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Sample records for mcmurdo ice shelf

  1. Reconstructing Holocene conditions under the McMurdo Ice Shelf using Antarctic barnacle shells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgess, S. N.; Henderson, G. M.; Hall, B. L.

    2010-10-01

    This study evaluates the potential of barnacles for paleoceanographic reconstruction and, in particular, of the Antarctic species Bathylasma corolliforme to reconstruct past conditions under ice shelves. Like other barnacle species, this Antarctic barnacle secretes a robust low-Mg calcite shell with distinct growth increments on the external surface indicating growth over a number of years (30-50 in samples studied here). The Bathylasma samples used in this study grew in the Ross Sea and became entrained at the grounding line of a coastal ice shelf in McMurdo Sound, offering potential as an archive of changing conditions in this difficult to access environment under the McMurdo ice shelf. Nine barnacle shells were subsampled at high resolution (60 μm) for δ 18O and δ 13C analysis. These samples were dated with 14C and U-Th techniques, although the later did not yield useful age information due to open-system behaviour of barnacle calcite. Measured δ 18O values indicate that Bathylasma calcifies close to equilibrium with ambient seawater. One older sample (≈ 200 ka) has similar δ 18O and δ 13C values as the eight Holocene samples, suggesting that barnacle calcite is not prone to significant diagenesis in this setting. Apparent isotope equilibrium and lack of diagenesis make barnacles a promising archive for reconstruction of past ocean conditions. Cycles of δ 18O observed within each sample sometimes correlate with the external growth ridges, but not always, and have amplitudes of typically 0.6‰. This magnitude of variation suggests shell growth during a significant portion of the year, although it remains unclear whether growth continues throughout the year. However, the prominent growth bands suggest at least a signficant seasonal slowing in growth rate. Variations in barnacle δ 18O within each plate and between plates are too large to be caused by temperature, and instead reflect changes in δ 18O of the seawater, allowing some assessment of seawater

  2. Downhole measurements in the AND-1B borehole, ANDRILL McMurdo Ice Shelf Project, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morin, R.; Williams, T.; Henrys, S.; Crosby, T.; Hansaraj, D.

    2007-01-01

    A comprehensive set of downhole measurements was collected in the AND-1B drillhole as part of the on-ice scientific programme defined for the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) Project. Geophysical logs were recorded over two operation phases and consisted of calliper, temperature, fluid conductivity, induction resistivity, magnetic susceptibility, natural gamma activity, acoustic televiewer, borehole deviation, and dipmeter. In addition, two standard vertical seismic profiles (VSP) and one walk-away VSP were obtained. Radioactive logs (porosity and density) were not run because of unstable borehole conditions. Although the total depth of the hole is 1285 metres below seafloor (mbsf), the depth range for in situ measurements was limited by the length of the wireline (1018 mbsf) and by the nullification of some geophysical logs due to the presence of steel casing. A depth correction was derived to account for systematic discrepancies in depth between downhole measurements and cores; consequently, log responses can be directly compared to core properties. The resulting data are amenable to studies of cyclicity and climate, heat flux and fluid flow, and stricture and stress. When integrated with physical properties and fractures measured on the core, this information should play a significant role in addressing many of the scientific objectives of the ANDRILL programme.

  3. Field Investigation of Surface-Lake Processes on Ice Shelves: Results of the 2015/16 Field Campaign on McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacAyeal, Doug; Banwell, Alison; Willis, Ian; Macdonald, Grant

    2016-04-01

    Ice-shelf instability and breakup of the style exhibited by Larsen B Ice Shelf in 2002 remains the most difficult glaciological process of consequence to observe in detail. It is, however, vital to do so because ice-shelf breakup has the potential to influence the buttressing controls on inland ice discharge, and thus to affect sea level. Several mechanisms enabling Larsen B style breakup have been proposed, including the ability of surface lakes to introduce ice-shelf fractures when they fill and drain, thereby changing the surface loads the ice-shelf must adjust to. Our model suggest that these fractures resulted in a chain-reaction style drainage of >2750 surface lakes on the Larsen B in the days prior to its demise. To validate this and other models, we began a field project on the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) during the 2015/16 austral summer. Advantages of the MIS study site are: there is considerable surface melting during 3-6 weeks of the summer season, the ice is sufficiently thin (< 30 m in places) to allow observable viscoelastic responses to relatively small loads, and it is close to a center of logistical support (McMurdo Station). Here we show initial results from the field campaign, including GPS and water-depth observations of a lake that has filled and drained over multiple week timescales in previous austral summers. We also report on the analysis of high-resolution WorldView satellite imagery from several summers that reveals the complexity of surface meltwater movement in channels and subsurface void spaces. Initial reconnaissance of the largest surface-lake features reveal that they have a central circular depression surrounded by an uplifted ring, which supports one of the central tenets of our ice-shelf flexure theory. A second field season is anticipated for the 2016/17 austral summer.

  4. Radar detection of the brine extent at McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica, and its control by snow accumulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grima, Cyril; Greenbaum, Jamin S.; Lopez Garcia, Erika J.; Soderlund, Krista M.; Rosales, Arami; Blankenship, Donald D.; Young, Duncan A.

    2016-07-01

    We derive the surface density and brine infiltration depth/extent at McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica, from combined analysis of radar profiles and radar statistical reconnaissance of the surface from 2011 to 2012 austral summer airborne observations. Most of the brine boundaries appear controlled, directly or indirectly, by the snow accumulation pattern. The infiltration is bounded westward by an ablation area and resides just above the pore close-off depth over most of its extent. The eastern brine limit matches a light-snow corridor, suggesting a reversed pressure gradient at depth that might sharply slow down the infiltration. Brine into ice is confirmed at the deepest locations north and east of Williams Field. The ice-ocean interface is undetected west of the infiltrated zone, except in localized patches. We hypothesize this echo-free zone to be due to high scattering below the surface, possibly from a network of accreted ice and/or ice platelets at the ice-ocean interface.

  5. Heat Flow and Hydrologic Characteristics at the AND-1B borehole, ANDRILL McMurdo Ice Shelf Project, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morin, Roger H.; Williams, Trevor; Henry, Stuart; ,; Hansaraj, Dhiresh

    2010-01-01

    The Antarctic Drilling Program (ANDRILL) successfully drilled and cored a borehole, AND-1B, beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf and into a flexural moat basin that surrounds Ross Island. Total drilling depth reached 1285 m below seafloor (mbsf) with 98 percent core recovery for the detailed study of glacier dynamics. With the goal of obtaining complementary information regarding heat flow and permeability, which is vital to understanding the nature of marine hydrogeologic systems, a succession of three temperature logs was recorded over a five-day span to monitor the gradual thermal recovery toward equilibrium conditions. These data were extrapolated to true, undisturbed temperatures, and they define a linear geothermal gradient of 76.7 K/km from the seafloor to 647 mbsf. Bulk thermal conductivities of the sedimentary rocks were derived from empirical mixing models and density measurements performed on core, and an average value of 1.5 W/mK ± 10 percent was determined. The corresponding estimate of heat flow at this site is 115 mW/m2. This value is relatively high but is consistent with other elevated heat-flow data associated with the Erebus Volcanic Province. Information regarding the origin and frequency of pathways for subsurface fluid flow is gleaned from drillers' records, complementary geophysical logs, and core descriptions. Only two prominent permeable zones are identified and these correspond to two markedly different features within the rift basin; one is a distinct lithostratigraphic subunit consisting of a thin lava flow and the other is a heavily fractured interval within a single thick subunit.

  6. Calcareous nannofossil evidence for Marine Isotope Stage 31 (1 Ma) in the AND-1B Core, ANDRILL McMurdo Ice Shelf Project (Antarctica).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villa, G.; Persico, D.; Wise, S. W.; Gadaleta, A.

    2009-04-01

    During the austral summer 2006 the ANDRILL Program recovered a 1285 m-long succession of cyclic glacimarine sediments from the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS). The aim of the MIS Project was to obtain continuous Neogene (c. 0-10 Ma) glacial, glacimarine, volcanic, and biogenic sediments that have accumulated in the region of the McMurdo Ice Shelf (Ross Sea) nourished by ice flowing from East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) outlet glaciers in the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM). The MIS AND-1B drill core represents the longest and most complete (98% recovery) geological record from the Antarctic continental margin to date, and will provide a key reference record of climate and ice-sheet variability through the Late Neogene; detailed investigations of this record will contribute for improving our knowledge of Antarctica's influence on global climate. Preliminary on-ice analysis of the smear slides of the Andrill core revealed calcareous microfossils (dinoflagellates, calciosponge spicula and small foraminifera) occurring with variable concentrations. The presence of thoracosphaerid fragments in the smear slides of the first 600 mbsf (Quaternary), probably belong to the species Thoracosphaera saxea (Stradner 1961), and Thoracosphaera heimi (Kamptner, 1941) and other, potentially undescribed species (Villa & Wise 1998), suggests either a peculiar adaptation to this environment, due to their ability to develop cysts or warmer conditions at the time of their deposition, or a combination of both. However, they represent an additional element to use with the other proxies for inferring palaeoenvironmental conditions of the core. Subsequent shore-based analyses of 100 samples from 86-96 mbsf revealed for the first time the presence of Pleistocene coccolithophorids at these high southern latitudes (77° S), including: Coccolithus pelagicus, small Gephyrocapsa, Reticulofenestra asanoi, Pseudoemiliania lacunosa, Dictyoccocites productus, Reticulofenestra sp., Reticulofenestra minutula

  7. Platelet ice distribution in Antarctic sea ice and its implications for ocean - ice shelf interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langhorne, P.; Hughes, K. G.; Gough, A. J.; Smith, I.; Williams, M.; Robinson, N. J.; Stevens, C. L.; Rack, W.; Price, D.; Leonard, G. H.; Mohoney, A. R.; Haas, C.; Haskell, T. G.

    2015-12-01

    Ice shelf basal melting freshens and cools the fluid in the ice shelf-ocean boundary layer, producing Ice Shelf Water (ISW). The potential temperature of ISW is below the surface freezing point. Antarctic sea ice that has been affected by supercooled Ice Shelf Water (ISW) has a unique crystallographic structure and is called platelet ice. We have synthesized platelet ice observations to construct a continent-wide map of the winter presence of ISW at the ocean surface. Where suitable observations exist, oceanic heat fluxes are derived from sub-ice platelet layer measurements and these are shown in the figure. They demonstrate that in some regions of coastal Antarctica, supercooled ISW drives a negative oceanic heat flux of approximately -30 Wm-2 that persists for several months during winter. This heat flux from the sea ice to the ocean significantly increases the sea ice thickness close to an ice shelf. In other regions, particularly where the thinning of ice shelves is believed to be greatest, platelet ice is not observed. The most extensive dataset, which includes our new results, dates back to 1902 and extends north of the combined Ross and McMurdo Ice Shelf front in the southern Ross Sea. Here the surface water is held just below its freezing point as it enters McMurdo Sound from beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf. Despite a more recent decrease in ocean salinity consistent with observations in the south-western Ross Sea, there has been no detectable change in the volume or temperature of this supercooled ISW under sea ice since the early twentieth century. The inclusion of platelet ice into first year sea ice is an annual process. Hence it will respond immediately to changes in the sub-ice shelf circulation pattern and its export of supercooled water, emphasizing the urgent need for careful, Antarctic-wide monitoring.

  8. Selection and stability of quantitative stratigraphic age models: Plio-Pleistocene glaciomarine sediments in the ANDRILL 1B drillcore, McMurdo Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cody, Rosemary; Levy, Richard; Crampton, James; Naish, Timothy; Wilson, Gary; Harwood, David

    2012-10-01

    Interpretation of glacimarine sedimentary records from Antarctic shelf drillholes has been hampered by the ambiguous age of strata where erosional unconformities and coarse diamictite deposits truncate or omit the magnetostratigraphic and biostratigraphic units used for correlation. However, new quantitative biostratigraphic techniques enable the correlation of sparse, incomplete, and often reworked Plio-Pleistocene records of Ross Sea fossil diatom flora with the more extensively documented but potentially diachronous offshore history of species' first and last appearance datums (FADs and LADs). The approach uses comprehensive regional databases of fossil records and computer-automated search algorithms to find the multidimensional line of correlation (LOC) that best fits local observations, and to identify regionally isochronous biostratigraphic markers. Different model configurations can be used to produce LOCs that represent alternative working hypotheses regarding reworking and other sources of misfit in the biostratigraphic record, and that together provide an envelope of uncertainty for age interpretation. An integrated, quantitative chronostratigraphic model for the ANDRILL-1B drillcore was developed iteratively: an initial age model was constructed solely from preliminary on-ice observations of fossil diatom highest and lowest occurrences (HOs and LOs) and their correlation with a database of other local event records from 24 DVDP, CIROS, and IODP drillcore sections. The model was subsequently updated as off-ice work yielded additional biostratigraphic marker events and revised event horizons, Ar/Ar ages for volcanic material, better-constrained magnetostratigraphic interpretation, and refinements to computational/analytical methodology. The current quantitative biostratigraphic age model for the AND-1B hole integrates the local ranges of 29 diatom taxa, five dated volcanic samples, and independently constrained ages of five paleomagnetic reversals. During

  9. Larsen B Ice Shelf

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    ... ice shelf and the rough crevasses of glaciers appear orange. In contrast to the spectral composite, which provides information on ... surfaces appear brighter on their illuminated faces, the orange color in the multi-angle composite suggests a macroscopically rough ice ...

  10. Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Warmer surface temperatures over just a few months in the Antarctic can splinter an ice shelf and prime it for a major collapse, NASA and university scientists report in the latest issue of the Journal of Glaciology. Using satellite images of tell-tale melt water on the ice surface and a sophisticated computer simulation of the motions and forces within an ice shelf, the scientists demonstrated that added pressure from surface water filling crevasses can crack the ice entirely through. The process can be expected to become more widespread if Antarctic summer temperatures increase. This true-color image from Landsat 7, acquired on February 21, 2000, shows pools of melt water on the surface of the Larsen Ice Shelf, and drifting icebergs that have split from the shelf. The upper image is an overview of the shelf's edge, while the lower image is displayed at full resolution of 30 meters (98 feet) per pixel. The labeled pond in the lower image measures roughly 1.6 by 1.6 km (1.0 x 1.0 miles). Full text of Press Release More Images and Animations Image courtesy Landsat 7 Science Team and NASA GSFC

  11. Breakup of Pack Ice, Antarctic Ice Shelf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Breakup of Pack Ice along the periphery of the Antarctic Ice Shelf (53.5S, 3.0E) produced this mosaic of ice floes off the Antarctic Ice Shelf. Strong offshore winds, probably associated with strong katabatic downdrafts from the interior of the continent, are seen peeling off the edges of the ice shelf into long filamets of sea ice, icebergs, bergy bits and growlers to flow northward into the South Atlantic Ocean. 53.5S, 3.0E

  12. Movement of fuel spills in the Ross Ice Shelf

    SciTech Connect

    Tumeo, M.A.; Larson, M.K.

    1994-12-31

    Williams Field provides logistical support to McMurdo Station in Antarctica and managers large amounts of fuel for their cargo planes. Numerous spills have occurred at this site with little recovery or remediation of the spilled fuel. From 1980 to 1989, approximately 380,000 liters (L) leaked during documented fuel spills-197,600 L of that total came from one spill alone, in October of 1989, when fuel leaked onto the ice at Williams Field. An additional 20 spills of unknown quantities have also occurred at McMurdo Station and Williams Field. Although recent improvements in equipment and procedures in Antarctica have significantly reduced the accidental release of fuel and all but eliminated the risk of a large fuel spill, the potential for small releases still exists. To track the movement of fuel spills on the ice shelf more accurately and to established the basis for remediation methods NSF funded a 3-year study. This article discusses information obtained about the movement of fuel from a small oil spill from a flexible pipeline between McMurdo Station and Williams Field on the Ross Ice Shelf. 1 fig., 1 tab.

  13. Mezozooplankton Beneath the Summer Sea Ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica: Abundance, Species Composition, and DMSP content

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ross Sea Phaeocystis antarctica bloom contributes to a summer increase in under-ice planton biomass in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Due to difficulties of under-ice sampling, information on the mesozooplankton in McMurdo Sound is limited. We measured the abundance of mesooopl...

  14. Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Ice and Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    In this view of Antarctic ice and clouds, (56.5S, 152.0W), the Ross Ice Shelf of Antarctica is almost totally clear, showing stress cracks in the ice surface caused by wind and tidal drift. Clouds on the eastern edge of the picture are associated with an Antarctic cyclone. Winds stirred up these storms have been known to reach hurricane force.

  15. An ice shelf breakup

    SciTech Connect

    Fahnestock, M.

    1996-02-09

    Glaciers and ice sheets are controlled by the climate and must change if the conditions that led to their current configurations are changing. These ice masses exist at the interface between the atmosphere, which provides sustaining snowfall and thermal regulation, and the land, which provides a stable base and in many cases the elevation required to reach suitably cold conditions. Ice sheets and glaciers are distributed around the globe and can serve as potential indicators of past climate variability and current climatic trends. 9 refs.

  16. Ross Ice Shelf

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    article title:  Penguins in Peril     View Larger ... icebergs and sea ice have increased the distance between the penguins' feeding areas in the open sea and their breeding grounds. The birds ... penguin colonies, as well as a small colony of Emperor penguins. These images from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer ...

  17. Winter Observations of Platelet Ice Growth and Oceanographic Conditions in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, G.; Purdie, C.; Langhorne, P.; Haskell, T.; Williams, M.; Vennell, R.

    2004-05-01

    Almost all that is known about sea ice growing attached to the Antarctic landmass has been measured in the spring and summer when the sea ice has grown to over 1~m thick. Platelet ice is the name given to ice crystals that nucleate in the ocean and grow either at depth in the sea water or loosely attached to the ice water interface. It appears to form in sea water cooled below its freezing point, and was first observed in McMurdo Sound by scientists of Scott's Discovery Expedition of 1901{\\textendash}1904. It is known that the formation of platelet ice is linked to the proximity of ice shelves, however the exact freezing mechanism is a matter of some conjecture. In this study we have spent the winter months (February{\\textendash}September) 2003 on the sea ice in McMurdo Sound simultaneously measuring ice and oceanographic conditions in order to increase our understanding of platelet ice formation. Early results indicate the presence of a relatively warm water layer in April which has been replaced by a stable mixed layer by June, with periodic episodes of cold water intrusions into the mixed layer. The water near the ice - water interface was found to be consistently supercooled from July onwards. Platelet growth was observed to be episodic and correlated with times of low tidal flow. Ice coring data reveals that the first layer of platelet ice incorporated into the sea ice sheet did not appear until the ice was around 0.7~m thick, even though platelet ice was observed on foreign bodies in the water column when the ice was significantly thinner.

  18. Evolution of a supercooled Ice Shelf Water plume with an actively growing subice platelet matrix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Natalie J.; Williams, Michael J. M.; Stevens, Craig L.; Langhorne, Patricia J.; Haskell, Timothy G.

    2014-06-01

    We use new observations in Western McMurdo Sound, combined with longitudinal hydrographic transects of the sound, to identify a northward-flowing Ice Shelf Water (ISW) plume exiting the cavity of the McMurdo-Ross Ice Shelf. We estimate the plume's net northward transport at 0.4 ± 0.1 Sv, carving out a corridor approximately 35 km wide aligned with the Victoria Land Coast. Basal topography of the McMurdo Ice Shelf is such that the plume is delivered to the surface without mixing with overlying warmer water, and is therefore able to remain below the surface freezing temperature at the point of observation beneath first-year ice. Thus, the upper ocean was supercooled, by up to 50 mK at the surface, due to pressure relief from recent rapid ascent of the steep basal slope. The 70 m thick supercooled layer supports the growth and maintenance of a thick, semirigid, and porous matrix of platelet ice, which is trapped by buoyancy at the ice-ocean interface. Continued growth of individual platelets in supercooled water creates significant brine rejection at the top of the water column which resulted in convection over the upper 200 m thick, homogeneous layer. By examining the diffusive nature of the intermediate water between layers of ISW and High Salinity Shelf Water, we conclude that the ISW plume must have originated beneath the Ross Ice Shelf and demonstrate that it is likely to expand eastward across McMurdo Sound with the progression of winter.

  19. The seasonal appearance of ice shelf water in coastal Antarctica and its effect on sea ice growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahoney, Andrew R.; Gough, Alexander J.; Langhorne, Patricia J.; Robinson, Natalie J.; Stevens, Craig L.; Williams, Michael M. J.; Haskell, Timothy G.

    2011-11-01

    In this paper we report measurements from the first year-round mooring underneath sea ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, which we combine with full-depth ocean profiles to identify the incremental appearance of potentially supercooled ice shelf water (ISW). We investigate the effects of ISW on sea ice using observations of sea ice growth and crystal structure together with under-ice photography. We show that the appearance of ISW at the surface leads to a disruption in the columnar texture of the sea ice, but that persistent growth enhancement occurs only once the entire water column has cooled to the surface freezing point. In doing so, we demonstrate the possibility of inferring the presence of ISW beneath sea ice through crystallographic analysis of cores. These findings will be useful for both modeling and observing the extent of ISW-enhanced ice growth. In addition, we found that the local growth of first-year landfast sea ice only accounted for half of the observed increase in salinity over the water column, which indicates that polynyas are responsible for approximately half of the salt flux into McMurdo Sound.

  20. Crevasses, Fractures and Folds within Firn and Marine Ice of the McMurdo Shear Zone, Antarctica interpreted from GPR Profiles acquired with an Unmanned Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arcone, S. A.; Lever, J.; Ray, L.

    2015-12-01

    The firn of the McMurdo shear zone within the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica is intensively crevassed, and may also contain crevasses within its meteoric and marine ice. However, the surface crevassing prevents ordinary vehicle access to investigate its structure geophysically. We used a lightweight robotic vehicle to tow 200 and 400 MHz ground-penetrating radar antennas simultaneously along 100 evenly spaced transects over a 28 km2 grid spanning the shear zone width. Transects were mainly orthogonal to ice flow. Total firn and meteoric ice thickness was about 160 m. Firn crevasses profiled at 400 MHz were up to 16 m wide, under snow bridges up to 10 m thick, and with strikes near 50-55° to general flow direction. From top down, 200-MHz profiles reveal firn diffractions originating to about 40 m depth, no discernible structure within the meteoric ice, a discontinuous transitional horizon, and at least 20 m of disturbed and stratified marine ice. Freeboard ranging from 28-31 m shows more marine ice exists. We interpret the transitional horizon to be a thin saline layer, and marine ice hyperbolic diffractions and reflections to be responses to localized fractures and to crevasses of various widths, filled with unstratified marine ice, and at strikes mainly between 41-63°. We interpret off-nadir, marine ice horizons to be responses to linear and folded faults, the structure and orientation of which are similar to some in firn. The coinciding and synchronously folded areas of fractured firn and marine ice suggest the visibly unstructured meteoric ice is also fractured, but either never crevassed, or crevassed and sutured without sea water penetration, and that any bottom crevasses that occurred near grounding lines have been thermally eroded. Consequently any fractures in the meteoric ice beneath our grid are likely to have formed far from any grounding area, but it is unclear why there is no evidence of sea water penetration given the fractured and crevassed marine ice.

