Pattern of cryospheric seismic events observed at Ekström ice shelf, Antarctica


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Vera.Schlindwein [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Mobility of glaciers such as rapid retreat or disintegration of large ice volumes produces a large variety of different seismic signals. Thus, evaluating cryospheric seismic events (e.g. changes of their occurrence in space and time)allows to monitor glacier dynamics. We analyze a one year data span recorded at the Neumayer seismic network in Antarctica. Events are automatically recognized using hidden Markov models. In this study we focused on a specifc event type occurring close to the grounding line of the Ekström ice shelf. Observed waveform characteristics are consistent with an initial fracturing followed by the resonance of a water filled cavity resulting in a so-called hybrid event. The number of events detected strongly correlates with dominant tide periods. We assume the cracking to be driven by existing glacier stresses through bending. Voids are then filled by sea water, exciting the observed resonance. In agreement with this model, events occur almost exclusively during rising tides where cavities are opened at the bottom of the glacier, i.e. at the sea/ice interface.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
37822
DOI 10.1002/2015GL064029

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Hammer, C. , Ohrnberger, M. and Schlindwein, V. (2015): Pattern of cryospheric seismic events observed at Ekström ice shelf, Antarctica , Geophysical Research Letters, 42 . doi: 10.1002/2015GL064029


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