Modeling the spreading of glacial meltwater from the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas


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Yoshihiro.Nakayama [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

It has been suggested that an increased melting of continental ice in the Amundsen Sea (AS) and Bellingshausen Sea (BS) is a likely source of the observed freshening of Ross Sea (RS) water. To test this hypothesis, we simulate the spreading of glacial meltwater using the Finite Element Sea Ice/Ice Shelf/Ocean Model. Based on the spatial distribution of simulated passive tracers, most of the basal meltwater from AS ice shelves flows toward the RS with more than half of the melt originating from the Getz Ice Shelf. Further, the model results show that a slight increase of the basal mass loss can substantially intensify the transport of meltwater into the RS due to a strengthening of the melt-driven shelf circulation and the westward flowing coastal current. This supports the idea that the basal melting of AS and BS ice shelves is one of the main sources for the RS freshening.



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Scopus/ISI peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
36977
DOI 10.1002/2014GL061600

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Nakayama, Y. , Timmermann, R. , Rodehacke, C. B. , Schröder, M. and Hellmer, H. H. (2014): Modeling the spreading of glacial meltwater from the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas , Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (22), pp. 7942-7949 . doi: 10.1002/2014GL061600


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