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Investigations of the mass balance of the southeastern Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica

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Citation:
Lambrecht, A. , Mayer, C. , Oerter, H. and Nixdorf, U. (1999): Investigations of the mass balance of the southeastern Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica , Annals of Glaciology Volume 29, pp. 250-254 .
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Abstract:

Data from the Filchner V campaign were used to investigate the mass-balance conditions in the southeastern Ronne Ice Shelf (RIS), Antarctica. Radio-echo sounding and seismic measurements over this area show a maximum ice thickness of >2000 m close to the grounding line of Foundation Ice Stream. The measurements also revealed that the position of this grounding line is 40 km further south than previously thought. New mass-flux calculations result in an estimate or 51 km^3 a^-1 for the ice-stream transport from the ice sheet into the eastern ice shelf. The Möllereisstrom (MES), west of Foundation Ice Stream, shows a maximum ice thickness of 1100-1200 m in the grounding line area and a mass flux of 23 km^3 a^-1.Assuming steady-state conditions, mass-balance calculations based on the new data result in a mean melt rate of about 1 m a^-1 at the ice-shelf base for the entire southeastern part of the RIS. The melt rate in the grounding-line area of Foundation Ice Stream exceeds 9 m a^-1. In contrast, other ice streams draining into the Filchner-Ronne Ice shelf show maximum melt rates from 1-2 m a^-1 (MES) to 4 m a^-1 (Rutford Ice Stream). Our calculations indicate that nearly all of the ice deposited in the drainage area of the eastern RIS on the ice sheet does not reach the ice-shelf front as original meteoric ice, but is melted at the ice-shelf base.

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