Bottom melting under George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Bottom melting rates have been calculated for a large number of sites on George VI Ice Shelf from measurements of its kinematic behaviour. No simple explanation for the melt-rate pattern was found in terms of ice-shelf parameters, assuming steady-state conditions. Values of apparent melt rates varied from 1 to 8 m a−1 of ice. Along different flow lines the melt rate would sometimes increase with distance from the grounding line and sometimes the melt rate would decrease with distance. Large melt rates were found both where ice flowed off Palmer Land and where the ice shelf butted against Alexander Island. Although oceanographic conditions probably control bottom melting rates the complex pattern with large spatial variation seems to indicate that some areas of ice shelf are changing in thickness.


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Authors: Bishop, J.F., Walton, J.L.W.

1 January, 1981
Journal of Glaciology / 27
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