  1. Tidal Modulation of Ice-shelf Flow: a Viscous Model of the Ross Ice Shelf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brunt, Kelly M.; MacAyeal, Douglas R.

    2014-01-01

    Three stations near the calving front of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, recorded GPS data through a full spring-neap tidal cycle in November 2005. The data revealed a diurnal horizontal motion that varied both along and transverse to the long-term average velocity direction, similar to tidal signals observed in other ice shelves and ice streams. Based on its periodicity, it was hypothesized that the signal represents a flow response of the Ross Ice Shelf to the diurnal tides of the Ross Sea. To assess the influence of the tide on the ice-shelf motion, two hypotheses were developed. The first addressed the direct response of the ice shelf to tidal forcing, such as forces due to sea-surface slopes or forces due to sub-ice-shelf currents. The second involved the indirect response of ice-shelf flow to the tidal signals observed in the ice streams that source the ice shelf. A finite-element model, based on viscous creep flow, was developed to test these hypotheses, but succeeded only in falsifying both hypotheses, i.e. showing that direct tidal effects produce too small a response, and indirect tidal effects produce a response that is not smooth in time. This nullification suggests that a combination of viscous and elastic deformation is required to explain the observations.

  2. Ice-Shelf Melting Around Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E.; Jacobs, S.; Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.

    2013-07-01

    We compare the volume flux divergence of Antarctic ice shelves in 2007 and 2008 with 1979 to 2010 surface accumulation and 2003 to 2008 thinning to determine their rates of melting and mass balance. Basal melt of 1325 ± 235 gigatons per year (Gt/year) exceeds a calving flux of 1089 ± 139 Gt/year, making ice-shelf melting the largest ablation process in Antarctica. The giant cold-cavity Ross, Filchner, and Ronne ice shelves covering two-thirds of the total ice-shelf area account for only 15% of net melting. Half of the meltwater comes from 10 small, warm-cavity Southeast Pacific ice shelves occupying 8% of the area. A similar high melt/area ratio is found for six East Antarctic ice shelves, implying undocumented strong ocean thermal forcing on their deep grounding lines.

  3. Ice-shelf melting around Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Rignot, E; Jacobs, S; Mouginot, J; Scheuchl, B

    2013-07-19

    We compare the volume flux divergence of Antarctic ice shelves in 2007 and 2008 with 1979 to 2010 surface accumulation and 2003 to 2008 thinning to determine their rates of melting and mass balance. Basal melt of 1325 ± 235 gigatons per year (Gt/year) exceeds a calving flux of 1089 ± 139 Gt/year, making ice-shelf melting the largest ablation process in Antarctica. The giant cold-cavity Ross, Filchner, and Ronne ice shelves covering two-thirds of the total ice-shelf area account for only 15% of net melting. Half of the meltwater comes from 10 small, warm-cavity Southeast Pacific ice shelves occupying 8% of the area. A similar high melt/area ratio is found for six East Antarctic ice shelves, implying undocumented strong ocean thermal forcing on their deep grounding lines. PMID:23765278

  4. Neogene ice sheet, paleoclimatic and geological history of the McMurdo Sound region, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica: overview of ANDRILL's first two drilling projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, R.; Naish, T.; Harwood, D.; Florindo, F.; Levy, R.; Teams, M. S.

    2008-12-01

    The ANtarctic geological DRILLing Program (ANDRILL), an international collaboration within IPY, has recovered 2 cores: from under the Ross Ice Shelf (McMurdo Ice Shelf Project (MIS) - AND-1B), and from the land-fast sea-ice of McMurdo Sound (Southern McMurdo Sound Project (SMS) - AND-2A). Drill cores reached respective total depths of 1285mbsf in c. 850m of water (MIS) and 1138.54mbsf in c. 380m of water (SMS). Repetitive facies successions in AND-1B core imply at least 60 fluctuations, of probable Milankovitch- duration, between subglacial, ice proximal and ice distal open marine environments. These are grouped into 3 types of facies cycles corresponding to glacial-interglacial variability during climatically distinct periods of Late Neogene: (1) cold-polar climate and ice (late Miocene and Pleistocene); (2) relatively warmer climate, polythermal ice and interglacials dominated by pelagic diatomite (Pliocene); (3) warmer climate, polythermal ice with interglacials dominated by hemipelagites (early late Miocene). A c. 80m-thick interval of diatomite of mid to late Pliocene age shows no apparent glacial cyclicity and represents an extended period of ice-free conditions indicating reduced or absent WAIS. Late Pliocene glacial-interglacial cycles characterized by abrupt alternations between subglacial/ice-proximal facies and open marine diatomite units imply significant WAIS dynamism, and contribution to global ice volume changes coeval with the initiation of Northern Hemisphere glaciations. A c. 4m-thick interval of diatomaceous mudstone in the mid-Pleistocene also represents warm-interglacial ice-free conditions. Intriguingly, glacial deposits interrupted by periodic, small- scale grounding-line retreats dominate the last 1m.y. Inter-hemispheric ice sheet coupling was probably controlled by Northern Hemispheric insolation and consequent glacial eustasy to account for much of the orbital-scale WAIS variability since 2.5Ma. A further expansion of WAIS occurred across

  5. Ice Shelf Microbial Ecosystems in the High Arctic and Implications for Life on Snowball Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, W. F.; Gibson, J. A. E.; Pienitz, R.; Villeneuve, V.; Broady, P. A.; Hamilton, P. B.; Howard-Williams, C.

    The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (83°N, 74°W) is the largest remaining section of thick (>10m) landfast sea ice along the northern coastline of Ellesmere Island, Canada. Extensive meltwater lakes and streams occur on the surface of the ice and are colonized by photosynthetic microbial mat communities. This High Arctic cryo-ecosystem is similar in several of its physical, biological and geochemical features to the McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The ice-mats in both polar regions are dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria but also contain diatoms, chlorophytes, flagellates, ciliates, nematodes, tardigrades and rotifers. The luxuriant Ward Hunt consortia also contain high concentrations (107-108cm-2) of viruses and heterotrophic bacteria. During periods of extensive ice cover, such as glaciations during the Proterozoic, cryotolerant mats of the type now found in these polar ice shelf ecosystems would have provided refugia for the survival, growth and evolution of a variety of organisms, including multicellular eukaryotes.

  6. Breakup of the Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Recent Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery analyzed at the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center revealed that the northern section of the Larsen B ice shelf, a large floating ice mass on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, has shattered and separated from the continent. This particular image was taken on March 5, 2002. The shattered ice formed a plume of thousands of icebergs adrift in the Weddell Sea. A total of about 3,250 square kilometers of shelf area disintegrated in a 35-day period beginning on January 31, 2002. Over the last five years, the shelf has lost a total of 5,700 square kilometers and is now about 40 percent the size of its previous minimum stable extent. Ice shelves are thick plates of ice, fed by glaciers, that float on the ocean around much of Antarctica. The Larsen B shelf was about 220 meters thick. Based on studies of ice flow and sediment thickness beneath the ice shelf, scientists believe that it existed for at least 400 years prior to this event and likely existed since the end of the last major glaciation 12,000 years ago. For reference, the area lost in this most recent event dwarfs Rhode Island (2,717 square kilometers) in size. In terms of volume, the amount of ice released in this short time is 720 billion tons--enough ice for about 12 trillion 10-kilogram bags. This is the largest single event in a series of retreats by ice shelves along the peninsula over the last 30 years. The retreats are attributed to a strong climate warming in the region. The rate of warming is approximately 0.5 degrees Celsius per decade, and the trend has been present since at least the late 1940s. Overall in the peninsula, the extent of seven ice shelves has declined by a total of about 13,500 square kilometers since 1974. This value excludes areas that would be expected to calve under stable conditions. Ted Scambos, a researcher with the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at

  7. Sub-ice shelf circulation and basal melting of the Fimbul Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nost, Ole Anders

    2010-05-01

    The Fimbul Ice Shelf is the largest of the ice shelves in Dronning Maud Land. Due to a narrow and some places non-existent continental shelf, the ice shelves in Dronning Maud Land are situated close to the Warm Deep Water. The Antarctic Slope Front separates the Warm Deep Water from the ice shelves and complicated exchange processes working across this front controls the melting of the Fimbul Ice Shelf and the other ice shelves in Dronning Maud Land. Here we will present analysis of unique data from the Dronning Maud Land coastal zone, as well as preliminary results from the 2009/2010 field work on the Fimbul Ice Shelf. In 2008 eight elephant seals equipped with CTD data loggers collected hydrographic data in the Dronning Maud Land coastal zone from February through October. Analysis of these data shows that overturning of the Antarctic Slope Front is the main process exchanging heat into the ice shelf cavities. This overturning together with an onshore surface Ekman flow leads to a seasonal cycle in the salinity of the coastal water masses, while glacial melting sea ice formation has little influence. During the 2009/2010 field season on the Fimbul Ice Shelf glaciological and oceanographic data were collected. We will show preliminary results of ice flow, ice thickness and basal melting measured using stake nets and phase sensitive radar. Oceanographic data were collected through three hot water drilled access holes in the ice shelf. These data show a water column with temperatures close to the surface freezing point over most of the water column. Relatively warmer water was observed near the bottom on one of the CTD stations. Maximum observed temperature is -1.57 °C. We compare the sub iceshelf hydrography with the hydrography observed by the elephant seals near the ice front in an attempt to reveal the sub ice shelf circulation. We also compare estimated melt rates from the oceanographic data with melt rates estimated with the phase sensitive radar and stake

  8. Calibration and Validation of Airborne LiDAR at McMurdo Station, Antarctica for Operation IceBridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonntag, J. G.

    2014-12-01

    Airborne LiDAR flight operations based at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, present unusual challenges for calibrating and validating the sensor measurements at the level of a few centimeters. NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) team prefers to perform regular, near-daily calibrations of range and angular biases of our sensor for the lengthy field deployments typical for Operation IceBridge (OIB). For the fall 2013 OIB deployment to McMurdo, we had to adapt our usual technique of regular overflights of an independently-surveyed airport parking ramp to deal with the fact that the McMurdo airfield was located on tidally-influenced sea ice, and that very few nearby durable surfaces were free of variable-depth snow during the OIB deployment. We detail our approach for dealing with these challenges, which included multiple GPS/vehicle surveys of the sea ice runway to quantify surface changes due to grooming operations, combined with GPS tide-gauge measurements of the runway's tidal motion. We also conducted a remote GPS/vehicle survey of a mostly snow-free road on Black Island, and included both sites during near-daily overflights with the ATM. We discuss the quantitative results of these surveys and the associated ATM overflights, and present conclusions for future deployments. Finally we discuss a related validation effort in which we compare ATM results from overflights of snow-free areas in the Dry Valleys with ATM surveys of the same area from a 2001 effort there.

  9. Circulation and melting beneath the ross ice shelf.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, S S; Gordon, A L; Ardai, J L

    1979-02-01

    Thermohaline observations in the water column beneath the Ross Ice Shelf and along its terminal face show significant vertical stratification, active horizontal circulation, and net melting at the ice shelf base. Heat is supplied by seawater that moves southward beneath the ice shelf from a central warm core and from a western region of high salinity. The near-freezing Ice Shelf Water produced flows northward into the Ross Sea.

  10. Circulation and melting beneath the ross ice shelf.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, S S; Gordon, A L; Ardai, J L

    1979-02-01

    Thermohaline observations in the water column beneath the Ross Ice Shelf and along its terminal face show significant vertical stratification, active horizontal circulation, and net melting at the ice shelf base. Heat is supplied by seawater that moves southward beneath the ice shelf from a central warm core and from a western region of high salinity. The near-freezing Ice Shelf Water produced flows northward into the Ross Sea. PMID:17734137

  11. The Tweeting Ice Shelf: geophysics and outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Liefferinge, Brice; Berger, Sophie; Drews, Reinhard; Pattyn, Frank

    2015-04-01

    Over the last decade the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets have contributed about one third of the annual sea level rise (Hanna et al., 2013). However, it remains difficult to reconcile global mass balance estimates obtained from different satellite-based methods. A typical approach is to balance the mass input from atmospheric modelling with the outgoing mass flux at the ice-sheet boundary (Shepherd et al., 2012). The flux calculations at the boundary rely on satellite-derived surface velocities, which are currently only available as snapshots in time, and which need ground truth for validation. Here, we report on continuous, year-round measurements that aim at improving the input-output method in several aspects and carefully map the flow speed allowing for detecting seasonal variability. For this purpose, we set up in December 2014 three stand-alone single-frequency GPSes on the Roi Baudouin ice shelf (East Antarctica). The GPSes are installed across a surface depression (typical for large ice-shelf channels), where subglacial melting is expected. This setup allows us to investigate how these channels behave, i.e., if they become wider, whether or not they enhance the ice flow, and, in combination with an installed phase-sensitive radar, what amount of melting occurs below the channels in contact with the ocean. The GPS data are transmitted on a daily basis. Ice-shelf velocity is derived from the raw hourly location following the methods described in den Ouden et al. (2010), Dunse et al. (2012), and Ahlstrøm et al. (2013). However, a reference station has not been used for the correction. Basic processing involves outliers removal, smoothing, time-series analysis and comparison with tidal models. The project comes alongside an outreach event: on a weekly basis, the ice shelf 'tweets' its position, motion and relays other information with respect to the project. The GPS systems can be followed on Twitter via @TweetinIceShelf as well as the Tweeting Ice Shelf

  12. The air content of Larsen Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holland, Paul R.; Corr, Hugh F. J.; Pritchard, Hamish D.; Vaughan, David G.; Arthern, Robert J.; Jenkins, Adrian; Tedesco, Marco

    2011-05-01

    The air content of glacial firn determines the effect and attribution of observed changes in ice surface elevation, but is currently measurable only using labor-intensive ground-based techniques. Here a novel method is presented for using radar sounding measurements to decompose the total thickness of floating ice shelves into thicknesses of solid ice and firn air (or firn water). The method is applied to a 1997/98 airborne survey of Larsen Ice Shelf, revealing large spatial gradients in air content that are consistent with existing measurements and local meteorology. The gradients appear to be governed by meltwater-induced firn densification. We find sufficient air in Larsen C Ice Shelf for increased densification to account for its previously observed surface lowering, and the rate of lowering superficially agrees with published trends in melting. This does not preclude a contribution to the lowering from oceanic basal melting, but a modern repeat of the survey could conclusively distinguish atmosphere-led from ocean-led change. The technique also holds promise for the calibration of firn-density models, derivation of ice thickness from surface elevation measurements, and calculation of the sea-level contribution of changes in grounded-ice discharge.

  13. A case study of a Ross Ice Shelf Airstream event using high resolution observational data captured by SNOWWEB

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolly, Ben; McDonald, Adrian

    2015-04-01

    The Ross Ice Shelf Airstream (RAS) is the dominant weather pattern over the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Characterised by a strong southerly flow over the ice shelf, the RAS plays a significant role in the northward transport of cold air from the interior of the continent out into the Ross Sea. As it passes by Ross Island - home to McMurdo Station and Scott Base - and out over the edge of the ice shelf, the RAS also helps to create and maintain the Ross Sea Polynya, the single largest contributor to sea ice growth in the Ross Sea region. Our area of interest is the McMurdo Ice Shelf, situated directly south of Ross Island and adjoining the north-western tip of the much larger Ross Ice Shelf. The terrain of this region is complex, with large mountains, islands, and cliffs dominating local flow. Additionally, severe weather - often experienced during a RAS event - can greatly impact human activity. These two factors make this region particularly interesting to study. During the 2013/14 austral summer season we deployed 14 weather stations on the McMurdo Ice Shelf, creating a dense spatial observational network. In combination with existing automatic weather stations and high resolution model output from the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS), we present a case study of a three day RAS event observed in November 2013. We find that AMPS represents the RAS well in general, however at the local scale there are some large discrepancies between observed and forecast winds. Predominantly these are a result of errors in timing, with AMPS incorrectly forecasting 'lulls' in the RAS when none were observed and vice-versa. There also appear to be some differences between AMPS and observations regarding the split of the southerly RAS flow around Ross Island. The representation within AMPS of both Hut Point Peninsula - a small yet important orographic feature running south-west from Ross Island that blocks relatively weak flows - and the Windless Bight high pressure

  14. Ice shelf structure derived from dispersion curve analysis of ambient seismic noise, Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diez, A.; Bromirski, P. D.; Gerstoft, P.; Stephen, R. A.; Anthony, R. E.; Aster, R. C.; Cai, C.; Nyblade, A.; Wiens, D. A.

    2016-05-01

    An L-configured, three-component short period seismic array was deployed on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica during November 2014. Polarization analysis of ambient noise data from these stations shows linearly polarized waves for frequency bands between 0.2 and 2 Hz. A spectral peak at about 1.6 Hz is interpreted as the resonance frequency of the water column and is used to estimate the water layer thickness below the ice shelf. The frequency band from 4 to 18 Hz is dominated by Rayleigh and Love waves propagating from the north that, based on daily temporal variations, we conclude were generated by field camp activity. Frequency-slowness plots were calculated using beamforming. Resulting Love and Rayleigh wave dispersion curves were inverted for the shear wave velocity profile within the firn and ice to ˜150 m depth. The derived density profile allows estimation of the pore close-off depth and the firn-air content thickness. Separate inversions of Rayleigh and Love wave dispersion curves give different shear wave velocity profiles within the firn. We attribute this difference to an effective anisotropy due to fine layering. The layered structure of firn, ice, water and the seafloor results in a characteristic dispersion curve below 7 Hz. Forward modelling the observed Rayleigh wave dispersion curves using representative firn, ice, water and sediment structures indicates that Rayleigh waves are observed when wavelengths are long enough to span the distance from the ice shelf surface to the seafloor. The forward modelling shows that analysis of seismic data from an ice shelf provides the possibility of resolving ice shelf thickness, water column thickness and the physical properties of the ice shelf and underlying seafloor using passive-source seismic data.

  15. Amery Ice Shelf's 'Loose Tooth' Gets Looser

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The Amery Ice Shelf is an important dynamic system responsible for draining about 16% of the grounded East Antarctic ice sheet through only 2% of its coastline. Most of the mass input to the system occurs from the Lambert and several other glaciers. Mass loss from the system occurs through basal melting and iceberg calving. These images from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) portray the ice shelf front on October 6, 2001 (top) and September 29, 2002 (bottom), and illustrate changes that took place over the year elapsed between the two views.

    Two longitudinal rifts, oriented roughly parallel to the direction of ice flow and measuring about 25 and 15 kilometers in length, are apparent near the seaward edge of the ice shelf. Between them, a transverse fracture extends eastward from the base of the western rift. This rift system is colloquially named the Amery 'loose tooth.' Over the course of the one-year interval between these two MISR images, the ice front has advanced approximately 1.6 - 1.7 kilometers, and the transverse fracture and a three-way fissure at the juncture of the rifts have widened. When the transverse fracture eventually reaches the eastern rift, a large iceberg (25 kilometers x 25 kilometers) will be released.

    These false-color multi-angle composites combine red-band data from MISR's 60o forward, nadir, and 60o aftward viewing cameras, displayed as red, green and blue, respectively. Different colors represent angular reflectance variations. Since generally smooth surfaces predominantly forward-scatter sunlight, these appear in shades of blue. Rough surfaces tend to backward-scatter sunlight, and these appear in shades of red or orange. Low clouds appear bright purple, since they exhibit both forward and backward-scattering. Using this technique, textural variations among ice types are revealed, and clouds can be easily distinguished from ice. Illumination conditions on the two dates are nearly identical.

    Understanding the

  16. Victoria Land, Ross Sea, and Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    On December 19, 2001, MODIS acquired data that produced this image of Antarctica's Victoria Land, Ross Ice Shelf, and the Ross Sea. The coastline that runs up and down along the left side of the image denotes where Victoria Land (left) meets the Ross Ice Shelf (right). The Ross Ice Shelf is the world's largest floating body of ice, approximately the same size as France. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

  17. Unique Views of a Shattered Ice Shelf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Both single and multi-angle views of the breakup of the northern section of the Larsen B ice shelf are shown in this image pair from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer. The Larsen B ice shelf collapsed and broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula during February and March, 2002 -- a progression observed by Terra's Moderate-resolution Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MODIS) and analyzed at the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center. The collapse is thought to have been accelerated by warm summer temperatures which caused meltwater to fill crevasses along the landward side of the Larsen shelf, leading to intensified pressures within the sheet structure.

    In the left-hand view, spectral variations across the scene are highlighted by using near-infrared, red and blue data from MISR's nadir (vertical-viewing) camera. Here, the ice within the disintegrating ice shelf appears vibrant blue. Water has an intrinsic blue color due to the selective absorption of longer wavelengths such as red and infrared, and the translucent properties of ice within the collapsing shelf enables this absorption to be observed. The use of the near-infrared band within this false-color composite accentuates the effect. Light brownish streaks across the splintering sheet can also be discerned, and probably indicate regions where rocks and morainal debris were exposed from the interior of the shelf.

    On the right, data from three different view angles and only one color channel were combined to create a multi-angle composite. This image displays red-band data from MISR's 46-degree forward, nadir, and 46-degree backward-viewing cameras as red, green and blue, respectively. Here, the disintegrating ice shelf and the rough crevasses of glaciers appear orange. In contrast to the spectral composite, which provides information on the chemical composition of water ice, the colors in the right-hand image represent properties related to its physical nature. Because vertical

  18. Ice shelf flexure at Antarctic grounding lines observed by high resolution satellite and ground measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rack, Wolfgang; Wild, Christian; Ryan, Michelle; Marsh, Oliver; McDonald, Adrian; King, Matt; Floricioiu, Dana; Wiesmann, Andreas; Price, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    Climate change is expected to impact Antarctic ice sheets primarily through changes in the oceans. This will be felt most strongly near the grounding line, where the ice sheet first comes into contact with ocean water and becomes an ice shelf. The primary objective of this work is to make use of satellite techniques for better monitoring and interpretation of the link between floating ice shelves and grounded ice. By measuring the flexure of ice due to tides we can obtain critical data to derive information on ice properties. Satellites can measure tidal bending over discrete time intervals and over large areas, whereas ground stations monitor ice dynamics continuously at discrete points. By the combination of the two we derive a complete picture of vertical ice displacement by tides for different grounding line geometries. Our field site is the Southern McMurdo Ice Shelf in the western Ross Sea region at which horizontal ice dynamics can be neglected which simplifies corresponding satellite data analysis. During a field survey in 2014/15, we acquired data of tidal flexure along a straight line perpendicular to the grounding line using 8 ground stations equipped with differential GPS receivers and high precision tiltmeters. The most landward station was located close to the grounding line, and the last station was placed 5 km away at a point which was assumed to be freely floating. Additional data acquired for the flexure analysis are ice thickness, snow and ice stratigraphy and basal ice properties using ground radar systems; as well as information of snow morphology from snow pits and ice cores. During the same period a series of TerraSAR-X 11-day repeat pass satellite data have been acquired to map tidal displacement using differential SAR interferometry (DInSAR). Before the onset of the melting season in December all interferograms show generally high coherence and are suitable for tidal flexure analysis. The ice shelf in the area is around 200m thick, and

  19. Modern shelf ice, equatorial Aeolis Quadrangle, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brakenridge, G. R.

