Surface ablation rates on Moraine Corrie Glacier, Antarctica

Moraine Corrie Glacier lies close to the UK summer station Fossil Bluff where meteorological measurements have been taken intermittently since 1961. The elevation of the glacier surface has been measured along a 1-km transect in 1972, 1986, 1993 and 1995. Between 1986 and 1995, there has been significant melting, correlated to increased air temperatures at Fossil Bluff. From the elevation measurements the ablation sensitivity of Moraine Corrie Glacier has been estimated to be 33±8 mm w.e./degree-day, equivalent to about 1.3±0.3 m w.e. a−1 K−1. This is considerably greater than the estimated sensitivity of 0.23 m w.e. a−1 K−1 used by Drewry and Morris [Drewry, D.J., Morris, E.M., 1992. The response of large ice sheets to climatic change. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. B 338, 235–242] to calculate the contribution to sea-level rise from ablation of Antarctic Peninsula glaciers. Their value of 0.012 mm a−1 K−1 should therefore be revised upwards.


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Authors: Morris, E.M.

1 January, 1999
Global and Planetary Change / 22
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