The spatial distribution and temporal variability of föhn winds over the Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica
The eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) mountain range and the adjacent ice shelves are frequently affected by fohn winds originating from upwind of the mountains. Six automatic weather stations (AWSs) and archived model output from 5 km resolution Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) forecasts have been combined to identify the occurrence of fohn conditions, and their spatial distribution over the Larsen C Ice Shelf (LCIS) from 2009 to 2012.Algorithms for semi-automatic detection of fohn conditions have been developed for both AWS and AMPS data. The frequency of fohn varies by location, being most frequent at the foot of the AP and in the north of the ice shelf. They are most common in spring, when they can prevail for 50% of the time. The results of this study have important implications for further research, investigating the impact of fohn on surface melting, and the surface energy budget of the ice shelf. This is of particular interest due to the collapse of Larsen A and B ice shelves in 1995 and 2002 respectively, and the potential instability issues following a large calving event on Larsen C in 2017.
Authors: Turton, Jenny V., Kirchgaessner, Amelie, Ross, Andrew N., King, John C.