    1993-01-01

    As part of a detailed study of the geological and geomorphological evolution of Aeolis Quadrangle, I have encountered evidence suggesting that near surface ice exists at low latitudes and was formed by partial or complete freezing of an inland sea. The area of interest is centered at approximately -2 deg, 196 deg. As seen in a suite of Viking Orbiter frames obtained at a range of approximately 600 km, the plains surface at this location is very lightly cratered or uncratered, and it is thus of late Amazonian age. Extant topographic data indicate that the Amazonian plains at this location occupy a trough whose surface lies at least 1000 m below the Mars datum. A reasonable hypothesis is that quite recent surface water releases, perhaps associated with final evolution of large 'outflow chasms' to the south, but possibly from other source areas, filled this trough, that ice floes formed almost immediately, and that either grounded ice or an ice-covered sea still persists. A reasonable hypothesis is that quite recent surface water releases, perhaps associated with final evolution of large 'outflow chasms' to the south, but possibly from other source areas, filled this trough, that ice floes formed almost immediately, and that either grounded ice or an ice-covered sea still persists. In either case, the thin (a few meters at most) high albedo, low thermal inertia cover of aeolian materials was instrumental in allowing ice preservation, and at least the lower portions of this dust cover may be cemented by water ice. Detailed mapping using Viking stereopairs and quantitative comparisons to terrestrial shelf ice geometries are underway.

  20. Seismicity within a propagating ice shelf rift: the relationship between icequake locations and ice shelf structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heeszel, David S.; Fricker, Helen A.; Bassis, Jeremy N.; O'Neel, Shad; Walter, Fabian

    2014-01-01

    Iceberg calving is a dominant mass loss mechanism for Antarctic ice shelves, second only to basal melting. An important known process involved in calving is the initiation and propagation of through-penetrating fractures called rifts; however, the mechanisms controlling rift propagation remain poorly understood. To investigate the mechanics of ice-shelf rifting, we analyzed seismicity associated with a propagating rift tip on the Amery Ice Shelf, using data collected during the Austral summers of 2004-2007. We investigated seismicity associated with fracture propagation using a suite of passive seismological techniques including icequake locations, back projection, and moment tensor inversion. We confirm previous results that show that seismicity is characterized by periods of relative quiescence punctuated by swarms of intense seismicity of one to three hours. However, even during periods of quiescence, we find significant seismic deformation around the rift tip. Moment tensors, calculated for a subset of the largest icequakes (MW > -2.0) located near the rift tip, show steeply dipping fault planes, horizontal or shallowly plunging stress orientations, and often have a significant volumetric component. They also reveal that much of the observed seismicity is limited to the upper 50 m of the ice shelf. This suggests a complex system of deformation that involves the propagating rift, the region behind the rift tip, and a system of rift-transverse crevasses. Small-scale variations in the mechanical structure of the ice shelf, especially rift-transverse crevasses and accreted marine ice, play an important role in modulating the rate and location of seismicity associated with propagating ice shelf rifts.

  1. Ice Shelf-Ocean Interactions Near Ice Rises and Ice Rumples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lange, M. A.; Rückamp, M.; Kleiner, T.

    2013-12-01

    The stability of ice shelves depends on the existence of embayments and is largely influenced by ice rises and ice rumples, which act as 'pinning-points' for ice shelf movement. Of additional critical importance are interactions between ice shelves and the water masses underlying them in ice shelf cavities, particularly melting and refreezing processes. The present study aims to elucidate the role of ice rises and ice rumples in the context of climate change impacts on Antarctic ice shelves. However, due to their smaller spatial extent, ice rumples react more sensitively to climate change than ice rises. Different forcings are at work and need to be considered separately as well as synergistically. In order to address these issues, we have decided to deal with the following three issues explicitly: oceanographic-, cryospheric and general topics. In so doing, we paid particular attention to possible interrelationships and feedbacks in a coupled ice-shelf-ocean system. With regard to oceanographic issues, we have applied the ocean circulation model ROMBAX to ocean water masses adjacent to and underneath a number of idealized ice shelf configurations: wide and narrow as well as laterally restrained and unrestrained ice shelves. Simulations were performed with and without small ice rises located close to the calving front. For larger configurations, the impact of the ice rises on melt rates at the ice shelf base is negligible, while for smaller configurations net melting rates at the ice-shelf base differ by a factor of up to eight depending on whether ice rises are considered or not. We employed the thermo-coupled ice flow model TIM-FD3 to simulate the effects of several ice rises and one ice rumple on the dynamics of ice shelf flow. We considered the complete un-grounding of the ice shelf in order to investigate the effect of pinning points of different characteristics (interior or near calving front, small and medium sized) on the resulting flow and stress fields

  2. Massive Ice Layer Formed by Refreezing of Ice-shelf Surface Melt Ponds: Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.; Hubbard, B. P.; Luckman, A. J.; Ashmore, D.; Bevan, S. L.; Kulessa, B.; Jansen, D.; O'Leary, M.

    2015-12-01

    Surface melt ponds now form frequently on ice shelves across the northern sector of the Antarctic Peninsula in response to regional warming and local föhn winds. Analysis of a new, 1-year set of observations from an Automatic Weather Station on Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica, reveals that föhn winds are able to cause intense melt in summer, and even into the late austral autumn. A potentially important, but hitherto unknown, consequence of this intense surface melting and ponding is the formation of high-density near-surface ice from the refreezing of that water. We report the discovery of a massive subsurface ice layer located in an area of intense melting and intermittent ponding on Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica. We combine borehole optical televiewer logging and ground-based radar measurements with remote sensing and firn modelling to investigate the formation and spatial extent of this layer, found to be tens of kilometres across and tens of metres deep. The presence of this ice layer has the effect of raising local ice shelf density by ~190 kg m-3 and temperature by 5 - 10 °C above values found in areas unaffected by ponding and hitherto used in models of ice-shelf fracture and flow.

  3. Composition and origin of amber ice and its influence on the behaviour of cold glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mager, Sarah; Fitzsimons, Sean; Frew, Russell; Samyn, Denis; Lorrain, Reginald

    This paper examines the basal ice sequence of Rhone Glacier, a cold-based glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, using isotopic and solute chemistry data. Three different ice facies are identified: englacial, amber and stratified. The englacial facies is clean, bubbly ice of meteoric origin and is underlain by an amber facies. Amber ice is a characteristic of cold alpine glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys and is distinctive for its high solute concentrations and much higher strain rates compared with the overlying englacial ice and the underlying stratified ice. Analysis of the stratified facies reveals an isotopic signature indicative of melt then refreeze processes and it is most likely associated with apron entrainment at the margin. By contrast, the amber facies has a co-isotopic slope of 8 and plots on a meteoric waterline. The inclusion of impurities in the amber ice reveals prolonged contact with the bed, and its depleted isotopic signature is consistent with ice formed during a cooler period. Comparison of the basal sequence of Rhone Glacier with other cold-based glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys reveals strong similarities between valley-side glaciers (e.g. Meserve and Rhone Glaciers), whereas valley-floor glacier basal sequences (e.g. Suess Glacier) are characterized by structurally complex amalgamations of ice and debris.

  4. Geochemical and isotopic signatures of ice shelves and ice shelf circulation in marine sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Duanne; Fink, David; Simon, Krista; Post, Alix; Galton-Fenzi, Ben; Yokoyama, Yusuke

    2016-04-01

    Ice shelves are a key component of the ice sheet drainage network. Most ice lost from the present day Antarctic ice sheet occurs via ice shelves, so ice shelf processes (e.g. calving and basal melt) modulate ice sheet mass balance. Knowledge of the past distribution and geometry of ice shelves will help understand their sensitivity to climate forcing, and the response of ice sheets to changes and loss of ice shelves. However, detecting the presence or absence of past ice shelves in the sedimentary record is challenging. In this study, we compare concentrations of elemental and isotopic tracers in modern sediments in open water in Prydz Bay to those being deposited underneath the Amery Ice Shelf at ten sites across the region. Our results suggest that sub-ice shelf and open water sediments differ in their acid-extractable elemental concentrations. Also, meteoric Be-10 concentrations are on average lower in sub-ice shelf settings than they are in open water environments. However, the Be-10 concentration is modulated by sub-ice shelf ocean circulation, so that there is overlap between the sediment concentrations in these two environments. In combination, we suggest that these tracers can be used as proxies to reconstruct former ice shelf geometries and sub-shelf circulation.

  5. Observations of the Brunt Ice Shelf and Macdonald Ice Rumples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Ryan; Gudmundsson, Hilmar

    2010-05-01

    This poster provides an update to the Lifetime of Halley Project, whose aim is to monitor the ongoing stability of the Brunt Ice Shelf (upon which the British research Station, Halley V, is built). Previous monitoring has shown the primary tongue of the Brunt to generally exhibit mild net positive strains in all directions that one would associate with a typically stable unconstricted ice shelf. Recent work has therefore focused upon the region around the Macdonald Ice Rumples, a three square kilometer region where the Brunt locally grounds itself along its northern ice front. This location provides critical support to the Brunt, but is also an area of elevated strain which has experienced significant local calving events in the past. To monitor this region, five new dual-band GPS stations have been installed with solar and wind power, to allow operation through the majority of the year. The stations can be operated continuously or for timed periods each day. Typically, each station is run continuously for a full month upon installation, to capture station motion through an entire tidal cycle. They are then rescheduled to operate for an hour per day for long-term monitoring. One station is on the top of the Rumples; this station shows motion on the order of centimeters/day rather than meters/day. This lack of significant motion confirms that the Macdonald Ice Rumples may instead be classified as an ice rise, as the motion of the ice on top of the so-called Rumples is strongly independent of the motion in the surrounding shelf. Another station is located in an area of rippling near the periphery of the Rumples. The ripples in this region suggest a building stress level that may precede a mini-calving event near the Rumples; the last time such rippling was observed was the period immediately preceding a comparable calving event in 1970. This station was installed at the top of a ripple in December 2009, and preliminary data will be displayed from this season. The

  6. Massive Ice Layer Formed by Refreezing of Ice-shelf Surface Melt Ponds: Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, Bryn; Luckman, Adrian; Ashmore, David; Bevan, Suzanne; Kulessa, Bernd; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Jansen, Daniela; O'Leary, Martin

    2016-04-01

    Surface melt ponds now form frequently on ice shelves across the northern sector of the Antarctic Peninsula in response to regional warming and local föhn winds. A potentially important, but hitherto unknown, consequence of this surface melting and ponding is the formation of high-density near-surface ice from the refreezing of that water. We report the discovery and physical character of a massive subsurface ice layer located in an area of intense melting and intermittent ponding on Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica. We combine borehole optical televiewer logging and ground-based radar measurements with remote sensing and firn modelling to investigate the formation and spatial extent of this layer, found to be tens of kilometres across and tens of metres deep. The presence of this ice layer has the effect of raising local ice shelf density by ~190 kg m^-3 and temperature by 5 - 10 degrees C above values found in areas unaffected by ponding and hitherto used in models of ice-shelf fracture and flow.

  7. Environment at the Grounding Zone of the Whillans Ice Stream-Ross Ice Shelf, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodson, T. O.; Powell, R. D.; Mikucki, J.; Scherer, R. P.; Tulaczyk, S. M.; Coenen, J. J.; Puttkammer, R.; Branecky, C.

    2015-12-01

    Grounding zones where grounded ice sheets transition to floating ice shelves, are the primary gateways through which the Antarctic Ice Sheet loses mass to the ocean. In these environments, ice, ocean, meltwater and sediment meet and interact, influencing both the ice sheet and ocean circulation beneath the ice shelf. Here, we report on conditions near the grounding zone of the Whillans Ice Stream, which feeds into the Ross Ice Shelf. Cameras and instruments lowered through an access borehole to the ocean cavity beneath the ice shelf found a 10m-thick water column comprising an upper layer of colder ice shelf water formed from mixing between meltwater with the lower layer of warmer higher salinity shelf water. This style of stratification is typical of large ice shelves, but it was uncertain whether it existed so near the grounding zone, where stronger tidal currents and/or strong subglacial stream discharges could mix the water column. Salinity and temperature of the water suggest it formed from sea ice production in the Western Ross Sea, with minimal modification beneath the ice shelf. This source region is distinct from waters previously observed at the nearby J-9 borehole, illustrating the importance of the sub-ice shelf bathymetry in steering circulation between the ocean and the grounding zone. Preliminary data suggest an active exchange of heat and nutrients between the grounding zone and the open ocean, despite being separated by 600km. Thus life found near the grounding line is probably not an isolated oasis, but may instead be part of a much broader ecosystem that spans the ice shelf. Although sea ice formation presently maintains water in the sub-ice shelf cavity near the surface freezing point, buffering many larger ice shelves from gradual ocean warming, these findings suggest that even grounding zones of extensive ice shelves may respond quickly to abrupt changes in ocean circulation, such as that observed in the Amundsen Sea.

  8. Dissolved and particulate trace metal micronutrients under the McMurdo Sound seasonal sea ice: basal sea ice communities as a capacitor for iron

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Abigail E.; Moran, Dawn M.; Allen, Andrew E.; Saito, Mak A.

    2013-01-01

    Dissolved and particulate metal concentrations are reported from three sites beneath and at the base of the McMurdo Sound seasonal sea ice in the Ross Sea of Antarctica. This dataset provided insight into Co and Mn biogeochemistry, supporting a previous hypothesis for water column mixing occurring faster than scavenging. Three observations support this: first, Mn-containing particles with Mn/Al ratios in excess of the sediment were present in the water column, implying the presence of bacterial Mn-oxidation processes. Second, dissolved and labile Co were uniform with depth beneath the sea ice after the winter season. Third, dissolved Co:PO3−4 ratios were consistent with previously observed Ross Sea stoichiometry, implying that over-winter scavenging was slow relative to mixing. Abundant dissolved Fe and Mn were consistent with a winter reserve concept, and particulate Al, Fe, Mn, and Co covaried, implying that these metals behaved similarly. Elevated particulate metals were observed in proximity to the nearby Islands, with particulate Fe/Al ratios similar to that of nearby sediment, consistent with a sediment resuspension source. Dissolved and particulate metals were elevated at the shallowest depths (particularly Fe) with elevated particulate P/Al and Fe/Al ratios in excess of sediments, demonstrating a sea ice biomass source. The sea ice biomass was extremely dense (chl a >9500 μg/L) and contained high abundances of particulate metals with elevated metal/Al ratios. A hypothesis for seasonal accumulation of bioactive metals at the base of the McMurdo Sound sea ice by the basal algal community is presented, analogous to a capacitor that accumulates iron during the spring and early summer. The release and transport of particulate metals accumulated at the base of the sea ice by sloughing is discussed as a potentially important mechanism in providing iron nutrition during polynya phytoplankton bloom formation and could be examined in future oceanographic

  9. Dissolved and particulate trace metal micronutrients under the McMurdo Sound seasonal sea ice: basal sea ice communities as a capacitor for iron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noble, Abigail; Saito, Mak; Moran, Dawn; Allen, Andrew

    2013-10-01

    Dissolved and particulate metal concentrations are reported from three sites beneath and at the base of the McMurdo Sound seasonal sea ice in the Ross Sea of Antarctica. This dataset provided insight into Co and Mn biogeochemistry, supporting a previous hypothesis for water column mixing occurring faster than scavenging. Three observations support this: first, Mn-containing particles with Mn/Al ratios in excess of the sediment were present in the water column, implying the presence of bacterial Mn-oxidation processes. Second, dissolved and labile Co were uniform with depth beneath the sea ice after the winter season. Third, dissolved Co:PO43- ratios were consistent with previously observed Ross Sea stoichiometry, implying that over-winter scavenging was slow relative to mixing. Abundant dissolved Fe and Mn were consistent with a winter reserve concept, and particulate Al, Fe, Mn, and Co covaried, implying that these metals behaved similarly. Elevated particulate metals were observed in proximity to the nearby Islands, with particulate Fe/Al ratios similar to that of nearby sediment, consistent with a sediment resuspension source. Dissolved and particulate metals were elevated at the shallowest depths (particularly Fe) with elevated particulate P/Al and Fe/Al ratios in excess of sediments, demonstrating a sea ice biomass source. The sea ice biomass was extremely dense (chl a >9500 μg/L) and contained high abundances of particulate metals with elevated metal/Al ratios. A hypothesis for seasonal accumulation of bioactive metals at the base of the McMurdo Sound sea ice by the basal algal community is presented, analogous to a capacitor that accumulates iron during the spring and early summer. The release and transport of particulate metals accumulated at the base of the sea ice by sloughing is discussed as a potentially important mechanism in providing iron nutrition during polynya phytoplankton bloom formation and could be examined in future oceanographic expeditions.

  10. Heating the Ice-Covered Lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica - Decadal Trends in Heat Content, Ice Thickness, and Heat Exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gooseff, M. N.; Priscu, J. C.; Doran, P. T.; Chiuchiolo, A.; Obryk, M.

    2014-12-01

    Lakes integrate landscape processes and climate conditions. Most of the permanently ice-covered lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica are closed basin, receiving glacial melt water from streams for 10-12 weeks per year. Lake levels rise during the austral summer are balanced by sublimation of ice covers (year-round) and evaporation of open water moats (summer only). Vertical profiles of water temperature have been measured in three lakes in Taylor Valley since 1988. Up to 2002, lake levels were dropping, ice covers were thickening, and total heat contents were decreasing. These lakes have been gaining heat since the mid-2000s, at rates as high as 19.5x1014 cal/decade). Since 2002, lake levels have risen substantially (as much as 2.5 m), and ice covers have thinned (1.5 m on average). Analyses of lake ice thickness, meteorological conditions, and stream water heat loads indicate that the main source of heat to these lakes is from latent heat released when ice-covers form during the winter. An aditional source of heat to the lakes is water inflows from streams and direct glacieal melt. Mean lake temperatures in the past few years have stabilized or cooled, despite increases in lake level and total heat content, suggesting increased direct inflow of meltwater from glaciers. These results indicate that McMurdo Dry Valley lakes are sensitive indicators of climate processes in this polar desert landscape and demonstrate the importance of long-term data sets when addressing the effects of climate on ecosystem processes.

  11. Ice Shelf Modeling: A Cross-Polar Bayesian Statistical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchner, N.; Furrer, R.; Jakobsson, M.; Zwally, H. J.

    2010-12-01

    Ice streams interlink glacial terrestrial and marine environments: embedded in a grounded inland ice such as the Antarctic Ice Sheet or the paleo ice sheets covering extensive parts of the Eurasian and Amerasian Arctic respectively, ice streams are major drainage agents facilitating the discharge of substantial portions of continental ice into the ocean. At their seaward side, ice streams can either extend onto the ocean as floating ice tongues (such as the Drygalsky Ice Tongue/East Antarctica), or feed large ice shelves (as is the case for e.g. the Siple Coast and the Ross Ice Shelf/West Antarctica). The flow behavior of ice streams has been recognized to be intimately linked with configurational changes in their attached ice shelves; in particular, ice shelf disintegration is associated with rapid ice stream retreat and increased mass discharge from the continental ice mass, contributing eventually to sea level rise. Investigations of ice stream retreat mechanism are however incomplete if based on terrestrial records only: rather, the dynamics of ice shelves (and, eventually, the impact of the ocean on the latter) must be accounted for. However, since floating ice shelves leave hardly any traces behind when melting, uncertainty regarding the spatio-temporal distribution and evolution of ice shelves in times prior to instrumented and recorded observation is high, calling thus for a statistical modeling approach. Complementing ongoing large-scale numerical modeling efforts (Pollard & DeConto, 2009), we model the configuration of ice shelves by using a Bayesian Hiearchial Modeling (BHM) approach. We adopt a cross-polar perspective accounting for the fact that currently, ice shelves exist mainly along the coastline of Antarctica (and are virtually non-existing in the Arctic), while Arctic Ocean ice shelves repeatedly impacted the Arctic ocean basin during former glacial periods. Modeled Arctic ocean ice shelf configurations are compared with geological spatial

  12. Holocene dynamics of the Arctic's largest ice shelf.

    PubMed

    Antoniades, Dermot; Francus, Pierre; Pienitz, Reinhard; St-Onge, Guillaume; Vincent, Warwick F

    2011-11-22

    Ice shelves in the Arctic lost more than 90% of their total surface area during the 20th century and are continuing to disintegrate rapidly. The significance of these changes, however, is obscured by the poorly constrained ontogeny of Arctic ice shelves. Here we use the sedimentary record behind the largest remaining ice shelf in the Arctic, the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (Ellesmere Island, Canada), to establish a long-term context in which to evaluate recent ice-shelf deterioration. Multiproxy analysis of sediment cores revealed pronounced biological and geochemical changes in Disraeli Fiord in response to the formation of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf and its fluctuations through time. Our results show that the ice shelf was absent during the early Holocene and formed 4,000 years ago in response to climate cooling. Paleoecological data then indicate that the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf remained stable for almost three millennia before a major fracturing event that occurred ∼1,400 years ago. After reformation ∼800 years ago, freshwater was a constant feature of Disraeli Fiord until the catastrophic drainage of its epishelf lake in the early 21st century. PMID:22025693

  13. Holocene dynamics of the Arctic's largest ice shelf

    PubMed Central

    Antoniades, Dermot; Francus, Pierre; Pienitz, Reinhard; St-Onge, Guillaume; Vincent, Warwick F.

    2011-01-01

    Ice shelves in the Arctic lost more than 90% of their total surface area during the 20th century and are continuing to disintegrate rapidly. The significance of these changes, however, is obscured by the poorly constrained ontogeny of Arctic ice shelves. Here we use the sedimentary record behind the largest remaining ice shelf in the Arctic, the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (Ellesmere Island, Canada), to establish a long-term context in which to evaluate recent ice-shelf deterioration. Multiproxy analysis of sediment cores revealed pronounced biological and geochemical changes in Disraeli Fiord in response to the formation of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf and its fluctuations through time. Our results show that the ice shelf was absent during the early Holocene and formed 4,000 years ago in response to climate cooling. Paleoecological data then indicate that the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf remained stable for almost three millennia before a major fracturing event that occurred ∼1,400 years ago. After reformation ∼800 years ago, freshwater was a constant feature of Disraeli Fiord until the catastrophic drainage of its epishelf lake in the early 21st century. PMID:22025693

  14. Teleseismic Earthquake Signals Observed on an Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, M. G.; Aster, R. C.; Anthony, R. E.; Wiens, D.; Nyblade, A.; Bromirski, P. D.; Stephen, R. A.; Gerstoft, P.

    2015-12-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is one of Earth's largest continental extension zones. Study of the WARS is complicated by the presence of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the Ross Ice Shelf, and the Ross Sea. Recent deployments of broadband seismographs in the POLENET project have allowed passive seismic techniques, such as receiver function analysis and surface wave dispersion, to be widely utilized to infer crustal and mantle velocity structure across much of the WARS and West Antarctica. However, a large sector of the WARS lies beneath the Ross Ice Shelf. In late 2014, 34 broadband seismographs were deployed atop the ice shelf to jointly study deep Earth structure and the dynamics of the ice shelf. Ice shelf conditions present strong challenges to broadband teleseismic imaging: 1) The presence of complicating signals in the microseism through long-period bands due to the influence of ocean gravity waves; 2) The strong velocity contrasts at the ice-water and water-sediment interfaces on either side of the water layer give rise to large amplitude reverberations; 3) The water layer screens S-waves or P-to-S phases originating from below the water layer. We present an initial analysis of the first teleseismic earthquake arrivals collected on the ice shelf at the end of the 2014 field season from a limited subset of these stations.

