Ocean circulation beneath Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica from in situ observations

Nicholls, Keith W. ORCID:; Makinson, Keith ORCID:; Venables, Emily J.. 2012 Ocean circulation beneath Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica from in situ observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L19608. 6, pp.

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Hot-water drilled access holes were used to obtain oceanographic data from beneath two sites on Larsen C Ice Shelf, one in the north and one in the south. At both sites the entire water column was colder than the surface freezing point, and the temperature-salinity characteristics are consistent with a High Salinity Shelf Water source of maximum salinity 34.65 psu. At the southern site the 0.08°C thermal driving at the ice base and the 0.2-m s−1 rms water speed resulted in a melt rate of 1.3 ± 0.2 m a−1, as measured over an eight-day period. When combined with the available ship-based data, the evidence suggests that the sub-ice cavity is flushed only by water at the surface freezing point. This implies that the reported decrease in surface elevation of Larsen C Ice Shelf is unlikely to be a result of thinning due to an increasing rate of basal melting.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Polar Oceans
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright American Geophysical Union.
Additional Keywords: Antarctica, ice shelves, oceanography
Date made live: 31 Aug 2012 09:23 +0 (UTC)

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