Basal melt of the southern Filchner Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Basal melt of ice shelves is a key factor governing discharge of ice from the Antarctic Ice Sheet as a result of its effects on buttressing. Here, we use radio echo sounding to determine the spatial variability of the basal melt rate of the southern Filchner Ice Shelf, Antarctica, along the inflow of Support Force Glacier. We find moderate melt rates with a maximum of 1.13 ma(-1) about 50 km downstream of the grounding line. The variability of the melt rates over distances of a few kilometres is low (all but one < 0.15 ma(-1) at < 2 km distance), indicating that measurements on coarse observational grids are able to yield a representative melt rate distribution. A comparison with remote-sensing-based melt rates revealed that, for the study area, large differences were due to inaccuracies in the estimation of vertical strain rates from remote sensing velocity fields. These inaccuracies can be overcome by using modern velocity fields.


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Authors: Zeising, Ole, Steinhage, Daniel, Nicholls, Keith W. ORCIDORCID record for Keith W. Nicholls, Corr, Hugh F.J., Stewart, Craig L., Humbert, Angelika

On this site: Hugh Corr, Keith Nicholls
27 April, 2022
The Cryosphere / 16
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