  15. Massive subsurface ice formed by refreezing of ice-shelf melt ponds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, Bryn; Luckman, Adrian; Ashmore, David W.; Bevan, Suzanne; Kulessa, Bernd; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Philippe, Morgane; Jansen, Daniela; Booth, Adam; Sevestre, Heidi; Tison, Jean-Louis; O'Leary, Martin; Rutt, Ian

    2016-06-01

    Surface melt ponds form intermittently on several Antarctic ice shelves. Although implicated in ice-shelf break up, the consequences of such ponding for ice formation and ice-shelf structure have not been evaluated. Here we report the discovery of a massive subsurface ice layer, at least 16 km across, several kilometres long and tens of metres deep, located in an area of intense melting and intermittent ponding on Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica. We combine borehole optical televiewer logging and radar measurements with remote sensing and firn modelling to investigate the layer, found to be ~10 °C warmer and ~170 kg m-3 denser than anticipated in the absence of ponding and hitherto used in models of ice-shelf fracture and flow. Surface ponding and ice layers such as the one we report are likely to form on a wider range of Antarctic ice shelves in response to climatic warming in forthcoming decades.

  16. Mathematical Modelling of Melt Lake Formation On An Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buzzard, Sammie; Feltham, Daniel; Flocco, Daniela

    2016-04-01

    The accumulation of surface meltwater on ice shelves can lead to the formation of melt lakes. These structures have been implicated in crevasse propagation and ice-shelf collapse; the Larsen B ice shelf was observed to have a large amount of melt lakes present on its surface just before its collapse in 2002. Through modelling the transport of heat through the surface of the Larsen C ice shelf, where melt lakes have also been observed, this work aims to provide new insights into the ways in which melt lakes are forming and the effect that meltwater filling crevasses on the ice shelf will have. This will enable an assessment of the role of meltwater in triggering ice-shelf collapse. The Antarctic Peninsula, where Larsen C is situated, has warmed several times the global average over the last century and this ice shelf has been suggested as a candidate for becoming fully saturated with meltwater by the end of the current century. Here we present results of a 1-D mathematical model of heat transfer through an idealized ice shelf. When forced with automatic weather station data from Larsen C, surface melting and the subsequent meltwater accumulation, melt lake development and refreezing are demonstrated through the modelled results. Furthermore, the effect of lateral meltwater transport upon melt lakes and the effect of the lakes upon the surface energy balance are examined. Investigating the role of meltwater in ice-shelf stability is key as collapse can affect ocean circulation and temperature, and cause a loss of habitat. Additionally, it can cause a loss of the buttressing effect that ice shelves can have on their tributary glaciers, thus allowing the glaciers to accelerate, contributing to sea-level rise.

  17. Mathematical Modelling of Melt Lake Formation On An Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buzzard, S. C.; Feltham, D. L.; Flocco, D.; Sammonds, P. R.

    2015-12-01

    The accumulation of surface meltwater on ice shelves can lead to the formation of melt lakes. These structures have been implicated in crevasse propagation and ice-shelf collapse; the Larsen B ice shelf was observed to have a large amount of melt lakes present on its surface just before its collapse in 2002. Through modelling the transport of heat through the surface of the Larsen C ice shelf, where melt lakes have also been observed, this work aims to provide new insights into the ways in which melt lakes are forming and the effect that meltwater filling crevasses on the ice shelf will have. This will enable an assessment of the role of meltwater in triggering ice-shelf collapse. The Antarctic Peninsula, where Larsen C is situated, has warmed several times the global average over the last century and this ice shelf has been suggested as a candidate for becoming fully saturated with meltwater by the end of the current century. Here we present results of a 1-D mathematical model of heat transfer through an idealized ice shelf. When forced with automatic weather station data from Larsen C, surface melting and the subsequent meltwater accumulation, melt lake development and refreezing are demonstrated through the modelled results. Furthermore, the effect of lateral meltwater transport upon melt lakes and the effect of the lakes upon the surface energy balance are examined. Investigating the role of meltwater in ice-shelf stability is key as collapse can affect ocean circulation and temperature, and cause a loss of habitat. Additionally, it can cause a loss of the buttressing effect that ice shelves can have on their tributary glaciers, thus allowing the glaciers to accelerate, contributing to sea-level rise.

  18. Comparison of Ice-shelf Creep Flow Simulations with Ice-front Motion of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica, Detected by SAR Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hulbe, C. L.; Rignot, E.; MacAyeal, D. R.

    1998-01-01

    Comparison between numerical model ice-shelf flow simulations and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferograms is used to study the dynamics at the Hemmen Ice Rise (HIR) and Lassiter Coast (LC) corners of the iceberg-calving front of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf (FRIS).

  19. Seabed topography beneath Larsen C Ice Shelf from seismic soundings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brisbourne, A. M.; Smith, A. M.; King, E. C.; Nicholls, K. W.; Holland, P. R.; Makinson, K.

    2014-01-01

    Seismic reflection soundings of ice thickness and seabed depth were acquired on the Larsen C Ice Shelf in order to test a sub-ice shelf bathymetry model derived from the inversion of IceBridge gravity data. A series of lines was collected, from the Churchill Peninsula in the north to the Joerg Peninsula in the south, and also towards the ice front. Sites were selected using the bathymetry model derived from the inversion of free-air gravity data to indicate key regions where sub-ice shelf oceanic circulation may be affected by ice draft and seabed depth. The seismic velocity profile in the upper 100 m of firn and ice was derived from shallow refraction surveys at a number of locations. Measured temperatures within the ice column and at the ice base were used to define the velocity profile through the remainder of the ice column. Seismic velocities in the water column were derived from previous in situ measurements. Uncertainties in ice and water cavity thickness are in general < 10 m. Compared with the seismic measurements, the root-mean-square error in the gravimetrically derived bathymetry at the seismic sites is 162 m. The seismic profiles prove the non-existence of several bathymetric features that are indicated in the gravity inversion model, significantly modifying the expected oceanic circulation beneath the ice shelf. Similar features have previously been shown to be highly significant in affecting basal melt rates predicted by ocean models. The discrepancies between the gravity inversion results and the seismic bathymetry are attributed to the assumption of uniform geology inherent in the gravity inversion process and also the sparsity of IceBridge flight lines. Results indicate that care must be taken when using bathymetry models derived by the inversion of free-air gravity anomalies. The bathymetry results presented here will be used to improve existing sub-ice shelf ocean circulation models.

  20. Late Pliocene cooling, sea ice and the establishment of a Ross Sea polynya: Geochemical and diatom assemblage constraints from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riesselman, C.; Dunbar, R. B.; Sjunneskog, C. M.; Mucciarone, D. A.; Winter, D.; Olney, M.; Tuzzi, E.; McKay, R. M.; Scherer, R. P.

    2010-12-01

    The marine sediment cores collected by the Antarctic Geological Drilling (ANDRILL) Program from sites beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS; Core AND-1B) and in Southern McMurdo Sound (SMS; Core AND-2A) represent the most complete record to date of Neogene climate evolution proximal to the Antarctic continent. Diatom-rich lithologic units alternate with glacial sediments throughout the Pliocene and early Pleistocene of AND-1B; each diatom-rich unit within this oscillating record has distinctive geochemical and diatom assemblage characteristics and most are interpreted to preserve single interglacial intervals of 40-thousand-year glacial/interglacial cycles. Though the dramatic Pliocene glacial/interglacial oscillations recorded at the MIS site are absent in the shallower SMS record, AND-2A preserves a single diverse late Pliocene diatom assemblage, providing an additional constraint on Ross Sea Pliocene climate. Here, we focus on the reconstruction of sea surface conditions from four discrete AND-1B interglacial units deposited ~3.2, 3.0, 2.9, and 2.6 Ma. Diatom assemblages record the onset of Plio-Pleistocene cooling in the Ross Sea at 3.2 Ma, intensifying at 3.0 Ma, and suggest spring blooms in a surface ocean seasonally stratified by sea ice melt. Following the initial cooling, an increase in warm-water species at 2.9 and 2.6 Ma records a temporary late Pliocene reversal in the cooling trend. The Pliocene diatom-bearing interval in AND-2A is equivalent to the 2.6 Ma diatomite, providing further evidence for late Pliocene reversion to warmer open ocean conditions. Cooling resumes in the early Pleistocene, but sea-ice related diatoms, which dominate late Pleistocene and recent Antarctic sediments, are present only as minor components throughout the ANDRILL records. Sedimentary δ13C and δ15N in the AND-1B diatomite units provide additional insights into Pliocene evolution of sea ice, stratification, and primary productivity. For AND-1B diatomite units younger than 3

  1. Ocean mixing beneath Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Satoshi; Dutrieux, Pierre; Jenkins, Adrian; Forryan, Alexander; Naveira Garabato, Alberto; Firing, Yvonne

    2016-04-01

    Ice shelves around Antarctica are vulnerable to increase in ocean-driven melting, with the melt rate depending on ocean temperature and strength of sub-ice-shelf-cavity circulations. We present repeated measurements of velocity, temperature, salinity, turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate and thermal variance dissipation rate beneath Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, collected by CTD, ADCP and turbulence sensors mounted on an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The turbulence quantities measured by the AUV outside the ice shelf are in good agreement with ship-based measurements. The highest rate of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation is found near the grounding line, while its temporal fluctuation over seabed ridge within the cavity corresponds to the tidal fluctuation predicted in the Pine Island Bay to the west. The highest thermal variance dissipation rate is found when the AUV was 0.5 m away from the ice, and the thermal variance dissipation generally increases with decreasing distance between the AUV and ice.

  2. Ice-Shelf Tidal Flexure and Subglacial Pressure Variations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, Ryan T.; Parizek, Byron R.; Alley, Richard B.; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar; Riverman, Kiya L.; Christianson, Knut

    2013-01-01

    We develop a model of an ice shelf-ice stream system as a viscoelastic beam partially supported by an elastic foundation. When bed rock near the grounding line acts as a fulcrum, leverage from the ice shelf dropping at low tide can cause significant (approx 1 cm) uplift in the first few kilometers of grounded ice.This uplift and the corresponding depression at high tide lead to basal pressure variations of sufficient magnitude to influence subglacial hydrology.Tidal flexure may thus affect basal lubrication, sediment flow, and till strength, all of which are significant factors in ice-stream dynamics and grounding-line stability. Under certain circumstances, our results suggest the possibility of seawater being drawn into the subglacial water system. The presence of sea water beneath grounded ice would significantly change the radar reflectivity of the grounding zone and complicate the interpretation of grounded versus floating ice based on ice-penetrating radar observations.

  3. Seabed topography beneath Larsen C Ice Shelf from seismic soundings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brisbourne, A. M.; Smith, A. M.; King, E. C.; Nicholls, K. W.; Holland, P. R.; Makinson, K.

    2013-08-01

    Seismic reflection soundings of ice thickness and seabed depth were acquired on the Larsen C Ice Shelf in order to test a sub-shelf bathymetry model derived from the inversion of IceBridge gravity data. A series of lines were collected, from the Churchill Peninsula in the north to the Joerg Peninsula in the south, and also towards the ice front. Sites were selected using the bathymetry model derived from the inversion of free-air gravity data to indicate key regions where sub-shelf oceanic circulation may be affected by ice draft and sub-shelf cavity thickness. The seismic velocity profile in the upper 100 m of firn and ice was derived from shallow refraction surveys at a number of locations. Measured temperatures within the ice column and at the ice base were used to define the velocity profile through the remainder of the ice column. Seismic velocities in the water column were derived from previous in situ measurements. Uncertainties in ice and water cavity thickness are in general <10 m. Compared with the seismic measurements, the root-mean-square error in the gravimetrically derived bathymetry at the seismic sites is 162 m. The seismic profiles prove the non-existence of several bathymetric features that are indicated in the gravity inversion model, significantly modifying the expected oceanic circulation beneath the ice shelf. Similar features have previously been shown to be highly significant in affecting basal melt rates predicted by ocean models. The discrepancies between the gravity inversion results and the seismic bathymetry are attributed to the assumption of uniform geology inherent in the gravity inversion process and also the sparsity of IceBridge flight lines. Results indicate that care must be taken when using bathymetry models derived by the inversion of free-air gravity anomalies. The bathymetry results presented here will be used to improve existing sub-shelf ocean circulation models.

  4. Investigating the Flow Dynamics at Ice Shelf Calving Fronts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wearing, Martin; Hindmarsh, Richard; Worster, Grae

    2015-04-01

    Ice-shelf calving-rates and the buttressing ice shelves provide to grounded ice are both difficult to model and quantify. An increased understanding of the mechanics of this process is imperative in determining the dynamics of marine ice sheets and consequently predicting their future extent, thickness and discharge. Alley et al. (2008) proposed an empirically derived calving law, relating the calving rate to the strain rate at the calving front. However, Hindmarsh (2012) showed that a similar relationship could be deduced by considering the viscous flow of the ice shelf. We investigate the relationship between the ice shelf flow field and the strain rate field in the area close to the calving front. Analysis is undertaken of ice surface velocity data for a range of Antarctic ice shelves (data from Rignot et al., 2011) and an inferred strain rate field produced from that data. These geophysical results are compared with a simple mathematical model for laterally confined ice shelf flow. Correlations are calculated between the same variables as Alley et al. but using a new and larger data compilation, which gives a greater degree of scatter. Good agreement is observed between the expected theoretical scaling and geophysical data for the flow of ice near the calving front in the case of laterally confined ice shelves. This lateral confinement ensures flow is aligned in the along-shelf direction and resistance to flow is provided by near stationary ice in the grounded margins. In other cases, the velocity is greater than predicted, which we attribute on a case-by-case basis to marginal weakening or the presence of ice tongues. We develop statistical methodologies for identifying these outliers.

  5. Marine ice regulates the future stability of a large Antarctic ice shelf.

    PubMed

    Kulessa, Bernd; Jansen, Daniela; Luckman, Adrian J; King, Edward C; Sammonds, Peter R

    2014-01-01

    The collapses of the Larsen A and B ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula in 1995 and 2002 confirm the impact of southward-propagating climate warming in this region. Recent mass and dynamic changes of Larsen B's southern neighbour Larsen C, the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica, may herald a similar instability. Here, using a validated ice-shelf model run in diagnostic mode, constrained by satellite and in situ geophysical data, we identify the nature of this potential instability. We demonstrate that the present-day spatial distribution and orientation of the principal stresses within Larsen C ice shelf are akin to those within pre-collapse Larsen B. When Larsen B's stabilizing frontal portion was lost in 1995, the unstable remaining shelf accelerated, crumbled and ultimately collapsed. We hypothesize that Larsen C ice shelf may suffer a similar fate if it were not stabilized by warm and mechanically soft marine ice, entrained within narrow suture zones.

  6. Abiotic versus biotic drivers of ocean pH variation under fast sea ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Matson, Paul G; Washburn, Libe; Martz, Todd R; Hofmann, Gretchen E

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification is expected to have a major effect on the marine carbonate system over the next century, particularly in high latitude seas. Less appreciated is natural environmental variation within these systems, particularly in terms of pH, and how this natural variation may inform laboratory experiments. In this study, we deployed sensor-equipped moorings at 20 m depths at three locations in McMurdo Sound, comprising deep (bottom depth>200 m: Hut Point Peninsula) and shallow environments (bottom depth ∼25 m: Cape Evans and New Harbor). Our sensors recorded high-frequency variation in pH (Hut Point and Cape Evans only), tide (Cape Evans and New Harbor), and water mass properties (temperature and salinity) during spring and early summer 2011. These collective observations showed that (1) pH differed spatially both in terms of mean pH (Cape Evans: 8.009±0.015; Hut Point: 8.020±0.007) and range of pH (Cape Evans: 0.090; Hut Point: 0.036), and (2) pH was not related to the mixing of two water masses, suggesting that the observed pH variation is likely not driven by this abiotic process. Given the large daily fluctuation in pH at Cape Evans, we developed a simple mechanistic model to explore the potential for biotic processes--in this case algal photosynthesis--to increase pH by fixing carbon from the water column. For this model, we incorporated published photosynthetic parameters for the three dominant algal functional groups found at Cape Evans (benthic fleshy red macroalgae, crustose coralline algae, and sea ice algal communities) to estimate oxygen produced/carbon fixed from the water column underneath fast sea ice and the resulting pH change. These results suggest that biotic processes may be a primary driver of pH variation observed under fast sea ice at Cape Evans and potentially at other shallow sites in McMurdo Sound.

  7. Abiotic versus Biotic Drivers of Ocean pH Variation under Fast Sea Ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Matson, Paul G.; Washburn, Libe; Martz, Todd R.; Hofmann, Gretchen E.

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification is expected to have a major effect on the marine carbonate system over the next century, particularly in high latitude seas. Less appreciated is natural environmental variation within these systems, particularly in terms of pH, and how this natural variation may inform laboratory experiments. In this study, we deployed sensor-equipped moorings at 20 m depths at three locations in McMurdo Sound, comprising deep (bottom depth>200 m: Hut Point Peninsula) and shallow environments (bottom depth ∼25 m: Cape Evans and New Harbor). Our sensors recorded high-frequency variation in pH (Hut Point and Cape Evans only), tide (Cape Evans and New Harbor), and water mass properties (temperature and salinity) during spring and early summer 2011. These collective observations showed that (1) pH differed spatially both in terms of mean pH (Cape Evans: 8.009±0.015; Hut Point: 8.020±0.007) and range of pH (Cape Evans: 0.090; Hut Point: 0.036), and (2) pH was not related to the mixing of two water masses, suggesting that the observed pH variation is likely not driven by this abiotic process. Given the large daily fluctuation in pH at Cape Evans, we developed a simple mechanistic model to explore the potential for biotic processes – in this case algal photosynthesis – to increase pH by fixing carbon from the water column. For this model, we incorporated published photosynthetic parameters for the three dominant algal functional groups found at Cape Evans (benthic fleshy red macroalgae, crustose coralline algae, and sea ice algal communities) to estimate oxygen produced/carbon fixed from the water column underneath fast sea ice and the resulting pH change. These results suggest that biotic processes may be a primary driver of pH variation observed under fast sea ice at Cape Evans and potentially at other shallow sites in McMurdo Sound. PMID:25221950

  8. Ice velocity at the ice front of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica, as observed with ERS interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric; MacAyeal, Douglas R.

    1997-01-01

    ERS images of the two ends of the ice front of the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf (Antarctica) were utilized interferometrically to study the deformation rate of the ice shelf in response to viscous creep. On the western bank of Berkner Island (BI), near Hemmen Ice Rise (HIR), a time series of ERS data acquired in February 1992, in both ascending and descending mode, and with a three-day time interval, were utilized to map the ice velocity in two dimensions. Finite-element ice-shelf flow simulations are compared with the ERS interferograms to interpret the ice motion in terms of the physical constraints on ice-shelf flow. The efforts to fit artificial interferograms generated with model velocity output suggest that the flow regime is strongly influenced by three processes. First, a void-creation process responsible for rifts at coastal margins tends to uncouple the ice shelf from the ice rise and neighboring coast of BI. Secondly, sea ice within the void space appears to act as a binding agent between discrete ice-shelf fragments, allowing rigid-body rotations of these fragments. Third, strain rates appear to be enhanced in a narrow zone adjacent to HIR, implying significant strain softening along the boundary. It is believed that synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferogram/model intercomparison represents a powerful impetus towards the development of better, more physically realistic ice-shelf flow models.

  9. Changes on the ice plain of Ice Stream B and Ross Ice Shelf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shabtaie, Sion

    1993-01-01

    During the 1970's and 1980's, nearly 200 stations from which accurate, three dimensional position fixes have been obtained from TRANSIT satellites were occupied throughout the Ross Ice Shelf. We have transformed the elevations obtained by satellite altimetry to the same geodetic datum, and then applied a second transformation to reduce the geodetic heights to elevations above mean sea level using the GEM-10C geoidal height. On the IGY Ross Ice Shelf traverse between Oct. 1957 and Feb. 1958, an accurate method of barometric altimetry was used on a loop around the ice shelf that was directly tied to the sea at both ends of the travel route, thus providing absolute elevations. Comparisons of the two sets of data at 32 station pairs on floating ice show a mean difference of 0 +/- 1 m. The elevation data were also compared with theoretical values of elevations for a hydrostatically floating ice shelf. The mean difference between theoretical and measured values of elevations is -2 +/- 1 m.

  10. Water mass modification over the continental shelf north of Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicholls, K. W.; Padman, L.; Schröder, M.; Woodgate, R. A.; Jenkins, A.; ØSterhus, S.

    2003-08-01

    We use new data from the southern Weddell Sea continental shelf to describe water mass conversion processes in a formation region for cold and dense precursors of Antarctic Bottom Water. The cruises took place in early 1995, 1998, and 1999, and the time series obtained from moored instruments were up to 30 months in length, starting in 1995. We obtained new bathymetric data that greatly improve our definition of the Ronne Depression, which is now shown to be limited to the southwestern continental shelf and so cannot act as a conduit to northward flow from Ronne Ice Front. Large-scale intrusions of Modified Warm Deep Water (MWDW) onto the continental shelf occur along much of the shelf break, although there is only one location where the MWDW extends as far south as Ronne Ice Front. High-Salinity Shelf Water (HSSW) produced during the winter months dominates the continental shelf in the west. During summer, Ice Shelf Water (ISW) exits the subice cavity on the eastern side of the Ronne Depression, flows northwest along the ice front, and reenters the cavity at the ice front's western limit. During winter the ISW is not observed in the Ronne Depression north of the ice front. The flow of HSSW into the subice cavity via the Ronne Depression is estimated to be 0.9 ± 0.3 Sv. When combined with inflows along the remainder of Ronne Ice Front (reported elsewhere), sufficient heat is transported beneath the ice shelf to power an average basal melt rate of 0.34 ± 0.1 m yr-1.

  11. Ice velocities on the front of Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, from static GPS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Shengkai; E, Dongchen; Wang, Zemin

    2006-10-01

    The Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf (LAS) system is the largest glacier-ice-shelf system in East Antarctica, the Amery Ice Shelf (AIS) and its tributaries drain ice from the LAS system. During the austral summer season of 2002/03, the 19th Chinese National Antarctica Research Expedition (CHINARE) carried out the first expedition on the Amery Ice Shelf and set up 7 GPS sites, During the austral summer season of 2003/04, the 20th Chinese National Antarctica Research Expedition (CHINARE) cooperated with Australian National Antarctica Research Expedition (ANARE) visited the Amery Ice Shelf again, 5 GPS sites were reoccupied. The GPS data were processed using the GAMIT/GLOBK software, and the surface ice velocities was calculated. Results show that surface horizontal velocities at the 5 GPS sites at the front of the Amery Ice Shelf vary between 900m/y and 1600m/y. Such studies are fundamental to improving our knowledge of the Antarctic ice sheet mass balance and dynamical models of ice/ocean interaction.

