An updated seabed bathymetry beneath Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

In recent decades, rapid ice-shelf disintegration along the Antarctic Peninsula has had a global impact through enhancing outlet glacier flow, and hence sea level rise, and the freshening of Antarctic Bottom Water. Ice shelf thinning due to basal melting results from the circulation of relatively warm water in the underlying ocean cavity. However, the effect of sub-shelf circulation on future ice-shelf stability cannot be predicted accurately with computer simulations if the geometry of the ice-shelf cavity is unknown. To address this deficit for Larsen C Ice Shelf, west Antarctica, we integrate new water-column thickness measurements with existing observations. We present these new data here along with an updated bathymetry grid of the ocean cavity. Key findings include relatively deep seabed to the south-east of the Kenyon Peninsula, along the grounding line and around the key ice shelf pinning point of Bawden Ice Rise. In addition, we can confirm that the cavity’s southern trough stretches from Mobiloil Inlet to the open ocean. These areas of deep seabed will influence ocean circulation and tidal mixing, and will therefore affect the basal-melt distribution. These results will help constrain models of ice-shelf cavity circulation with the aim of improving our understanding of sub-shelf processes and their potential influence on ice shelf stability. The data set comprises all point measurements of seabed depth and a gridded data product, derived using additional measurements of both offshore seabed depth and the thickness of grounded ice. We present all new depth measurements here as well as a compilation of previously published measurements used in the gridding process. The gridded data product is included in the supplementary material.


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Authors: Brisbourne, Alex ORCIDORCID record for Alex Brisbourne, Kulessa, Bernd, Hudson, Thomas ORCIDORCID record for Thomas Hudson, Harrison, Lianne ORCIDORCID record for Lianne Harrison, Holland, Paul ORCIDORCID record for Paul Holland, Luckman, Adrian, Bevan, Suzanne, Ashmore, David, Hubbard, Bryn, Pearce, Emma, White, James, Booth, Adam, Nicholls, Keith ORCIDORCID record for Keith Nicholls, Smith, Andrew ORCIDORCID record for Andrew Smith

On this site: Alex Brisbourne, Andy Smith, Keith Nicholls, Lianne Harrison, Paul Holland, Thomas Hudson, Thomas Hudson
20 April, 2020
Earth System Science Data / 12
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