Influence of tides on melting and freezing beneath Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica

An isopycnic coordinate ocean circulation model is applied to the ocean cavity beneath Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, investigating the role of tides on sub-ice shelf circulation and ice shelf basal mass balance. Including tidal forcing causes a significant intensification in the sub-ice shelf circulation, with an increase in melting (3-fold) and refreezing (6-fold); the net melt rate and seawater flux through the cavity approximately doubles. With tidal forcing, the spatial pattern and magnitude of basal melting and freezing generally match observations. The 0.22 m a(-1) net melt rate is close to satellite-derived estimates and at the lower end of oceanographic values. The Ice Shelf Water outflow mixes with shelf waters, forming a cold (<-1.9 degrees C), dense overflow (0.83 Sv) that spills down the continental slope. These results demonstrate that tidal forcing is fundamental to both ice shelf-ocean interactions and deep-water formation in the southern Weddell Sea. Citation: Makinson, K., P. R. Holland, A. Jenkins, K. W. Nicholls, and D. M. Holland (2011), Influence of tides on melting and freezing beneath Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L06601, doi: 10.1029/2010GL046462.


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Authors: Makinson, Keith, Holland, Paul R., Jenkins, Adrian, Nicholls, Keith W., Holland, David M.

On this site: Adrian Jenkins, Mark Barham, Keith Makinson, Keith Nicholls, Paul Holland
1 January, 2011
Geophysical Research Letters / 38
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