  12. Antarctic Ice-Shelf Front Dynamics from ICESat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robbins, John W.; Zwally, H. Jay; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2012-01-01

    Time variable elevation profiles from ICESat Laser Altimetry over the period 2003-2009 provide a means to quantitatively detect and track topographic features on polar ice surfaces. The results of this study provide a measure of the horizontal motion of ice-shelf fronts. We examine the time histories of elevation profiles crossing the ice fronts of the Ross, Ronne, Filchner, Riiser-Larson and Fimbul shelves. This provides a basis for estimating dynamics in two dimensions, i.e. in elevation and horizontally in the along-track direction. Ice front velocities, corrected for ground-track intersection angle, range from nearly static to 1.1 km/yr. In many examples, a decrease in elevation up to 1 m/yr near the shelf frontis also detectable. Examples of tabular calving along shelf fronts are seen in some elevation profiles and are confirmed by corresponding MODIS imagery.

  13. Ross Ice Shelf Seismic Survey and Future Drilling Recommendation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Haastrecht, Laurine; Ohneiser, Christian; Gorman, Andrew; Hulbe, Christina

    2016-04-01

    The Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) is one of three gateways through which change in the ocean can be propagated into the interior of West Antarctica. Both the geologic record and ice sheet models indicate that it has experienced widespread retreat under past warm climates. But inland of the continental shelf, there are limited data available to validate the models. Understanding what controls the rate at which the ice shelf will respond to future climate change is central to making useful climate projections. Determining the retreat rate at the end of the last glacial maximum is one part of this challenge. In November 2015, four lines of multi-channel seismic data, totalling over 45 km, were collected on the Ross Ice Shelf, approximately 300 km south of Ross Island using a thumper seismic source and a 96 channel snow streamer. The seismic survey was undertaken under the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI) funded Aotearoa New Zealand Ross Ice Shelf Programme to resolve bathymetric details and to image sea floor sediments under a proposed drilling site on the ice shelf, at about 80.7 S and 174 E. The thumper, a purpose-built, trailer mounted, weight-drop seismic source was towed behind a Hägglund tracked vehicle to image the bathymetry and sediments underneath the RIS. Seismic data collection on an ice shelf has unique challenges, in particular strong attenuation of the seismic energy by snow and firn, and complex multiple ray paths. The thumper, which consists of a heavy weight (250kg) that is dropped on a large, ski mounted steel plate, produced a consistent, repeatable higher energy signal when compared to sledge hammer source and allowed for a greater geographic coverage and lower environmental impact than an explosive source survey. Our survey revealed that the seafloor is smooth and that there may be up to 100 m of layered sediments beneath the seafloor and possibly deeper, more complex structures. A multiple generated by internally reflected seismic energy

  14. DEM, tide and velocity over sulzberger ice shelf, West Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baek, S.; Shum, C.K.; Lee, H.; Yi, Y.; Kwoun, Oh-Ig; Lu, Zhiming; Braun, Andreas

    2005-01-01

    Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets preserve more than 77% of the global fresh water and could raise global sea level by several meters if completely melted. Ocean tides near and under ice shelves shifts the grounding line position significantly and are one of current limitations to study glacier dynamics and mass balance. The Sulzberger ice shelf is an area of ice mass flux change in West Antarctica and has not yet been well studied. In this study, we use repeat-pass synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry data from the ERS-1 and ERS-2 tandem missions for generation of a high-resolution (60-m) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) including tidal deformation detection and ice stream velocity of the Sulzberger Ice Shelf. Other satellite data such as laser altimeter measurements with fine foot-prints (70-m) from NASA's ICESat are used for validation and analyses. The resulting DEM has an accuracy of-0.57??5.88 m and is demonstrated to be useful for grounding line detection and ice mass balance studies. The deformation observed by InSAR is found to be primarily due to ocean tides and atmospheric pressure. The 2-D ice stream velocities computed agree qualitatively with previous methods on part of the Ice Shelf from passive microwave remote-sensing data (i.e., LANDSAT). ?? 2005 IEEE.

  15. Seasonal circulation under the eastern Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctia

    SciTech Connect

    Hellmer, H.H.; Jacobs, S.S.

    1995-06-15

    An annual cycle of shelf water temperatures and salinities measured at depth near the eastern Ross Ice Shelf front is used to force a two-dimensional thermohaline circulation model adapted to different subice paths in the vicinity of Roosevelt Island. These paths were assumed to have constant water column thicknesses of 160, 200, and 240 m and lengths of 460-800 km. Additional simulations with the longer cavity included a 80-m thick interior water column in order to approximate conditions closer to the grounding line. Model results were compared with other long-term measurements that showed outflow from beneath the ice shelf. Shelf water flowing into the cavity west of Roosevelt Island appears to follow a cyclonic route around the island. The ice shelf base loses mass at a rate of 18-27 cm yr{sup {minus}1}, with seasonal forcing increasing the spatial and temporal variability of circulation and property distributions in the larger cavities. Shallow cavities reduce the influence of shelf water variability with increasing length. Introducing a transient shelf water temperature rise of 0.01{degrees}C yr {sup {minus}1} for 100 years increases the melt rate by 4-5 times. However, this increase is smaller if salinity also decreases over the same period of time, as might be expected from the added meltwater component. 42 refs., 9 figs.

  16. The internal structure of the Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica from ice-penetrating radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Edward; De Rydt, Jan; Gudmundsson, Hilmar

    2016-04-01

    The Brunt Ice Shelf is a small feature on the Coats Land Coast of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. It is unusual among Antarctic ice shelves because the ice crossing the grounding line from the ice sheet retains no structural integrity, so the ice shelf comprises icebergs of continental ice cemented together by sea ice, with the whole blanketed by in-situ snowfall. The size and distribution of the icebergs is governed by the thickness profile along the grounding line. Where bedrock troughs discharge thick ice to the ice shelf, the icebergs are large and remain close together with little intervening sea ice. Where bedrock ridges mean the ice crossing the grounding line is thin, the icebergs are small and widely-scattered with large areas of sea ice between them. To better understand the internal structure of the Brunt Ice Shelf and how this might affect the flow dynamics we conducted ice-penetrating radar surveys during December 2015 and January 2016. Three different ground-based radar systems were used, operating at centre frequencies of 400, 50 and 10 MHz respectively. The 400 MHz system gave detailed firn structure and accumulation profiles as well as time-lapse profiles of the active propagation of a crevasse. The 50 MHz system provided intermediate-level detail of iceberg distribution and thickness as well as information on the degree of salt water infiltration into the accumulating snow pack. The 10 MHz system used a high-power transmitter in an attempt to measure ice thickness beneath salt-impregnated ice. In this poster we will present example data from each of the three radar systems which will demonstrate the variability of the internal structure of the ice shelf. We will also present preliminary correlations between the internal structure and the surface topography from satellite data.

  17. Evidence for a former large ice sheet in the Orville Coast- Ronne Ice Shelf area, Antarctica.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carrara, P.

    1981-01-01

    The Orville Coast area of the Antarctic Peninsula was extensively glacierized in the past. Striations, polished rock surfaces, and erratics on nunatak summits indicate that this area was covered by a broad regional ice sheet whose grounded ice margin was on the continental shelf, in the present-day Ronne Ice Shelf area. If the glacial history of Antarctica has been controlled by eustatic sea-level changes, the destruction of this ice sheet would have been contemporaneous with that of the Ross Sea ice sheet due to the world-wide rise of eustatic sea-level at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation. -Author

  18. Evolving Toward the Next Antarctic Ice Shelf Disintegration: Recent Ice Velocity, Climate, and Ocean Observations of the Larsen B Ice Shelf Remnants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scambos, T. A.; Shuman, C. A.; Truffer, M.; Pettit, E. C.; Huber, B. A.; Haran, T. M.; Ross, R.; Domack, E. W.

    2013-12-01

    Ice shelf / ice tongue disintegrations and break-ups have a major effect on glacier mass balance, and nowhere has this been more evident than in the northern sections of the Larsen Ice Shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula. Ice flux in this region surged 2- to 6-fold after the 1995 and 2002 ice shelf disintegration events, driven by a group of processes based on the presence of extensive surface melt lakes. However, precursor changes in the ice shelves beginning more than a decade before the events have been identified. A new assessment of these provides insight on the earliest causes of ice shelf change. Among the precursor changes are an increase in meltwater lake extent, structural changes in the ice shelf shear margins, grounding line changes, and pre-breakup acceleration of the ice shelves and feeder glaciers. In the aftermath of the 2002 disintegration of the Larsen B, the two large remnant ice shelves at Seal Nunataks (~400 km2) and Scar Inlet (~2400 km2) have also evolved in these ways. These changes have been measured by a combination of in situ automated observation systems (AMIGOS: see Scambos et al., 2013, J. Glaciol.) and remote sensing as part of the Larsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica (LARISSA) NSF project and NASA Cryosphere Program funding. Ice flow speed on the central Scar Inlet ice shelf has increased 60% between 2002 and 2012 (425 to 675 m/yr), and by 20% (540 to 660 m/yr) just above the grounding line of Flask Glacier, a tributary. Elevation change data from ICESat altimetry and ASTER stereo images show evidence of grounding line movement for Flask between 2003 and 2008, and for Crane Glacier prior to the 2002 break-up. In late 2002, and again in late 2012, major new rifts have formed on the southern portion of the Scar Inlet shelf, and the northwestern shear zone has rapidly evolved. The ice speed increase and the new rifts are inferred to be due to significant structural changes in the ice shelf shear margin on its northern side (concentration of

  19. Mass balance for a meteoric ice layer of the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.; Cheng, X.; Hui, F.

    2011-12-01

    Snow accumulation on the upper surface and melting from the lower surface are important to the mass balance of an ice shelf. However the ice shelf surface accumulation measurements are only available from stakes, firn-core records and automatic weather station (AWS) measurements. The total mass balance can be obtained from the continuity equation by employing the steady-state assumption. But it is hardly used to calculate the mass balance, due to the lack of spatially continuous data, the uncertainty of ice flow properties, and other limitations. With the recently structural glaciological description and more updated datasets, a modified mass-balance model for a meteoric ice layer was developed and applied to a longitudinal flowband of the Amery ice shelf, East Antarctica. The datasets of ice velocity and meteoric ice thickness are employed. Here, the changes in ice flow velocity, meteoric ice thickness on the centre flowline, as well as flowband width with the distance along the flowband was modeled by piecewise cubic polynomial fitting. The original model overestimates the mass balance. We introduce a ratio to modify it model with only one observation. The model was then used to simulate the mass balance of a meteoric ice layer along a longitudinal flowband that extends some 300 km all way to the calving front. Sensitivity tests showed that the modeled mass balance is nearly equally sensitive to changes in ice flow velocity, ice thickness, and flow width. But there is more uncertainty with changes in flow width because the flowband boundary is delineated manually. The results were compared to observations and previous studies, which showed that the model ignoring the changes in flow width has better simulation result. The calculated specific mass balance of the meteoric ice layer is from 0.6812 m/a near the ice shelf front to -0.2645 m/a 300 km far away from the ice shelf front.

  20. Ocean and Atmosphere Forcing of Larsen Ice Shelf Thinning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holland, P.; Brisbourne, A.; Corr, H. F. J.; McGrath, D.; Purdon, K.; Paden, J. D.; Fricker, H. A.; Padman, L.; Paolo, F. S.; Fleming, A. H.

    2014-12-01

    The ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) have shown a progressive decline over the last five decades, including the spectacular collapses of Larsen A Ice Shelf in 1995 and Larsen B in 2002. These collapses have accelerated the flow of ice inland, contributing significantly to sea-level rise, and have also freshened the Antarctic Bottom Water formed nearby. Larsen C Ice Shelf (LCIS), the largest on the peninsula, has progressively lowered since 1992, but the origin of this lowering remains controversial; it has been attributed to ocean melting, but most evidence has favoured enhanced firn (snowpack) compaction. By applying a novel method to the data from eight separate radar surveys of LCIS spanning a 15-year period, we show that the lowering is caused by both ice loss and firn air loss. The ice loss may be caused by unbalanced ocean melting, so oceanic changes have contributed to the wastage of LCIS in addition to the well-documented atmospheric warming in the region. If naively extrapolated in space and time, the air loss rate would deplete LCIS firn within 2-3 centuries, while the ice loss could cause LCIS to unground from Bawden Ice Rise within 2-4 centuries. Until we better understand the atmosphere and ocean forcing of the AP Ice Sheet, it will not be possible to project its future stability or determine the anthropogenic contribution to its decline.

  1. Evidence for an ice shelf covering the central Arctic Ocean during the penultimate glaciation.

    PubMed

    Jakobsson, Martin; Nilsson, Johan; Anderson, Leif; Backman, Jan; Björk, Göran; Cronin, Thomas M; Kirchner, Nina; Koshurnikov, Andrey; Mayer, Larry; Noormets, Riko; O'Regan, Matthew; Stranne, Christian; Ananiev, Roman; Barrientos Macho, Natalia; Cherniykh, Denis; Coxall, Helen; Eriksson, Björn; Flodén, Tom; Gemery, Laura; Gustafsson, Örjan; Jerram, Kevin; Johansson, Carina; Khortov, Alexey; Mohammad, Rezwan; Semiletov, Igor

    2016-01-01

    The hypothesis of a km-thick ice shelf covering the entire Arctic Ocean during peak glacial conditions was proposed nearly half a century ago. Floating ice shelves preserve few direct traces after their disappearance, making reconstructions difficult. Seafloor imprints of ice shelves should, however, exist where ice grounded along their flow paths. Here we present new evidence of ice-shelf groundings on bathymetric highs in the central Arctic Ocean, resurrecting the concept of an ice shelf extending over the entire central Arctic Ocean during at least one previous ice age. New and previously mapped glacial landforms together reveal flow of a spatially coherent, in some regions >1-km thick, central Arctic Ocean ice shelf dated to marine isotope stage 6 (∼ 140 ka). Bathymetric highs were likely critical in the ice-shelf development by acting as pinning points where stabilizing ice rises formed, thereby providing sufficient back stress to allow ice shelf thickening. PMID:26778247

  2. Evidence for an ice shelf covering the central Arctic Ocean during the penultimate glaciation

    PubMed Central

    Jakobsson, Martin; Nilsson, Johan; Anderson, Leif; Backman, Jan; Björk, Göran; Cronin, Thomas M.; Kirchner, Nina; Koshurnikov, Andrey; Mayer, Larry; Noormets, Riko; O'Regan, Matthew; Stranne, Christian; Ananiev, Roman; Barrientos Macho, Natalia; Cherniykh, Denis; Coxall, Helen; Eriksson, Björn; Flodén, Tom; Gemery, Laura; Gustafsson, Örjan; Jerram, Kevin; Johansson, Carina; Khortov, Alexey; Mohammad, Rezwan; Semiletov, Igor

    2016-01-01

    The hypothesis of a km-thick ice shelf covering the entire Arctic Ocean during peak glacial conditions was proposed nearly half a century ago. Floating ice shelves preserve few direct traces after their disappearance, making reconstructions difficult. Seafloor imprints of ice shelves should, however, exist where ice grounded along their flow paths. Here we present new evidence of ice-shelf groundings on bathymetric highs in the central Arctic Ocean, resurrecting the concept of an ice shelf extending over the entire central Arctic Ocean during at least one previous ice age. New and previously mapped glacial landforms together reveal flow of a spatially coherent, in some regions >1-km thick, central Arctic Ocean ice shelf dated to marine isotope stage 6 (∼140 ka). Bathymetric highs were likely critical in the ice-shelf development by acting as pinning points where stabilizing ice rises formed, thereby providing sufficient back stress to allow ice shelf thickening. PMID:26778247

  3. Evidence for an ice shelf covering the central Arctic Ocean during the penultimate glaciation.

    PubMed

    Jakobsson, Martin; Nilsson, Johan; Anderson, Leif; Backman, Jan; Björk, Göran; Cronin, Thomas M; Kirchner, Nina; Koshurnikov, Andrey; Mayer, Larry; Noormets, Riko; O'Regan, Matthew; Stranne, Christian; Ananiev, Roman; Barrientos Macho, Natalia; Cherniykh, Denis; Coxall, Helen; Eriksson, Björn; Flodén, Tom; Gemery, Laura; Gustafsson, Örjan; Jerram, Kevin; Johansson, Carina; Khortov, Alexey; Mohammad, Rezwan; Semiletov, Igor

    2016-01-18

    The hypothesis of a km-thick ice shelf covering the entire Arctic Ocean during peak glacial conditions was proposed nearly half a century ago. Floating ice shelves preserve few direct traces after their disappearance, making reconstructions difficult. Seafloor imprints of ice shelves should, however, exist where ice grounded along their flow paths. Here we present new evidence of ice-shelf groundings on bathymetric highs in the central Arctic Ocean, resurrecting the concept of an ice shelf extending over the entire central Arctic Ocean during at least one previous ice age. New and previously mapped glacial landforms together reveal flow of a spatially coherent, in some regions >1-km thick, central Arctic Ocean ice shelf dated to marine isotope stage 6 (∼ 140 ka). Bathymetric highs were likely critical in the ice-shelf development by acting as pinning points where stabilizing ice rises formed, thereby providing sufficient back stress to allow ice shelf thickening.

  4. Evidence for an ice shelf covering the central Arctic Ocean during the penultimate glaciation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jakobsson, Martin; Nilsson, Johan; Anderson, Leif G.; Backman, Jan; Bjork, Goran; Cronin, Thomas M.; Kirchner, Nina; Koshurnikov, Andrey; Mayer, Larry; Noormets, Riko; O'Regan, Matthew; Stranne, Christian; Ananiev, Roman; Macho, Natalia Barrientos; Cherniykh, Dennis; Coxall, Helen; Eriksson, Bjorn; Floden, Tom; Gemery, Laura; Gustafsson, Orjan; Jerram, Kevin; Johansson, Carina; Khortov, Alexey; Mohammad, Rezwan; Semiletov, Igor

    2016-01-01

    The hypothesis of a km-thick ice shelf covering the entire Arctic Ocean during peak glacial conditions was proposed nearly half a century ago. Floating ice shelves preserve few direct traces after their disappearance, making reconstructions difficult. Seafloor imprints of ice shelves should, however, exist where ice grounded along their flow paths. Here we present new evidence of ice-shelf groundings on bathymetric highs in the central Arctic Ocean, resurrecting the concept of an ice shelf extending over the entire central Arctic Ocean during at least one previous ice age. New and previously mapped glacial landforms together reveal flow of a spatially coherent, in some regions >1-km thick, central Arctic Ocean ice shelf dated to marine isotope stage 6 (~140 ka). Bathymetric highs were likely critical in the ice-shelf development by acting as pinning points where stabilizing ice rises formed, thereby providing sufficient back stress to allow ice shelf thickening.

  5. Precursors of Antarctic Bottom Water formed on the continental shelf off Larsen Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caspel, M. van; Schröder, M.; Huhn, O.; Hellmer, H. H.

    2015-05-01

    The dense water flowing out from the Weddell Sea significantly contributes to Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) and plays an important role in the Meridional Overturning Circulation. The relative importance of the two major source regions, the continental shelves in front of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf and Larsen Ice Shelf, however, remains unclear. Several studies focused on the contribution of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf region for the deep and bottom water production within the Weddell Gyre, but the role of the Larsen Ice Shelf region for this process, especially the formation of deep water, remains speculative. Measurements made during the Polarstern cruise ANT XXIX-3 (2013) add evidence to the importance of the source in the western Weddell Sea. Using Optimum Multiparameter analysis we show that the dense water found on the continental shelf in front of the former Larsen A and B together with a very dense water originating from Larsen C increases the thickness and changes the θ/S characteristics of the layer that leaves the Weddell Sea to contribute to AABW.

  6. CLIVAR Exchanges No. 62: Sea Level Rise, Ocean/Ice Shelf Interactions and Ice Sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Pirani, Anna; Danabasoglu, Gokhan; Griffies, Stephen; Marsland, Simon

    2013-08-01

    This special issue of CLIVAR Exchanges is devoted to presenting a selection of the science contributed by both speakers and poster presenters at the CLIVAR Workshop on Sea Level Rise, Ocean/Ice Shelf Interactions and Ice Sheets at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in Hobart, Australia, on 18-20 February 2013. The workshop brought together leading international scientists and early-career researchers from the ocean, ice-sheet, ice-shelf, and sea-level rise modelling and observational communities to explore the state-of-science and emerging pathways for development of the next generation of coupled climate models.

  7. Ice Shelf Elevation Changes due to Atmospheric Pressure Variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padman, L.; King, M.; Fricker, H. A.

    2002-12-01

    Floating ice shelves undergo vertical motion as a result of the response of the underlying ocean to changes in atmospheric pressure (Pair). This response is known as the inverse barometer effect (IBE). Open-ocean measurements of Pair and sea level agree with the theoretical response of 1 cm per millibar for low frequency variability of Pair. Here we demonstrate, using simultaneous records of Pair and GPS measurements of surface elevation (hIS) from several ice shelves, that shelves experience a response of similar magnitude. A simple correction for the IBE is justified for ice shelf response to low-frequency (ω <0.5 cycles per day) of Pair. At higher frequencies the IBE becomes weaker. The IBE contribution to hIS can exceed 50 cm, with typical magnitudes of 10-20 cm. Although the IBE is usually smaller than the tidal contribution to hIS, the tide can be removed with current Antarctic tide models with an accuracy similar to the IBE. Global atmospheric models, however, do not presently predict Pair with sufficient accuracy to be used to correct measured variability of hIS. Thus, in the absence of concurrent in situ Pair data, the IBE is a major source of error in correcting ice shelf heights for tasks such as deriving mean ice flow rates from SAR imagery, and measuring long-term trends in ice shelf height from satellite altimeters.

  8. Dissolved gases in perennially ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andersen, D. T.; McKay, C. P.; Wharton, R. A. Jr; Wharton RA, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    Measurements of dissolved N2, O2, Ar, CO2, and CH4 were made in perennially ice-covered Lake Hoare. Results confirm previous reports that O2 concentrations in the upper water column exceed atmospheric equilibrium and that N2 and Ar are supersaturated throughout the water column. The mean supersaturation of N2 was found to be 2.0 (+/- 0.37) and Ar was 3.8 (+/- 1.1). The ratios of N2/Ar (20.3 +/- 13.8), and O2/Ar (22.5 +/- 4.0) at the ice-water interface are consistent with those previously measured, suggesting that bubble formation is the main process for removing gas from the lake. However, the saturations of N2 and Ar greatly exceed those previously predicted for degassing by bubble formation only at the ice-water interface. The data support the hypothesis that removal of gas by bubbles occurs in the water column to a depth of 11 m in Lake Hoare. CO2 concentration increases from near zero at the ice-water interface to 80-100 times saturation at and below the chemocline at c. 28 m. There is considerable variability in the gas concentrations throughout the water column; samples separated in depth by one metre may vary by more than 50% in gas content. It is likely that this phenomenon results from the lack of turbulent mixing in the water column. Methane (c. 2 micrograms l-1) was detected below the chemocline and immediately above the sediment/water interface at a depth of 30 m. Samples from lakes Vanda, Joyce, and Miers, also show supersaturations of O2, N2, and Ar at levels similar to levels found in Lake Hoare.

