Oct 10, 2017

Channelized Melting Drives Thinning Under a Rapidly Melting Antarctic Ice Shelf

by
Gourmelen, Noel, Goldberg, Dan N., Snow, Kate, Henley, Sian F., Bingham, Robert G., Kimura, Satoshi, Hogg, Anna E., Shepherd, Andrew, Mouginot, Jeremie, Lenaerts, Jan T. M., Ligtenberg, Stefan R. M., Berg, Willem Jan
,
Geophysical Research Letters
  • States that ice shelves act as safety bands around the Antarctic ice sheet
  • Many ice shelves are currently thinning, leading to acceleration of the grounded ice behind
  • Shows that ice shelves' thinning is stronger along a channel structure formed by the ocean circulation under the ice shelf
  • Finds that the thinning is 3 times higher than the ice shelf's average, hence leading to a more rapid weakening of the ice shelf
  • Provides evidence of basal melt-driven sub-ice shelf channel formation and its potential for accelerating the weakening of ice shelves