The Ekström grounding line experiments - first results

phuybrechts [ at ]


During the 1993/94 season a detailed study of ice dynamics and mass balance was carried out in the southern grounding line zone of theEkstroem Ice Shelf. The experiments aimed at collecting enough data on topography, ice thickness, ice velocity and surface deformationalong a flowline across the assumed grounding line to be able to determine the stress- and strain rate conditions in a vertical plane acrossthe transition zone. These data will form the basis for a modeling study focusing on this crucial area of the ice sheet - ice shelf system. Itis anticipated that such a study will provide valuable insight into the dynamics of the transition zone between grounded and floating ice. Inparticular, it should make it possible to critically judge the assumptions made so far in the stress balance by previous workers.The area of investigation was situated some 120 km south of the German Neumayer Base within the main feeding zone of the ice shelf. Inthis area the movement of the inland ice is dominated by sheet flow rather than by ice streams. A stake network of approximately 20 kmlength was set up, consisting of three parallel lines with a bearing of 11 degrees and a spacing of 500 m between the individual stakes.In addition the heights of the stakes were measured for further accumulation studies.

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Mayer, C. and Huybrechts, P. (1994): The Ekström grounding line experiments - first results , FRISP Report, 8 , pp. 39-44 .

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