  9. Dissolved gases in perennially ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Andersen, D T; McKay, C P; Wharton, R A

    1998-06-01

    Measurements of dissolved N2, O2, Ar, CO2, and CH4 were made in perennially ice-covered Lake Hoare. Results confirm previous reports that O2 concentrations in the upper water column exceed atmospheric equilibrium and that N2 and Ar are supersaturated throughout the water column. The mean supersaturation of N2 was found to be 2.0 (+/- 0.37) and Ar was 3.8 (+/- 1.1). The ratios of N2/Ar (20.3 +/- 13.8), and O2/Ar (22.5 +/- 4.0) at the ice-water interface are consistent with those previously measured, suggesting that bubble formation is the main process for removing gas from the lake. However, the saturations of N2 and Ar greatly exceed those previously predicted for degassing by bubble formation only at the ice-water interface. The data support the hypothesis that removal of gas by bubbles occurs in the water column to a depth of 11 m in Lake Hoare. CO2 concentration increases from near zero at the ice-water interface to 80-100 times saturation at and below the chemocline at c. 28 m. There is considerable variability in the gas concentrations throughout the water column; samples separated in depth by one metre may vary by more than 50% in gas content. It is likely that this phenomenon results from the lack of turbulent mixing in the water column. Methane (c. 2 micrograms l-1) was detected below the chemocline and immediately above the sediment/water interface at a depth of 30 m. Samples from lakes Vanda, Joyce, and Miers, also show supersaturations of O2, N2, and Ar at levels similar to levels found in Lake Hoare. PMID:11541288

  10. Large flux of iron from the Amery Ice Shelf marine ice to Prydz Bay, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herraiz-Borreguero, L.; Lannuzel, D.; van der Merwe, P.; Treverrow, A.; Pedro, J. B.

    2016-08-01

    The Antarctic continental shelf supports a high level of marine primary productivity and is a globally important carbon dioxide (CO2) sink through the photosynthetic fixation of CO2 via the biological pump. Sustaining such high productivity requires a large supply of the essential micronutrient iron (Fe); however, the pathways for Fe delivery to these zones vary spatially and temporally. Our study is the first to report a previously unquantified source of concentrated bioavailable Fe to Antarctic surface waters. We hypothesize that Fe derived from subglacial processes is delivered to euphotic waters through the accretion (Fe storage) and subsequent melting (Fe release) of a marine-accreted layer of ice at the base of the Amery Ice Shelf (AIS). Using satellite-derived Chlorophyll-a data, we show that the soluble Fe supplied by the melting of the marine ice layer is an order of magnitude larger than the required Fe necessary to sustain the large annual phytoplankton bloom in Prydz Bay. Our finding of high concentrations of Fe in AIS marine ice and recent data on increasing rates of ice shelf basal melt in many of Antarctica's ice shelves should encourage further research into glacial and marine sediment transport beneath ice shelves and their sensitivity to current changes in basal melt. Currently, the distribution, volume, and Fe concentration of Antarctic marine ice is poorly constrained. This uncertainty, combined with variable forecasts of increased rates of ice shelf basal melt, limits our ability to predict future Fe supply to Antarctic coastal waters.

  11. Massive subsurface ice formed by refreezing of ice-shelf melt ponds.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, Bryn; Luckman, Adrian; Ashmore, David W; Bevan, Suzanne; Kulessa, Bernd; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Philippe, Morgane; Jansen, Daniela; Booth, Adam; Sevestre, Heidi; Tison, Jean-Louis; O'Leary, Martin; Rutt, Ian

    2016-01-01

    Surface melt ponds form intermittently on several Antarctic ice shelves. Although implicated in ice-shelf break up, the consequences of such ponding for ice formation and ice-shelf structure have not been evaluated. Here we report the discovery of a massive subsurface ice layer, at least 16 km across, several kilometres long and tens of metres deep, located in an area of intense melting and intermittent ponding on Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica. We combine borehole optical televiewer logging and radar measurements with remote sensing and firn modelling to investigate the layer, found to be ∼10 °C warmer and ∼170 kg m(-3) denser than anticipated in the absence of ponding and hitherto used in models of ice-shelf fracture and flow. Surface ponding and ice layers such as the one we report are likely to form on a wider range of Antarctic ice shelves in response to climatic warming in forthcoming decades. PMID:27283778

  12. Massive subsurface ice formed by refreezing of ice-shelf melt ponds

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard, Bryn; Luckman, Adrian; Ashmore, David W.; Bevan, Suzanne; Kulessa, Bernd; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Philippe, Morgane; Jansen, Daniela; Booth, Adam; Sevestre, Heidi; Tison, Jean-Louis; O'Leary, Martin; Rutt, Ian

    2016-01-01

    Surface melt ponds form intermittently on several Antarctic ice shelves. Although implicated in ice-shelf break up, the consequences of such ponding for ice formation and ice-shelf structure have not been evaluated. Here we report the discovery of a massive subsurface ice layer, at least 16 km across, several kilometres long and tens of metres deep, located in an area of intense melting and intermittent ponding on Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica. We combine borehole optical televiewer logging and radar measurements with remote sensing and firn modelling to investigate the layer, found to be ∼10 °C warmer and ∼170 kg m−3 denser than anticipated in the absence of ponding and hitherto used in models of ice-shelf fracture and flow. Surface ponding and ice layers such as the one we report are likely to form on a wider range of Antarctic ice shelves in response to climatic warming in forthcoming decades. PMID:27283778

  13. Ice-shelf Dynamics Near the Front of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica, Revealed by SAR Interferometry: Model/Interferogram Comparison

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    MacAyeal, D. R.; Rignot, E.; Hulbe, C. L.

    1998-01-01

    We compare Earth Remote Sensing (ERS) satellite synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) interferograms with artificial interferograms constructed using output of a finite-element ice-shelf flow model to study the dynamics of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf (FRIS) near Hemmen Ice Rise (HIR) where the iceberg-calving front itersects Berkener Island (BI).

  14. Scavenging amphipods from under the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stockton, William L.

    1982-07-01

    Amphipods in the genus Orchomene were collected from under the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, 400 km from the shelf edge at a depth of 600 m. A study of 992 individuals of the 3500 captured revealed that the population is dominated by the larger size classes. Two-thirds of the population is composed of males. Ovigerous females will approach and consume bait and females are multiply brooded. The source of nutrition for this population is not definitely known. Identifiable gut contents were bacteria mixed with sediment, pieces of crustacean carapaces, and tissue from apparently cannibalized conspecifics. It is an open question as to whether the population sampled is persistent over time and whether amphipods are common under all of the Ross Ice Shelf.

  15. Life Detection and Characterization of Subsurface Ice and Brine in the McMurdo Dry Valleys Using an Ultrasonic Gopher: A NASA ASTEP Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doran, P. T.; Bar-Cohen, Y.; Fritsen, C.; Kenig, F.; McKay, C. P.; Murray, A.; Sherrit, S.

    2003-01-01

    Evidence for the presence of ice and fluids near the surface of Mars in both the distant and recent past is growing with each new mission to the Planet. One explanation for fluids forming springlike features on Mars is the discharge of subsurface brines. Brines offer potential refugia for extant Martian life, and near surface ice could preserve a record of past life on the planet. Proven techniques to get underground to sample these environments, and get below the disruptive influence of the surface oxidant and radiation regime, will be critical for future astrobiology missions to Mars. Our Astrobiology for Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) project has the goal to develop and test a novel ultrasonic corer in a Mars analog environment, the McMurdo Dry valleys, Antarctica, and to detect and describe life in a previously unstudied extreme ecosystem; Lake Vida (Fig. 1), an ice-sealed lake.

  16. Does Arctic sea ice reduction foster shelf-basin exchange?

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Vladimir; Watanabe, Eiji

    2013-12-01

    The recent shift in Arctic ice conditions from prevailing multi-year ice to first-year ice will presumably intensify fall-winter sea ice freezing and the associated salt flux to the underlying water column. Here, we conduct a dual modeling study whose results suggest that the predicted catastrophic consequences for the global thermohaline circulation (THC), as a result of the disappearance of Arctic sea ice, may not necessarily occur. In a warmer climate, the substantial fraction of dense water feeding the Greenland-Scotland overflow may form on Arctic shelves and cascade to the deep basin, thus replenishing dense water, which currently forms through open ocean convection in the sub-Arctic seas. We have used a simplified model for estimating how increased ice production influences shelf-basin exchange associated with dense water cascading. We have carried out case studies in two regions of the Arctic Ocean where cascading was observed in the past. The baseline range of buoyancy-forcing derived from the columnar ice formation was calculated as part of a 30-year experiment of the pan-Arctic coupled ice-ocean general circulation model (GCM). The GCM results indicate that mechanical sea ice divergence associated with lateral advection accounts for a significant part of the interannual variations in sea ice thermal production in the coastal polynya regions. This forcing was then rectified by taking into account sub-grid processes and used in a regional model with analytically prescribed bottom topography and vertical stratification in order to examine specific cascading conditions in the Pacific and Atlantic sectors of the Arctic Ocean. Our results demonstrate that the consequences of enhanced ice formation depend on geographical location and shelf-basin bathymetry. In the Pacific sector, strong density stratification in slope waters impedes noticeable deepening of shelf-origin water, even for the strongest forcing applied. In the Atlantic sector, a 1.5x increase of

  17. Does Arctic sea ice reduction foster shelf-basin exchange?

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Vladimir; Watanabe, Eiji

    2013-12-01

    The recent shift in Arctic ice conditions from prevailing multi-year ice to first-year ice will presumably intensify fall-winter sea ice freezing and the associated salt flux to the underlying water column. Here, we conduct a dual modeling study whose results suggest that the predicted catastrophic consequences for the global thermohaline circulation (THC), as a result of the disappearance of Arctic sea ice, may not necessarily occur. In a warmer climate, the substantial fraction of dense water feeding the Greenland-Scotland overflow may form on Arctic shelves and cascade to the deep basin, thus replenishing dense water, which currently forms through open ocean convection in the sub-Arctic seas. We have used a simplified model for estimating how increased ice production influences shelf-basin exchange associated with dense water cascading. We have carried out case studies in two regions of the Arctic Ocean where cascading was observed in the past. The baseline range of buoyancy-forcing derived from the columnar ice formation was calculated as part of a 30-year experiment of the pan-Arctic coupled ice-ocean general circulation model (GCM). The GCM results indicate that mechanical sea ice divergence associated with lateral advection accounts for a significant part of the interannual variations in sea ice thermal production in the coastal polynya regions. This forcing was then rectified by taking into account sub-grid processes and used in a regional model with analytically prescribed bottom topography and vertical stratification in order to examine specific cascading conditions in the Pacific and Atlantic sectors of the Arctic Ocean. Our results demonstrate that the consequences of enhanced ice formation depend on geographical location and shelf-basin bathymetry. In the Pacific sector, strong density stratification in slope waters impedes noticeable deepening of shelf-origin water, even for the strongest forcing applied. In the Atlantic sector, a 1.5x increase of

  18. SPH non-Newtonian Model for Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Tartakovsky, Alexandre M.; Pan, Wenxiao; Monaghan, Joseph J.

    2012-07-07

    We propose a new three-dimensional smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) non-Newtonian model to study coupled ice sheet and ice shelf dynamics. Most existing ice sheet numerical models use a grid-based Eulerian approach, and are usually restricted to shallow ice sheet and ice shelf approximations of the momentum conservation equation. SPH, a fully Lagrangian particle method, solves the full momentum conservation equation. SPH method also allows modeling of free-surface flows, large material deformation, and material fragmentation without employing complex front-tracking schemes, and does not require re-meshing. As a result, SPH codes are highly scalable. Numerical accuracy of the proposed SPH model is first verified by simulating a plane shear flow with a free surface and the propagation of a blob of ice along a horizontal surface. Next, the SPH model is used to investigate the grounding line dynamics of ice sheet/shelf. The steady position of the grounding line, obtained from our SPH simulations, is in good agreement with laboratory observations for a wide range of bedrock slopes, ice-to-fluid density ratios, and flux. We examine the effect of non-Newtonian behavior of ice on the grounding line dynamics. The non-Newtonian constitutive model is based on Glen's law for a creeping flow of a polycrystalline ice. Finally, we investigate the effect of a bedrock geometry on a steady-state position of the grounding line.

  19. Basal crevasses and suture zones in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica: Implications for ice shelf stability in a warming climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGrath, Daniel J.

    Understanding ice shelf structure and processes is paramount to future predictions of sea level rise, as nearly 75% of the ice flux from the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) passes through these gates. The breakup of an ice shelf removes the longitudinal back stress acting on the grounded inland ice and leads to flow acceleration, dynamic thinning and frontal retreat, processes that can be sustained for more than a decade. Increased ice discharge to the ocean contributes to global sea level rise. This dissertation investigates basal crevasses and suture zones, two key structural components of ice shelves, in order to understand how the structure of an ice shelf influences its stability in a warming climate. Ground penetrating radar, high-resolution satellite imagery and a variety of modeling approaches are utilized to assess these features on the Larsen C Ice Shelf but in a manner that considers their influence on ice shelf stability around the AIS. Basal crevasses are large-scale (~66% of ice thickness and ten's of kms in length) and abundant features that are significant structural weaknesses. The viscoplastic deformation of the ice shelf in response to the perturbed hydrostatic balance leads to the formation of both surface depressions and crevasses, hence weakening the ice shelf further. Basal crevasses increase the local ice-ocean interface by ~30%, thereby increasing basal roughness and altering ice-ocean interactions. Ice-shelf fractures frequently terminate where they encounter suture zones, regions of material heterogeneity that form at the lateral bounds of meteoric inflows to ice shelves. The termination of a 25 km-long rift in the Churchill Peninsula suture zone is investigated and found to contain ~60 m of accreted marine ice. Steady-state basal melting/freezing rates are determined for the ice shelf and applied to a flowline model to examine the along-flow evolution of ice shelf structure. The thickening surface wedge of locally accumulated meteoric ice

  20. Ice-Shelf Flexure and Tidal Forcing of Bindschadler Ice Stream, West Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, Ryan T.; Parizek, Bryron R.; Alley, Richard B.; Brunt, Kelly M.; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar

    2014-01-01

    Viscoelastic models of ice-shelf flexure and ice-stream velocity perturbations are combined into a single efficient flowline model to study tidal forcing of grounded ice. The magnitude and timing of icestream response to tidally driven changes in hydrostatic pressure and/or basal drag are found to depend significantly on bed rheology, with only a perfectly plastic bed allowing instantaneous velocity response at the grounding line. The model can reasonably reproduce GPS observations near the grounding zone of Bindschadler Ice Stream (formerly Ice Stream D) on semidiurnal time scales; however, other forcings such as tidally driven ice-shelf slope transverse to the flowline and flexurally driven till deformation must also be considered if diurnal motion is to be matched

  1. Marine ice regulates the future stability of a large Antarctic ice shelf

    PubMed Central

    Kulessa, Bernd; Jansen, Daniela; Luckman, Adrian J.; King, Edward C.; Sammonds, Peter R.

    2014-01-01

    The collapses of the Larsen A and B ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula in 1995 and 2002 confirm the impact of southward-propagating climate warming in this region. Recent mass and dynamic changes of Larsen B’s southern neighbour Larsen C, the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica, may herald a similar instability. Here, using a validated ice-shelf model run in diagnostic mode, constrained by satellite and in situ geophysical data, we identify the nature of this potential instability. We demonstrate that the present-day spatial distribution and orientation of the principal stresses within Larsen C ice shelf are akin to those within pre-collapse Larsen B. When Larsen B’s stabilizing frontal portion was lost in 1995, the unstable remaining shelf accelerated, crumbled and ultimately collapsed. We hypothesize that Larsen C ice shelf may suffer a similar fate if it were not stabilized by warm and mechanically soft marine ice, entrained within narrow suture zones. PMID:24751641

  2. Seismic Excitation of the Ross Ice Shelf by Whillans Ice Stream Stick-Slip Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiens, D.; Pratt, M. J.; Aster, R. C.; Nyblade, A.; Bromirski, P. D.; Stephen, R. A.; Gerstoft, P.; Diez, A.; Cai, C.; Anthony, R. E.; Shore, P.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid variations in the flow rate of upstream glaciers and ice streams may cause significant deformation of ice shelves. The Whillans Ice Stream (WIS) represents an extreme example of rapid variations in velocity, with motions near the grounding line consisting almost entirely of once or twice-daily stick-slip events with a displacement of up to 0.7 m (Winberry et al, 2014). Here we report observations of compressional waves from the WIS slip events propagating hundreds of kilometers across the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) detected by broadband seismographs deployed on the ice shelf. The WIS slip events consist of rapid basal slip concentrated at three high friction regions (often termed sticky-spots or asperities) within a period of about 25 minutes (Pratt et al, 2014). Compressional displacement pulses from the second and third sticky spots are detected across the entire RIS up to about 600 km away from the source. The largest pulse results from the third sticky spot, located along the northwestern grounding line of the WIS. Propagation velocities across the ice shelf are significantly slower than the P wave velocity in ice, as the long period displacement pulse is also sensitive to velocities of the water and sediments beneath the ice shelf. Particle motions are, to the limit of resolution, entirely within the horizontal plane and roughly radial with respect to the WIS sticky-spots, but show significant complexity, presumably due to differences in ice velocity, thickness, and the thickness of water and sediment beneath. Study of this phenomenon should lead to greater understanding of how the ice shelf responds to sudden forcing around the periphery.

  3. Sea-ice and surface water circulation, Alaskan continental shelf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wright, F. F.; Sharma, G. D.; Burns, J. J. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Over 1500 water samples from surface and from standard hydrographic depths were collected during June and July 1973 from Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. The measurement of temperature, salinity, and productivity indicated that various distinct water masses cover the Bering Sea Shelf. The suspended load in surface waters will be correlated with the ERTS-1 imagery as it becomes available to delineate the surface water circulation. The movement of ice floes in the Bering Strait and Bering Sea indicated that movement of ice varies considerably and may depend on wind stress as well as ocean currents.

  4. Draft Genome Sequence of Paenisporosarcina sp. Strain TG-14, a Psychrophilic Bacterium Isolated from Sediment-Laden Stratified Basal Ice from Taylor Glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Hye Yeon; Lee, Sung Gu; Lee, Jun Hyuck; Doyle, Shawn; Christner, Brent C.

    2012-01-01

    The psychrophilic bacterium Paenisporosarcina sp. TG-14 was isolated from sediment-laden stratified basal ice from Taylor Glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Here we report the draft genome sequence of this strain, which may provide useful information on the cold adaptation mechanism in extremely variable environments. PMID:23144403

  5. A Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Model for Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Wenxiao; Tartakovsky, Alexandre M.; Monaghan, Joseph J.

    2012-02-08

    Mathematical modeling of ice sheets is complicated by the non-linearity of the governing equations and boundary conditions. Standard grid-based methods require complex front tracking techniques and have limited capability to handle large material deformations and abrupt changes in bottom topography. As a consequence, numerical methods are usually restricted to shallow ice sheet and ice shelf approximations. We propose a new smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) model for coupled ice sheet and ice shelf dynamics. SPH is a fully Lagrangian particle method. It is highly scalable and its Lagrangian nature and meshless discretization are well suited to the simulation of free surface flows, large material deformation, and material fragmentation. In this paper SPH is used to study ice sheet/ice shelf behavior, and the dynamics of the grounding line. The steady state position of the grounding line obtained from the SPH simulations is in good agreement with laboratory observations for a wide range of simulated bedrock slopes, and density ratios similar to those of ice and sea water. The numerical accuracy of the SPH algorithm is further verified by simulating the plane shear flow of two immiscible fluids and the propagation of a highly viscous blob of fluid along a horizontal surface. In the experiment, the ice was represented with a viscous newtonian fluid. For consistency, in the described SPH model the ice is also modeled as a viscous newtonian fluid. Typically, ice sheets are modeled as a non-Newtonian fluid, accounting for the changes in the mechanical properties of ice. Implementation of a non-Newtonian rheology in the SPH model is the subject of our ongoing research.

  6. Smoothed particle hydrodynamics non-Newtonian model for ice-sheet and ice-shelf dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, W.; Tartakovsky, A. M.; Monaghan, J. J.

    2013-06-01

    Mathematical modeling of ice sheets is complicated by the non-linearity of the governing equations and boundary conditions. Standard grid-based methods require complex front tracking techniques and have limited capability to handle large material deformations and abrupt changes in bottom topography. As a consequence, numerical methods are usually restricted to shallow ice sheet and ice shelf approximations. We propose a new smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) non-Newtonian model for coupled ice sheet and ice shelf dynamics. SPH, a fully Lagrangian particle method, is highly scalable and its Lagrangian nature and meshless discretization are well suited to the simulation of free surface flows, large material deformation, and material fragmentation. In this paper, SPH is used to study 3D ice sheet/ice shelf behavior, and the dynamics of the grounding line. The steady state position of the grounding line obtained from SPH simulations is in good agreement with laboratory observations for a wide range of simulated bedrock slopes, and density ratios, similar to those of ice and sea water. The numerical accuracy of the SPH algorithm is verif;ed by simulating Poiseuille flow, plane shear flow with free surface and the propagation of a blob of ice along a horizontal surface. In the laboratory experiment, the ice was represented with a viscous Newtonian fluid. In the present work, however, the ice is modeled as both viscous Newtonian fluid and non-Newtonian fluid, such that the effect of non-Newtonian rheology on the dynamics of grounding line was examined. The non-Newtonian constitutive relation is prescribed to be Glen’s law for the creep of polycrystalline ice. A V-shaped bedrock ramp is further introduced to model the real geometry of bedrock slope.

  7. Glider observations of the Dotson Ice Shelf outflow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miles, Travis; Lee, Sang Hoon; Wåhlin, Anna; Ha, Ho Kyung; Kim, Tae Wan; Assmann, Karen M.; Schofield, Oscar

    2016-01-01

    The Amundsen Sea is one of the most productive polynyas in the Antarctic per unit area and is undergoing rapid changes including a reduction in sea ice duration, thinning ice sheets, retreat of glaciers and the potential collapse of the Thwaites Glacier in Pine Island Bay. A growing body of research has indicated that these changes are altering the water mass properties and associated biogeochemistry within the polynya. Unfortunately difficulties in accessing the remote location have greatly limited the amount of in situ data that has been collected. In this study data from a Teledyne-Webb Slocum glider was used to supplement ship-based sampling along the Dotson Ice Shelf (DIS). This autonomous underwater vehicle revealed a detailed view of a meltwater laden outflow from below the western flank of the DIS. Circumpolar Deep Water intruding onto the shelf drives glacial melt and the supply of macronutrients that, along with ample light, supports the large phytoplankton blooms in the Amundsen Sea Polynya. Less well understood is the source of micronutrients, such as iron, necessary to support this bloom to the central polynya where chlorophyll concentrations are highest. This outflow region showed decreasing optical backscatter with proximity to the bed indicating that particulate matter was sourced from the overlying glacier rather than resuspended sediment. This result suggests that particulate iron, and potentially phytoplankton primary productivity, is intrinsically linked to the magnitude and duration of sub-glacial melt from Circumpolar Deep Water intrusions onto the shelf.

