Ocean circulation and sea-ice thinning induced by melting ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea

Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Mathiot, Pierre; Merino, Nacho; Durand, Gaël; Le Sommer, Julien; Spence, Paul; Dutrieux, Pierre; Madec, Gurvan. 2017 Ocean circulation and sea-ice thinning induced by melting ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122 (3). 2550-2573.

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© Publisher 2017 This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Jourdain, N.C., P. Mathiot, N. Merino, G. Durand, J. Le Sommer, Paul Spenced, P. Durieux, G. Madec, 2016 : Ocean circulation and sea-ice thinning induced by melting ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea. J. Geophys. Res, which will be published in final form at doi:10.1002/2016JC012509. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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A 1/12° ocean model configuration of the Amundsen Sea sector is developed to better understand the circulation induced by ice-shelf melt and the impacts on the surrounding ocean and sea ice. Eighteen sensitivity experiments to drag and heat exchange coefficients at the ice shelf/ocean interface are performed. The total melt rate simulated in each cavity is function of the thermal Stanton number, and for a given thermal Stanton number, melt is slightly higher for lower values of the drag coefficient. Sub-ice-shelf melt induces a thermohaline circulation that pumps warm circumpolar deep water into the cavity. The related volume flux into a cavity is 100–500 times stronger than the melt volume flux itself. Ice-shelf melt also induces a coastal barotropic current that contributes 45 ± 12% of the total simulated coastal transport. Due to the presence of warm circumpolar deep waters, the melt-induced inflow typically brings 4–20 times more heat into the cavities than the latent heat required for melt. For currently observed melt rates, approximately 6–31% of the heat that enters a cavity with melting potential is actually used to melt ice shelves. For increasing sub-ice-shelf melt rates, the transport in the cavity becomes stronger, and more heat is pumped from the deep layers to the upper part of the cavity then advected toward the ocean surface in front of the ice shelf. Therefore, more ice-shelf melt induces less sea-ice volume near the ice sheet margins.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 21699275
Additional Keywords: Amundsen Sea; ice shelf; efficiency; Circumpolar Deep Water; ocean circulation; sea ice
Date made live: 21 Feb 2017 14:07 +0 (UTC)

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