Massive Ice Layer Formed by Refreezing of Ice-shelf Surface Melt Ponds: Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica


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Daniela.Jansen [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Surface melt ponds now form frequently on ice shelves across the northern sector of the Antarctic Peninsula in response to regional warming and local föhn winds. A potentially important, but hitherto unknown, consequence of this surface melting and ponding is the formation of high-density near-surface ice from the refreezing of that water. We report the discovery and physical character of a massive subsurface ice layer located in an area of intense melting and intermittent ponding on Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica. We combine borehole optical televiewer logging and ground-based radar measurements with remote sensing and firn modelling to investigate the formation and spatial extent of this layer, found to be tens of kilometres across and tens of metres deep. The presence of this ice layer has the effect of raising local ice shelf density by about 190 kgm-3 and temperature by 5 - 10 degrees C above values found in areas unaffected by ponding and hitherto used in models of ice-shelf fracture and flow.



Item Type
Conference (Poster)
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Not peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Event Details
EGU General Assembly 2016, 17 Apr 2016 - 22 Apr 2016, Vienna, Austria.
Eprint ID
40729
Cite as
Hubbard, B. , Luckman, A. J. , Ashmore, D. , Bevan, S. , Kulessa, B. , Kuipers Munneke, P. , Jansen, D. and O'Leary, M. (2016): Massive Ice Layer Formed by Refreezing of Ice-shelf Surface Melt Ponds: Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica , EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria, 17 April 2016 - 22 April 2016 .


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