  8. Using ice-penetrating radars to date ice-rise formation and Late Holocene ice-sheet retreat in the Ronne Ice Shelf region, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kingslake, Jonathan; Hindmarsh, Richard; King, Edward; Corr, Hugh

    2015-04-01

    The history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the region currently occupied by the Ronne Ice Shelf is poorly known. This reflects a lack of accessible recently deglaciated surfaces, which prohibits conventional paleo glaciological techniques that can provide evidence of past ice-sheet extent and retreat, for example ocean coring or exposure-dating of geological material. We use a glaciological technique, Raymond Effect Dating, to constrain the retreat of the ice sheet through the Ronne Ice Shelf region. During two Antarctic field seasons, we used a pulse-echo ice-penetrating radar to image the base and internal stratigraphy of four ice rises - areas of grounded ice containing ice divides. Towing the radar with skidoos, we conducted over 2000 km of surveys on the Skytrain, Korff, Henry and Fowler Ice Rises and the ice shelf between them. We also used a step-frequency radar called pRES to measure the vertical ice flow in the vicinity of each ice divide. Isochronal ice layers imaged during the surveys deforming in a predictable way with ice flow, meaning that their shape contains information about past ice flow. Directly beneath ice divides the downward motion of the ice is impeded by an ice-dynamical phenomenon called the Raymond Effect. This causes layers beneath the divides to form 'Raymond Arches' that grow over time. We will present the data and simulate the growth of the Raymond Arches using our pRES-measured vertical ice velocities and date the onset of ice-divide flow at each ice rise by comparing the size of simulated arches to the arches imaged during our radar surveys. We consider the main sources of uncertainty associated with these ice-rise formation dates and discuss what they can tell us about the retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet through this region during the last few thousand years.

  9. Process involved in the propagation of rifts across the Ronne Ice Shelf, near the region of Hemmen Ice Rise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larour, E.; Rignot, E.; Aubry, D.

    2002-01-01

    We use radar interferometric images collected by ERS-1 and Radarsat-1 to observe the rupture tip of rifts along Hemmen Ice Rise on the Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Interferograms generated in 1992 and 1997 allow us to observe the deformation of ice accumulated over respectively 9 and24 days. The results are an important step towards developing a better model of ice-shelf calving mechanism.

  10. A Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Ice-Shelf Flow Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wearing, M.; Worster, G.; Hindmarsh, R. C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Ice-shelf buttressing is a major control on the rate of ice discharged from fast-flowing ice streams that drain the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The collapse of an ice shelf can lead to dramatic acceleration and thinning of the ice streams and glaciers that flowed into the former shelf. The magnitude of the buttressing force depends on the shelf geometry and confinement. This geometry is determined by the ice-shelf extent, resulting from retreat due to iceberg calving and shelf advance due to flow. In contrast to large-scale ice-sheet models, which require high resolution datasets, we aim to gain insight using simple idealized models, focusing on the transition from lateral confinement to non-confinement. By considering a confined shelf with lateral shear stresses controlling the flow, steady-state analytical solutions can be calculated. These solutions are then compared to a numerical model for a confined flow, which incorporates both shear and extensional stresses. A boundary layer close to the calving front is identified, where both extensional and shear stresses control the dynamics. We test these idealized models against fluid-mechanical laboratory experiments, designed to simulate the flow of an ice shelf in a narrow channel. From these experiments velocity fields and altimetry for the ice-shelf are collected, allowing for comparison with the theoretical models and geophysical data.

  11. Elastic response of a grounded ice sheet coupled to a floating ice shelf.

    PubMed

    Sayag, Roiy; Worster, M Grae

    2011-09-01

    An ice sheet that spreads into an ocean is forced to bend owing to its buoyancy and detaches from the bedrock to form a floating ice shelf. The location of the transition between the grounded sheet and the floating shelf, defined as the grounding line, behaves as a free boundary. We develop a model of an elastic grounded sheet resting on a deformable elastic bed and coupled to an elastic floating shelf. We find that the grounding-line position is determined by the geometry of the bed and the bending-buoyancy length scale of the system. These two contributions depend on the reaction modulus of the bed in opposite ways. We show that the structure of the floating shelf depends on the bending-buoyancy length scale only, allowing us to calculate the bending stiffness of the elastic sheet independently of the properties of the bed. Relations between the structure of the floating shelf and the grounding-line position are also developed. Our theoretical predictions agree with laboratory experiments made using thick elastic sheets and a dense salt solution. Our findings may provide new insights into the dynamics near grounding lines, as well as methods to infer the bending stiffness of ice sheets and the grounding-line position from satellite altimetery that can be applied to elastic sheets in general.

  12. Nitrate analysis of snow and ice core samples collected in the vicinity of a waste detonation event, McMurdo Station, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    White, G.J.; Lugar, R.M.; Crockett, A.B.

    1994-07-01

    On December 30, 1991, a small quantity of hazardous materials was detonated at a site near McMurdo Station, Antarctica. The materials involved in the detonation represented highly reactive or explosive wastes that could not be transported safely for disposal in the United States. Detonation was therefore considered the safest and most effective means for disposing these hazardous materials. One concern regarding the detonation of these substances was that the process could generate or distribute measurable quantities of contaminants to the area surrounding the detonation site. Nitrate was selected as a tracer to document the distribution of contaminants from the detonation. Snow and ice cores were collected about 4 months after the event. These cores were analyzed for nitrate concentrations in May 1993, and a map was generated to show the extent of nitrate contamination. This report describes the collection of these samples and summarizes the analytical results.

  13. Benthic microbial communities of coastal terrestrial and ice shelf Antarctic meltwater ponds.

    PubMed

    Archer, Stephen D J; McDonald, Ian R; Herbold, Craig W; Lee, Charles K; Cary, Craig S

    2015-01-01

    The numerous perennial meltwater ponds distributed throughout Antarctica represent diverse and productive ecosystems central to the ecological functioning of the surrounding ultra oligotrophic environment. The dominant taxa in the pond benthic communities have been well described however, little is known regarding their regional dispersal and local drivers to community structure. The benthic microbial communities of 12 meltwater ponds in the McMurdo Sound of Antarctica were investigated to examine variation between pond microbial communities and their biogeography. Geochemically comparable but geomorphologically distinct ponds were selected from Bratina Island (ice shelf) and Miers Valley (terrestrial) (<40 km between study sites), and community structure within ponds was compared using DNA fingerprinting and pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. More than 85% of total sequence reads were shared between pooled benthic communities at different locations (OTU0.05), which in combination with favorable prevailing winds suggests aeolian regional distribution. Consistent with previous findings Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla representing over 50% of total sequences; however, a large number of other phyla (21) were also detected in this ecosystem. Although dominant Bacteria were ubiquitous between ponds, site and local selection resulted in heterogeneous community structures and with more than 45% of diversity being pond specific. Potassium was identified as the most significant contributing factor to the cosmopolitan community structure and aluminum to the location unique community based on a BEST analysis (Spearman's correlation coefficient of 0.632 and 0.806, respectively). These results indicate that the microbial communities in meltwater ponds are easily dispersed regionally and that the local geochemical environment drives the ponds community structure.

  14. Benthic microbial communities of coastal terrestrial and ice shelf Antarctic meltwater ponds

    PubMed Central

    Archer, Stephen D. J.; McDonald, Ian R.; Herbold, Craig W.; Lee, Charles K.; Cary, Craig S.

    2015-01-01

    The numerous perennial meltwater ponds distributed throughout Antarctica represent diverse and productive ecosystems central to the ecological functioning of the surrounding ultra oligotrophic environment. The dominant taxa in the pond benthic communities have been well described however, little is known regarding their regional dispersal and local drivers to community structure. The benthic microbial communities of 12 meltwater ponds in the McMurdo Sound of Antarctica were investigated to examine variation between pond microbial communities and their biogeography. Geochemically comparable but geomorphologically distinct ponds were selected from Bratina Island (ice shelf) and Miers Valley (terrestrial) (<40 km between study sites), and community structure within ponds was compared using DNA fingerprinting and pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. More than 85% of total sequence reads were shared between pooled benthic communities at different locations (OTU0.05), which in combination with favorable prevailing winds suggests aeolian regional distribution. Consistent with previous findings Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla representing over 50% of total sequences; however, a large number of other phyla (21) were also detected in this ecosystem. Although dominant Bacteria were ubiquitous between ponds, site and local selection resulted in heterogeneous community structures and with more than 45% of diversity being pond specific. Potassium was identified as the most significant contributing factor to the cosmopolitan community structure and aluminum to the location unique community based on a BEST analysis (Spearman's correlation coefficient of 0.632 and 0.806, respectively). These results indicate that the microbial communities in meltwater ponds are easily dispersed regionally and that the local geochemical environment drives the ponds community structure. PMID:26074890

  15. New insights into the origin and evolution of Lake Vida, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica — A noble gas study in ice and brines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, Jessica L.; Castro, M. Clara; Hall, Chris M.; Doran, Peter T.; Kenig, Fabien; McKay, Chris P.

    2010-01-01

    Unlike other lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, Lake Vida has a thick (~ 19 m) ice cover sealing a liquid brine body of unusually high salinity (~ 245 g/L) from the atmosphere. To constrain the conditions under which the atypical Lake Vida ice cover formed and evolved, 19 ice samples were collected down to a depth of ~ 14 m, together with three brine samples trapped in the ice at ~ 16 m for analysis of helium, neon, argon, krypton, and xenon concentrations. The broad pattern of noble gas concentrations for Lake Vida samples is fundamentally different from that of air saturated water (ASW) at 0 °C and an elevation of 340 m for salinities of 0 (ice) and 245 g/L (brine). Overall, ice samples are enriched in He and depleted in Ne with saturation relative to ASW averages of 1.38 and 0.82, respectively, and strongly depleted in Ar, Kr, and Xe with relative saturations of 0.10, 0.06, and 0.05, respectively. By contrast, brine samples are generally depleted in He and Ne (relative saturation averages of 0.33 and 0.27, respectively) but enriched in Ar, Kr, and Xe, with relative saturation averages of 1.45, 3.15, and 8.86, respectively. A three-phase freezing partitioning model generating brine, ice and bubble concentrations for all stable noble gases was tested and compared with our data. Measured brine values are best reproduced for a salinity value of 175 g/L, a pressure of 1.1 atm, and a bubble volume of 20 cm 3 kg -1. Sensitivity tests for ice + bubble samples show an ideal fit for bubble volumes of ~ 1-2 cm 3 kg -1. Our results show that the conditions under which ice and brine formed and evolved at Lake Vida are significantly different from other ice-covered lakes in the area. Our brine data suggest that Lake Vida may be transitioning from a wet to a dry-based lake, while the ice + bubble data suggest at least partial re-equilibration of residual liquid with the atmosphere as ice forms at the top of Lake Vida ice cover.

  16. Feedbacks between ice and ocean dynamics at the West Antarctic Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in future global warming scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goeller, Sebastian; Timmermann, Ralph

    2016-04-01

    The ice flow at the margins of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is moderated by large ice shelves. Their buttressing effect substantially controls the mass balance of the WAIS and thus its contribution to sea level rise. The stability of these ice shelves results from the balance of mass gain by accumulation and ice flow from the adjacent ice sheet and mass loss by calving and basal melting due to the ocean heat flux. Recent results of ocean circulation models indicate that warm circumpolar water of the Southern Ocean may override the submarine slope front of the Antarctic Continent and boost basal ice shelf melting. In particular, ocean simulations for several of the IPCC's future climate scenarios demonstrate the redirection of a warm coastal current into the Filchner Trough and underneath the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf within the next decades. In this study, we couple the finite elements ocean circulation model FESOM and the three-dimensional thermomechanical ice flow model RIMBAY to investigate the complex interactions between ocean and ice dynamics at the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. We focus on the impact of a changing ice shelf cavity on ocean dynamics as well as the feedback of the resulting sub-shelf melting rates on the ice shelf geometry and implications for the dynamics of the adjacent marine-based Westantarctic Ice Sheet. Our simulations reveal the high sensitivity of grounding line migration to ice-ocean interactions within the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf and emphasize the importance of coupled model studies for realistic assessments of the Antarctic mass balance in future global warming scenarios.

  17. Ecosystems on ice: the microbial ecology of Markham Ice Shelf in the high Arctic.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Warwick F; Mueller, Derek R; Bonilla, Sylvia

    2004-04-01

    Microbial communities occur throughout the cryosphere in a diverse range of ice-dominated habitats including snow, sea ice, glaciers, permafrost, and ice clouds. In each of these environments, organisms must be capable of surviving freeze-thaw cycles, persistent low temperatures for growth, extremes of solar radiation, and prolonged dormancy. These constraints may have been especially important during global cooling events in the past, including the Precambrian glaciations. One analogue of these early Earth conditions is the thick, landfast sea ice that occurs today at certain locations in the Arctic and Antarctic. These ice shelves contain liquid water for a brief period each summer, and support luxuriant microbial mat communities. Our recent studies of these mats on the Markham Ice Shelf (Canadian high Arctic) by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) showed that they contain high concentrations of chlorophylls a and b, and several carotenoids notably lutein, echinenone and beta-carotene. The largest peaks in the HPLC chromatograms were two UV-screening compounds known to be produced by cyanobacteria, scytonemin, and its decomposition product scytonemin-red. Microscopic analyses of the mats showed that they were dominated by the chlorophyte genera cf. Chlorosarcinopsis, Pleurastrum, Palmellopsis, and Bracteococcus, and cyanobacteria of the genera Nostoc, Phormidium, Leptolyngbya, and Gloeocapsa. From point transects and localized sampling we estimated a total standing stock on this ice shelf of up to 11,200 tonnes of organic matter. These observations underscore the ability of microbial communities to flourish despite the severe constraints imposed by the cryo-ecosystem environment.

  18. Acceleration and spatial rheology of Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazendar, A.; Rignot, E.; Larour, E.

    2011-05-01

    The disintegration of several Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves has focused attention on the state of the Larsen C Ice Shelf. Here, we use satellite observations to map ice shelf speed from the years 2000, 2006 and 2008 and apply inverse modeling to examine the spatial pattern of ice-shelf stiffness. Results show that the northern half of the ice shelf has been accelerating since 2000, speeding up by 15% between 2000 and 2006 alone. The distribution of ice stiffness exhibits large spatial variations that we link to tributary glacier flow and fractures. Our results reveal that ice down-flow from promontories is consistently softer, with the exception of Churchill Peninsula where we infer a stabilizing role for marine ice. We conclude that although Larsen C is not facing imminent collapse, it is undergoing significant change in the form of flow acceleration that is spatially related to thinning and fracture.

  19. Strong thermodynamic coupling between sub-ice-shelf melting and sea ice in a high-resolution global sea-ice-ocean isopycnal model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergienko, O. V.

    2015-12-01

    Sub-ice-shelf melting(freezing) of the Antarctic ice shelves acts as a source(sink) of freshwater, therefore, affects ocean water properties and circulation. In its turn, sub-ice-shelf melting/freezing is controlled by the ocean water properties that reach the sub-ice-shelf cavities. The properties of these water masses are determined by heat and fresh-water exchange with sea ice and atmosphere. Simulations of a high-resolution (1/8 deg) global sea-ice-ocean isopycnal model capable to resolve the ocean circulation in sub-ice-shelf cavities of Antarctic ice shelves and account for the thermodynamic interaction of the circulation with ice shelves show that melting/freezing rates have a strong seasonal cycle with highest melting rates observed in the Austral Fall. On the continental shelf, subsurface ocean temperatures (100-300 m) have a similar seasonal cycle which is lagged with respect to the surface. Shelf temperatures peak in the summertime, followed by rapid cooling towards the freezing point as seasonal ice cover increases. The lagged warming in the subsurface is attributable to reduced heat loss to the atmosphere in the presence of seasonal sea ice. This suggests that the seasonal cycle in melt rates is controlled by the phasing of subsurface temperatures on the continental shelf, which is in turn dominated by sea ice. The outflowing fresh, cold and light meltwater formed in sub-ice-shelf cavities remains in the mixed layer and promotes formation of sea ice and its longer persistence into the Austral Summer. These processes suggest the presence of strong mutual feedbacks between sub-ice-shelf melting and sea ice formation around Antarctic ice shelves.

  20. Application of antimicrobial ice for extending shelf life of fish.

    PubMed

    Oral, Nebahat; Gülmez, Murat; Vatansever, Leyla; Güven, Abamüslüm

    2008-01-01

    In this study, we investigated whether wild-thyme (Thymus serpyllum) hydrosol had a preserving effect against spoilage of freshwater fish. Sensorial characteristics, chemical freshness indicator contents, and microbial counts (total aerobes, psychrotrophics, Enterobacteriaceae, fecal coliform bacteria, Aeromonas spp., and Pseudomonas spp.) of whole ungutted and gutted Transcaucasian barb (Capoeta capoeta capoeta Guldenstaedt, 1772) stored on ice produced from wild-thyme hydrosol and tap water at 4 degrees C for 20 days were compared. The results did not reveal any significant (P > 0.05) differences in the microbial counts, sensorial characteristics, pH, and total volatile basic nitrogen values between gutted and ungutted groups. Sensory evaluation and microbiological and chemical analyses indicated that the storage of the fish on ice produced from wild-thyme hydrosol had a significant increase in shelf life by at least 15 to 20 days.

  1. Brief Communication: Newly developing rift in Larsen C Ice Shelf presents significant risk to stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansen, D.; Luckman, A. J.; Cook, A.; Bevan, S.; Kulessa, B.; Hubbard, B.; Holland, P. R.

    2015-06-01

    An established rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, formerly constrained by a suture zone containing marine ice, grew rapidly during 2014 and is likely in the near future to generate the largest calving event since the 1980s and result in a new minimum area for the ice shelf. Here we investigate the recent development of the rift, quantify the projected calving event and, using a numerical model, assess its likely impact on ice shelf stability. We find that the ice front is at risk of becoming unstable when the anticipated calving event occurs.

  2. Widespread collapse of the Ross Ice Shelf during the late Holocene.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Yusuke; Anderson, John B; Yamane, Masako; Simkins, Lauren M; Miyairi, Yosuke; Yamazaki, Takahiro; Koizumi, Mamito; Suga, Hisami; Kusahara, Kazuya; Prothro, Lindsay; Hasumi, Hiroyasu; Southon, John R; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2016-03-01

    The stability of modern ice shelves is threatened by atmospheric and oceanic warming. The geologic record of formerly glaciated continental shelves provides a window into the past of how ice shelves responded to a warming climate. Fields of deep (-560 m), linear iceberg furrows on the outer, western Ross Sea continental shelf record an early post-Last Glacial Maximum episode of ice-shelf collapse that was followed by continuous retreat of the grounding line for ∼200 km. Runaway grounding line conditions culminated once the ice became pinned on shallow banks in the western Ross Sea. This early episode of ice-shelf collapse is not observed in the eastern Ross Sea, where more episodic grounding line retreat took place. More widespread (∼280,000 km(2)) retreat of the ancestral Ross Ice Shelf occurred during the late Holocene. This event is recorded in sediment cores by a shift from terrigenous glacimarine mud to diatomaceous open-marine sediment as well as an increase in radiogenic beryllium ((10)Be) concentrations. The timing of ice-shelf breakup is constrained by compound specific radiocarbon ages, the first application of this technique systematically applied to Antarctic marine sediments. Breakup initiated around 5 ka, with the ice shelf reaching its current configuration ∼1.5 ka. In the eastern Ross Sea, the ice shelf retreated up to 100 km in about a thousand years. Three-dimensional thermodynamic ice-shelf/ocean modeling results and comparison with ice-core records indicate that ice-shelf breakup resulted from combined atmospheric warming and warm ocean currents impinging onto the continental shelf.

  3. Widespread collapse of the Ross Ice Shelf during the late Holocene

    PubMed Central

    Yokoyama, Yusuke; Anderson, John B.; Yamane, Masako; Simkins, Lauren M.; Miyairi, Yosuke; Yamazaki, Takahiro; Koizumi, Mamito; Suga, Hisami; Kusahara, Kazuya; Prothro, Lindsay; Hasumi, Hiroyasu; Southon, John R.; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2016-01-01

    The stability of modern ice shelves is threatened by atmospheric and oceanic warming. The geologic record of formerly glaciated continental shelves provides a window into the past of how ice shelves responded to a warming climate. Fields of deep (−560 m), linear iceberg furrows on the outer, western Ross Sea continental shelf record an early post-Last Glacial Maximum episode of ice-shelf collapse that was followed by continuous retreat of the grounding line for ∼200 km. Runaway grounding line conditions culminated once the ice became pinned on shallow banks in the western Ross Sea. This early episode of ice-shelf collapse is not observed in the eastern Ross Sea, where more episodic grounding line retreat took place. More widespread (∼280,000 km2) retreat of the ancestral Ross Ice Shelf occurred during the late Holocene. This event is recorded in sediment cores by a shift from terrigenous glacimarine mud to diatomaceous open-marine sediment as well as an increase in radiogenic beryllium (10Be) concentrations. The timing of ice-shelf breakup is constrained by compound specific radiocarbon ages, the first application of this technique systematically applied to Antarctic marine sediments. Breakup initiated around 5 ka, with the ice shelf reaching its current configuration ∼1.5 ka. In the eastern Ross Sea, the ice shelf retreated up to 100 km in about a thousand years. Three-dimensional thermodynamic ice-shelf/ocean modeling results and comparison with ice-core records indicate that ice-shelf breakup resulted from combined atmospheric warming and warm ocean currents impinging onto the continental shelf. PMID:26884201

  4. Widespread collapse of the Ross Ice Shelf during the late Holocene.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Yusuke; Anderson, John B; Yamane, Masako; Simkins, Lauren M; Miyairi, Yosuke; Yamazaki, Takahiro; Koizumi, Mamito; Suga, Hisami; Kusahara, Kazuya; Prothro, Lindsay; Hasumi, Hiroyasu; Southon, John R; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2016-03-01

    The stability of modern ice shelves is threatened by atmospheric and oceanic warming. The geologic record of formerly glaciated continental shelves provides a window into the past of how ice shelves responded to a warming climate. Fields of deep (-560 m), linear iceberg furrows on the outer, western Ross Sea continental shelf record an early post-Last Glacial Maximum episode of ice-shelf collapse that was followed by continuous retreat of the grounding line for ∼200 km. Runaway grounding line conditions culminated once the ice became pinned on shallow banks in the western Ross Sea. This early episode of ice-shelf collapse is not observed in the eastern Ross Sea, where more episodic grounding line retreat took place. More widespread (∼280,000 km(2)) retreat of the ancestral Ross Ice Shelf occurred during the late Holocene. This event is recorded in sediment cores by a shift from terrigenous glacimarine mud to diatomaceous open-marine sediment as well as an increase in radiogenic beryllium ((10)Be) concentrations. The timing of ice-shelf breakup is constrained by compound specific radiocarbon ages, the first application of this technique systematically applied to Antarctic marine sediments. Breakup initiated around 5 ka, with the ice shelf reaching its current configuration ∼1.5 ka. In the eastern Ross Sea, the ice shelf retreated up to 100 km in about a thousand years. Three-dimensional thermodynamic ice-shelf/ocean modeling results and comparison with ice-core records indicate that ice-shelf breakup resulted from combined atmospheric warming and warm ocean currents impinging onto the continental shelf. PMID:26884201

  5. Boundary condition of grounding lines prior to collapse, Larsen-B Ice Shelf, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Rebesco, M; Domack, E; Zgur, F; Lavoie, C; Leventer, A; Brachfeld, S; Willmott, V; Halverson, G; Truffer, M; Scambos, T; Smith, J; Pettit, E

    2014-09-12

    Grounding zones, where ice sheets transition between resting on bedrock to full floatation, help regulate ice flow. Exposure of the sea floor by the 2002 Larsen-B Ice Shelf collapse allowed detailed morphologic mapping and sampling of the embayment sea floor. Marine geophysical data collected in 2006 reveal a large, arcuate, complex grounding zone sediment system at the front of Crane Fjord. Radiocarbon-constrained chronologies from marine sediment cores indicate loss of ice contact with the bed at this site about 12,000 years ago. Previous studies and morphologic mapping of the fjord suggest that the Crane Glacier grounding zone was well within the fjord before 2002 and did not retreat further until after the ice shelf collapse. This implies that the 2002 Larsen-B Ice Shelf collapse likely was a response to surface warming rather than to grounding zone instability, strengthening the idea that surface processes controlled the disintegration of the Larsen Ice Shelf.

