Rapid subglacial erosion beneath Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica

We present measurements of ice thickness, gravimetry and surface elevation on Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, separated by a period of 49 years. At one station, on the main trunk of the glacier we measured a surface elevation lowering with no significant change in ice thickness. We interpret these as indicating subglacial erosion of 31.8 � 13.4 m at this location, at a mean rate over the measurement period of 0.6 � 0.3 m a�1, and suggest that a current erosion rate of �1 m a�1 is possible. Our results emphasize that locally, basal processes can have a significant effect on ice sheet changes, particularly where fast-flowing ice has an easily erodible bed.

Details

Publication status:
Published
Author(s):
Authors: Smith, A. M. ORCIDORCID record for A. M. Smith, Bentley, C. R., Bingham, R.G., Jordan, T.A. ORCIDORCID record for T.A. Jordan

On this site: Andy Smith, Tom Jordan
Date:
1 January, 2012
Journal/Source:
Geophysical Research Letters / 39
Page(s):
5pp
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
https://doi.org/10.1029/2012GL051651