Detailed Seismic Bathymetry Beneath Ekström Ice Shelf, Antarctica: Implications for Glacial History and Ice‐Ocean Interaction


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emma.smith [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The shape of ice shelf cavities are a major source of uncertainty in understanding ice‐ocean interactions. This limits assessments of the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to climate change. Here we use vibroseis seismic reflection surveys to map the bathymetry beneath the Ekström Ice Shelf, Dronning Maud Land. The new bathymetry reveals an inland‐sloping trough, reaching depths of 1,100 m below sea level, near the current grounding line, which we attribute to erosion by palaeo‐ice streams. The trough does not cross‐cut the outer parts of the continental shelf. Conductivity‐temperature‐depth profiles within the ice shelf cavity reveal the presence of cold water at shallower depths and tidal mixing at the ice shelf margins. It is unknown if warm water can access the trough. The new bathymetry is thought to be representative of many ice shelves in Dronning Maud Land, which together regulate the ice loss from a substantial area of East Antarctica.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
52704
DOI 10.1029/2019GL086187

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Smith, E. , Hattermann, T. , Kuhn, G. , Gaedicke, C. , Berger, S. , Drews, R. , Ehlers, T. A. , Franke, D. , Gromig, R. , Hofstede, C. , Lambrecht, A. , Laeufer, A. , Mayer, C. , Tiedemann, R. , Wilhelms, F. and Eisen, O. (2020): Detailed Seismic Bathymetry Beneath Ekström Ice Shelf, Antarctica: Implications for Glacial History and Ice‐Ocean Interaction , Geophysical Research Letters, 47 , e2019G . doi: 10.1029/2019GL086187


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