23 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/517226

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