Necessary conditions for warm inflow towards the Filchner Ice Shelf, Weddell Sea

Understanding changes in Antarctic ice shelf basal melting is a major challenge for predicting future sea level. Currently, warm Circumpolar Deep Water surrounding Antarctica has limited access to the Weddell Sea continental shelf; consequently, melt‐rates at Filchner‐Ronne Ice Shelf are low. However, large‐scale model projections suggest that changes to the Antarctic Slope Front and the coastal circulation may enhance warm inflows within this century. We use a regional high‐resolution ice shelf cavity and ocean circulation model to explore forcing changes that may trigger this regime shift. Our results suggest two necessary conditions for supporting a sustained warm inflow into the Filchner Ice Shelf cavity; (i) an extreme relaxation of the Antarctic Slope Front density gradient, and (ii) substantial freshening of the dense shelf water. We also find that the on‐shelf transport over the western Weddell Sea shelf is sensitive to the Filchner Trough overflow characteristics.


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Authors: Daae, K., Hattermann, T., Darelius, E., Mueller, R., Naughten, K. ORCIDORCID record for K. Naughten, Timmerman, R., Hellmer, H.H.

On this site: Kaitlin Naughten
17 November, 2020
Geophysical Research Letters / 47
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