Dissipation of tidal energy by Antarctic ice shelves

FLEXING of ice shelves may dissipate enough tidal energy to have a significant effect on the Moon's retreat from the Earth. It is generally agreed that tidal friction slows the rotation of the Earth and decelerates the Moon in its orbit1. The total energy dissipated can be calculated from observations of the Moon's motion and agrees closely with estimates of the gravitational work done by the Sun and Moon on the ocean tidal bulge2. Therefore dissipation of tidal energy is considered to occur mainly in the ocean with small upper limits being set on energy losses in the Earth's mantle and core. Because the amount of tidal dissipation in shallow seas3 and internal tides4 is uncertain it is of interest to search for additional dissipative mechanisms. In this note the possibility of tidal bending of ice shelves is examined.


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Authors: Doake, Christopher S. M.

1 January, 1978
Nature / 275
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