Ice Shelf Water Structure Beneath the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica

Understanding ice shelf water (ISW) structure is crucial for studying the basal melting of ice shelves. In this study, we performed large-eddy simulation experiments to assess ISW structure and basal melt patterns under different current velocity scenarios observed in the Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctica. The LES results revealed that the thickness of ISW is primarily determined by the meridional velocity (perpendicular to the grounding line), while the zonal velocity influences the potential temperature and salinity of ISW. We found that a key parameter determining the basal melt rate was northward meltwater advection which originates from variances in meltwater generation. This advection, in turn, leads to the tilted isopycnals and the potential for thermohaline interleaving in a diffusive convection regime. The different slopes of isopycnals induce distinct heat fluxes, resulting in different basal melt rates far from and near the grounding line (∼0.44 and 1.59 m yr−1, respectively).


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Authors: Sung Na, Ji, Davis, Peter ORCIDORCID record for Peter Davis, Kim, Byeong-Hoon, Kyung Jin, Emilia, Sang Lee, Won

On this site: Peter Davis
16 October, 2023
Geophysical Research Letters / 50
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