Basal settings control fast ice flow in the Recovery/Slessor/Bailey Region, East Antarctica
The region of Recovery Glacier, Slessor Glacier and Bailey Ice Stream, East Antarctica, has remained poorly explored, despite representing the largest potential contributor to future global sea level rise on a centennial to millennial timescale. Here, we use new airborne radar data to improve knowledge about the bed topography and investigate controls of fast ice flow. Recovery Glacier is underlain by an 800 km-long trough. Its fast flow is controlled by subglacial water in its upstream and topography in its downstream region. Fast flow of Slessor Glacier is controlled by the presence of subglacial water on a rough crystalline bed. Past ice flow of adjacent Recovery and Slessor Glaciers was likely connected via the newly-discovered Recovery-Slessor Gate. Changes in direction and speed of past fast flow likely occurred for upstream parts of Recovery Glacier, and between Slessor Glacier and Bailey Ice Stream. Similar changes could also reoccur here in future.
Authors: Diez, Anja, Matsuoka, Kenichi, Ferraccioli, Fausto, Jordan, Tom A., Corr, Hugh F., Kohler, Jack, Olesen, Arne V., Forsberg, René