  6. Chemotrophic Ecosystem Beneath the Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leventer, A.; Domack, E.; Ishman, S.; Sylva, S.; Willmott, V.; Huber, B.; Padman, L.

    2005-12-01

    The first living chemotrophic ecosystem in the Southern Ocean was discovered in a region of the seafloor previously occupied by the Larsen-B Ice Shelf. A towed video survey documents an ecosystem characterized by a bottom-draping white mat that appears similar to mats of Begiattoa, hydrogen sulfide oxidizing bacteria, and bivalves, 20-30 cm large, similar to vesicomyid clams commonly found at cold seeps. The carbon source is unknown; three potential sources are hypothesized. First, thermogenically-produced methane may occur as the marine shales of this region are similar to hydrocarbon-bearing rocks to the north in Patagonia. The site occurs in an 850 m deep glacially eroded trough located along the contact between Mesozoic-Tertiary crystalline basement and Cretaceous-Tertiary marine rocks; decreased overburden could have induced upward fluid flow. Also possible is the dissociation of methane hydrates, a process that might have occurred as a result of warming oceanic bottom waters. This possibility will be discussed in light of the distribution of early diagenetic ikaite in the region. Third, the possibility of a biogenic methane source will be discussed. A microstratigraphic model for the features observed at the vent sites will be presented; the system is comprised of mud mounds with central vents and surrounding mud flow channels. A series of still image mosaics record the dynamic behavior of the system, which appears to demonstrate episodic venting. These images show the spatial relationship between more and less active sites, as reflected in the superposition of several episodes of mud flow activity and the formation of mud channels. In addition, detailed microscale features of the bathymetry of the site will be presented, placing the community within the context of glacial geomorphologic features. The Larsen-B Ice Shelf persisted through the entire Holocene, limiting carbon influx from a photosynthetic source. Tidal modeling of both pre and post breakup

  7. The unfolding instability of the remnant Larsen B Ice Shelf and its tributary glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazendar, A.; Borstad, C. P.; Scheuchl, B.; Rignot, E. J.; Seroussi, H.

    2014-12-01

    The disintegration of the northern and central parts of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in 2002 demonstrated the strong interaction between ice shelves and their tributary glaciers. The surviving southern part of the ice shelf and its glaciers have hitherto received less attention, based on the assumption that the remnant ice shelf continued to provide the glaciers with sufficient buttressing. Our findings here contradict this view, revealing significant changes since 2002 or earlier from IceBridge altimetry measurements and InSAR-derived flow speeds. The surfaces of Leppard and Flask glaciers directly upstream of their grounding lines lowered persistently by 15 to 20 m in the period 2002-2011. The thinning appears to be dynamic as the flow of both glaciers and the remnant ice shelf accelerated in the same period. Flask in particular started accelerating as early as 2000 almost doubling its flow speed by 2012. These changes are associated with a reduction in the buttressing afforded by the remnant ice shelf and an increase in its fracture as shown by our numerical modeling. One large rift in particular, only 12 km downstream of the grounding line, is revealed by the observations and modeling to be rapidly extending across the ice shelf, defining the likely front of the next large calving event. The increased fracture and continued flow acceleration of the remnant Larsen B Ice Shelf presage its approaching demise.

  8. The relevance of buttressing for Filchner-Ronne and Ross Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reese, Ronja; Gudmundsson, Hilmar; Levermann, Anders; Winkelmann, Ricarda

    2016-04-01

    Sub-shelf melting is an important component of Antarctica's mass budget. Although thinning of ice shelves does not directly contribute to sea-level rise, it may have a significant indirect impact through the potential of ice shelves to buttress their adjacent ice sheet. This is clearly seen in recent observations, e.g. in the Amundsen region (Pritchard et al., 2012) or at the Southern Antarctic Peninsula (Wouters et al, 2015) where increased ice loss of the adjacent upstream drainage basins is attributed to enhanced sub-shelf melting. In the extreme case, the complete disintegration of an ice shelf, e.g. during the calving events of Larsen A and B in 1995 and 2002, respectively, the adjacent ice streams subsequently accelerated significantly (Scambos et al., 2014). Here, we investigate the importance of buttressing using the finite-element, shallow-stream approximation numerical model Úa. We derive transfer functions for an idealized setup (Gudmundsson et al. 2012) and the Filchner-Ronne and Ross Ice Shelf. They allow for the computation of instantaneous changes in velocities to thickness perturbation patterns. Based on the transfer functions, we calculate the sensitivity of flux across the grounding line to regional varying melting patterns for the idealized setup and for Filchner-Ronne and Ross Ice Shelf. We find that the immediate response of velocities in the ice shelf-ice sheet system to changes in sub-shelf melting can be understood as the interaction of two effects: On the one hand, the spreading rate is a function of local ice thickness, indicating that a thinning of the ice shelf reduces velocities. On the other hand, ice shelf thinning weakens its ability to buttress, and thus enhances velocities. These two processes compete, leading to a complex pattern of velocity changes within the ice shelf. We find - both in the idealized setup and for Ross and Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelves - that the reduction in buttressing is dominating the velocity changes in the

  9. Sea ice and oceanic processes on the Ross Sea continental shelf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacobs, S. S.; Comiso, J. C.

    1989-01-01

    The spatial and temporal variability of Antarctic sea ice concentrations on the Ross Sea continental shelf have been investigated in relation to oceanic and atmospheric forcing. Sea ice data were derived from Nimbus 7 scanning multichannel microwave radiometer (SMMR) brightness temperatures from 1979-1986. Ice cover over the shelf was persistently lower than above the adjacent deep ocean, averaging 86 percent during winter with little month-to-month of interannual variability. The large spring Ross Sea polynya on the western shelf results in a longer period of summer insolation, greater surface layer heat storage, and later ice formation in that region the following autumn.

  10. A constitutive framework for predicting weakening and reduced buttressing of ice shelves based on observations of the progressive deterioration of the remnant Larsen B Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borstad, Chris; Khazendar, Ala; Scheuchl, Bernd; Morlighem, Mathieu; Larour, Eric; Rignot, Eric

    2016-03-01

    The increasing contribution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to sea level rise is linked to reductions in ice shelf buttressing, driven in large part by basal melting of ice shelves. These ocean-driven buttressing losses are being compounded as ice shelves weaken and fracture. To date, model projections of ice sheet evolution have not accounted for weakening ice shelves. Here we present the first constitutive framework for ice deformation that explicitly includes mechanical weakening, based on observations of the progressive degradation of the remnant Larsen B Ice Shelf from 2000 to 2015. We implement this framework in an ice sheet model and are able to reproduce most of the observed weakening of the ice shelf. In addition to predicting ice shelf weakening and reduced buttressing, this new framework opens the door for improved understanding and predictions of iceberg calving, meltwater routing and hydrofracture, and ice shelf collapse.

  11. Firn structure of Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, from in-situ geophysical surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulessa, B.; Brisbourne, A.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; Bevan, S. L.; Luckman, A. J.; Hubbard, B. P.; Ashmore, D.; Holland, P.; Jansen, D.; King, E. C.; O'Leary, M.; McGrath, D.

    2015-12-01

    Rising surface temperatures have been causing firn layers on Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves to compact, a process that is strongly implicated in ice shelf disintegration. Firn compaction is expected to warm the ice column and given sufficiently wet and compacted firn layers, to allow meltwater to penetrate into surface crevasses and thus enhance the potential for hydrofracture. On Larsen C Ice Shelf a compacting firn layer has previously been inferred from airborne radar and satellite data, with strongly reduced air contents in Larsen C's north and north-west. The hydrological processes governing firn compaction, and the detailed firn structures they produce, have so far remained uncertain however. Using integrated seismic refraction, MASW (Multi-Channel Analysis of Surface Waves), seismoelectric and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data, we reveal vertical and horizontal changes in firn structure across Larsen C Ice Shelf. Particular attention is paid to the spatial prevalence of refrozen meltwaters within firn, such as the massive subsurface ice layer discovered recently by the NERC-funded MIDAS project in Cabinet Inlet in Larsen C's extreme northwest. Such ice layers or lenses are particularly dramatic manifestations of increased ice shelf densities and temperatures, and contrast sharply with the relatively uncompacted firn layers present in the ice shelf's southeast. We consider our observations in the context of a one-dimensional firn model for Larsen C Ice Shelf that includes melt percolation and refreezing, and discuss temporal changes in firn layer structures due to surface melt and ponding.

  12. Observed rift propagation in the Larsen C Ice Shelf from Sentinel 1-A radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansen, Daniela; Helm, Veit; Neckel, Niklas; Luckman, Adrian; Bevan, Suzanne

    2016-04-01

    The Larsen C Ice Shelf is the most northerly of the remaining major Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves and is vulnerable to changes in both to ocean and atmospheric forcing. It is the largest ice shelf in the region and its loss would lead to a significant drawdown of ice from the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet. There have been observations of widespread thinning, melt ponding in the northern inlets, and, in the northern part, a speed-up in ice flow, all processes which have been linked to former ice shelf collapses. Previous studies have also highlighted the vulnerability of Larsen C Ice Shelf to specific potential changes in its geometry including a retreat from the Bawden and Gipps Ice Rise. In a change from the usual pattern, a northwards-propagating rift from Gipps Ice Rise has recently advanced towards the center of the ice shelf. It is now more than halfway towards calving a large section of the ice shelf and continues to widen. We followed the rift propagation on MODIS and Landsat imagery and, during the austral winter 2015, on Sentinel-1A radar data. Due to the very cloudy weather conditions during the austral Summer 2015 / 2016 the Sentinel data became an essential part of the monitoring. By calculating differential interferograms it was possible to clearly identify the active tip of the rift, which was not always obvious on the Landsat images. Further, surface velocities were derived from recent Sentinel-1A acquisitions by means of offset intensity tracking. In order to investigate a possible speed-up of the ice shelf we extended the study area to the north including Bawden ice rise.

  13. An East Siberian ice shelf during the Late Pleistocene glaciations: Numerical reconstructions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colleoni, Florence; Kirchner, Nina; Niessen, Frank; Quiquet, Aurélien; Liakka, Johan

    2016-09-01

    A recent data campaign in the East Siberian Sea has revealed evidence of grounded and floating ice dynamics in regions of up to 1000 m water depth, and which are attributed to glaciations older than the Last Glacial Maximum (21 kyrs BP). The main hypothesis based on this evidence is that a small ice cap developed over Beringia and expanded over the East Siberian continental margin during some of the Late Pleistocene glaciations. Other similar evidence of ice dynamics that have been previously collected on the shallow continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean have been attributed to the penultimate glaciation, i.e. Marine Isotopes Stage 6 (≈140 kyrs BP). We use an ice sheet model, forced by two previously simulated MIS 6 glacial maximum climates, to carry out a series of sensitivity experiments testing the impact of dynamics and mass-balance related parameters on the geometry of the East Siberian ice cap and ice shelf. Results show that the ice cap developing over Beringia connects to the Eurasian ice sheet in all simulations and that its volume ranges between 6 and 14 m SLE, depending on the climate forcing. This ice cap generates an ice shelf of dimensions comparable with or larger than the present-day Ross ice shelf in West Antarctica. Although the ice shelf extent strongly depends on the ice flux through the grounding line, it is particularly sensitive to the choice of the calving and basal melting parameters. Finally, inhibiting a merging of the Beringia ice cap with the Eurasian ice sheet affects the expansion of the ice shelf only in the simulations where the ice cap fluxes are not large enough to compensate for the fluxes coming from the Eurasian ice sheet.

  14. Impacts of warm water on Antarctic ice shelf stability through basal channel formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alley, Karen E.; Scambos, Ted A.; Siegfried, Matthew R.; Fricker, Helen Amanda

    2016-04-01

    Antarctica's ice shelves provide resistance to the flow of grounded ice towards the ocean. If this resistance is decreased as a result of ice shelf thinning or disintegration, acceleration of grounded ice can occur, increasing rates of sea-level rise. Loss of ice shelf mass is accelerating, especially in West Antarctica, where warm seawater is reaching ocean cavities beneath ice shelves. Here we use satellite imagery, airborne ice-penetrating radar and satellite laser altimetry spanning the period from 2002 to 2014 to map extensive basal channels in the ice shelves surrounding Antarctica. The highest density of basal channels is found in West Antarctic ice shelves. Within the channels, warm water flows northwards, eroding the ice shelf base and driving channel evolution on annual to decadal timescales. Our observations show that basal channels are associated with the development of new zones of crevassing, suggesting that these channels may cause ice fracture. We conclude that basal channels can form and grow quickly as a result of warm ocean water intrusion, and that they can structurally weaken ice shelves, potentially leading to rapid ice shelf loss in some areas.

  15. Variability of Basal Melt Beneath the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, West Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bindschadler, Robert; Vaughan, David G.; Vornberger, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    Observations from satellite and airborne platforms are combined with model calculations to infer the nature and efficiency of basal melting of the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica, by ocean waters. Satellite imagery shows surface features that suggest ice-shelf-wide changes to the ocean s influence on the ice shelf as the grounding line retreated. Longitudinal profiles of ice surface and bottom elevations are analyzed to reveal a spatially dependent pattern of basal melt with an annual melt flux of 40.5 Gt/a. One profile captures a persistent set of surface waves that correlates with quasi-annual variations of atmospheric forcing of Amundsen Sea circulation patterns, establishing a direct connection between atmospheric variability and sub-ice-shelf melting. Ice surface troughs are hydrostatically compensated by ice-bottom voids up to 150m deep. Voids form dynamically at the grounding line, triggered by enhanced melting when warmer-than-average water arrives. Subsequent enlargement of the voids is thermally inefficient (4% or less) compared with an overall melting efficiency beneath the ice shelf of 22%. Residual warm water is believed to cause three persistent polynyas at the ice-shelf front seen in Landsat imagery. Landsat thermal imagery confirms the occurrence of warm water at the same locations.

  16. Using radar to determine the mechanical and thermodynamic effect of tides on an ice shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makinson, K.; Nicholls, K. W.; Østerhus, S.; Lok, L. B.; Brennan, P. V.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding how fast the ocean melts Antarctic ice shelves, which are known to restrain the flow of ice from the continental interior, is important to future ice sheet contributions to global sea level rise. Dependant on oceanographic processes delivering ocean heat from the Southern Ocean to the ice, changing rates of ice shelf basal melting ultimately contribute to variations in ice shelf thickness that can affect the discharge of grounded ice into the ocean. Being able to understanding and then predict the way basal melting responds to a changing ocean, requires ocean models that include fully interactive ice shelves and melting processes within their domain. Although such ocean models exist, their performance in the sub-ice shelf part of the domain is very difficult to optimise and validate. Highly accurate measurements of melt rates can be provided by phase-sensitive radars (e.g. pRES), although these have been limited to long term averages. Recent developments by BAS and UCL however, have provided a lightweight, low-power and relatively low cost radar for year-round autonomous operation (ApRES), delivering long time series of ice thickness changes. At tidal time scales however, ice shelves respond elastically to tilting, with significant fluctuations in vertical strain that will appear as apparent basal melting or even freezing. To determine the true basal melt rate at tidal time scales these radar observed vertical strain fluctuations must be removed. At Site 5 on Ronne Ice Shelf, the combined availability of radar-derived melt rates, independent measurements from oceanographic instruments beneath the ice shelf, and GPS strain observations provide a powerful test of both how the ocean interacts with the ice shelf base and the tidally induced melt rates. Using these data we will discuss our ability to accurately predict the temporal details of melt rates beneath ice shelves using ApRES radar.

  17. High basal melting forming a channel at the grounding line of Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marsh, Oliver J.; Fricker, Helen A.; Siegfried, Matthew R.; Christianson, Knut; Nicholls, Keith W.; Corr, Hugh F. J.; Catania, Ginny

    2016-01-01

    Antarctica's ice shelves are thinning at an increasing rate, affecting their buttressing ability. Channels in the ice shelf base unevenly distribute melting, and their evolution provides insight into changing subglacial and oceanic conditions. Here we used phase-sensitive radar measurements to estimate basal melt rates in a channel beneath the currently stable Ross Ice Shelf. Melt rates of 22.2 ± 0.2 m a-1 (>2500% the overall background rate) were observed 1.7 km seaward of Mercer/Whillans Ice Stream grounding line, close to where subglacial water discharge is expected. Laser altimetry shows a corresponding, steadily deepening surface channel. Two relict channels to the north suggest recent subglacial drainage reorganization beneath Whillans Ice Stream approximately coincident with the shutdown of Kamb Ice Stream. This rapid channel formation implies that shifts in subglacial hydrology may impact ice shelf stability.

  18. Coulman High Project Site Survey Interdisciplinary Outcomes: What Lies Beneath The Ross Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rack, F. R.; Zook, R.; Mahacek, P.; Carroll, D.; Levy, R. H.; Limeburner, R.; Williams, M.; Stewart, C.; C/O Andrill Smo, A.

    2011-12-01

    The ANDRILL Coulman High (CH) Project Site Surveys were an international effort conducted from November 2010 through January 2011. These surveys achieved all their primary and secondary objectives and resulted in an unexpected biological discovery at the lower boundary of the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS), which demonstrates the role of serendipity in scientific research. The surveys followed a safe traverse route to CH across the RIS using a ground-penetrating radar system supplemented by previously collected airborne radar. Four GPS stations and a weather station were established to monitor lateral and vertical ice motions and environmental conditions. A series of combined US-NZ field camps on the RIS were occupied and the ANDRILL hot water drill (HWD) system was used to melt numerous holes through 250-275 meters of ice shelf. Oceanographic moorings comprised of inductive sensors were deployed through the RIS at two sites and were recovered to the ice surface after two months. The NZ mooring was redeployed to conduct long-term observations through the water column at CH. Video camera observations of the interior and basal surface of the ice shelf and benthic observations of the seafloor were integrated with conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) measurements at each site. The Submersible Capable of under-Ice Navigation and Imaging (SCINI) underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was deployed at two sites through 260 meters of ice to explore the underside of the ice shelf while conducting operational testing. This was the first time that SCINI was deployed through an ice shelf. SCINI discovered an unusual biological community living in the ice at the lower surface of the ice shelf and recovered biological samples using an improvised suction pump sampler. These samples and extensive imagery are being further investigated to determine the nature of this newly discovered ecosystem. The biological discovery at the base of the RIS highlights the importance of continued

  19. A halophilic bacterium inhabiting the warm, CaCl2-rich brine of the perennially ice-covered Lake Vanda, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Tregoning, George S; Kempher, Megan L; Jung, Deborah O; Samarkin, Vladimir A; Joye, Samantha B; Madigan, Michael T

    2015-03-01

    Lake Vanda is a perennially ice-covered and stratified lake in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. The lake develops a distinct chemocline at about a 50-m depth, where the waters transition from cool, oxic, and fresh to warm, sulfidic, and hypersaline. The bottom water brine is unique, as the highly chaotropic salts CaCl2 and MgCl2 predominate, and CaCl2 levels are the highest of those in any known microbial habitat. Enrichment techniques were used to isolate 15 strains of heterotrophic bacteria from the Lake Vanda brine. Despite direct supplementation of the brine samples with different organic substrates in primary enrichments, the same organism, a relative of the halophilic bacterium Halomonas (Gammaproteobacteria), was isolated from all depths sampled. The Lake Vanda (VAN) strains were obligate aerobes and showed broad pH, salinity, and temperature ranges for growth, consistent with the physicochemical properties of the brine. VAN strains were halophilic and quite CaCl2 tolerant but did not require CaCl2 for growth. The fact that only VAN strain-like organisms appeared in our enrichments hints that the highly chaotropic nature of the Lake Vanda brine may place unusual physiological constraints on the bacterial community that inhabits it. PMID:25576606

  20. A Halophilic Bacterium Inhabiting the Warm, CaCl2-Rich Brine of the Perennially Ice-Covered Lake Vanda, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Tregoning, George S.; Kempher, Megan L.; Jung, Deborah O.; Samarkin, Vladimir A.; Joye, Samantha B.

    2015-01-01

    Lake Vanda is a perennially ice-covered and stratified lake in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. The lake develops a distinct chemocline at about a 50-m depth, where the waters transition from cool, oxic, and fresh to warm, sulfidic, and hypersaline. The bottom water brine is unique, as the highly chaotropic salts CaCl2 and MgCl2 predominate, and CaCl2 levels are the highest of those in any known microbial habitat. Enrichment techniques were used to isolate 15 strains of heterotrophic bacteria from the Lake Vanda brine. Despite direct supplementation of the brine samples with different organic substrates in primary enrichments, the same organism, a relative of the halophilic bacterium Halomonas (Gammaproteobacteria), was isolated from all depths sampled. The Lake Vanda (VAN) strains were obligate aerobes and showed broad pH, salinity, and temperature ranges for growth, consistent with the physicochemical properties of the brine. VAN strains were halophilic and quite CaCl2 tolerant but did not require CaCl2 for growth. The fact that only VAN strain-like organisms appeared in our enrichments hints that the highly chaotropic nature of the Lake Vanda brine may place unusual physiological constraints on the bacterial community that inhabits it. PMID:25576606

  1. Insights into ice shelf buttressing and ice rheology on Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica, from synoptic-scale observations of tidally driven ice flow variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minchew, Brent; Simons, Mark; Riel, Bryan; Millio, Pietro

    2016-04-01

    Synoptic-scale observations of the response of ice streams to well-constrained forcing functions provide unique insights into ice stream dynamics and the underlying mechanics of glacier flow. Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica, is one of the few recognized ice streams with strong, observed, periodic ice-flow variability (e.g., Gudmundsson, 2006; Murray et al., 2007); numerous in situ observations of the subglacial environment (e.g., Smith et al., 2015); and extensive modeling efforts focused on understanding the mechanisms that drive the observed variations in glacier flow (e.g. Thompson et al., 2014; Rosier et al., 2014; 2015). Despite these efforts, the processes underlying the ~20% modulation in horizontal ice flow at Msf (14.77-day) periods - which corresponds to the beat frequency of the lunar and solar semi-diurnal ocean tides - remain a mystery. To help resolve the salient processes, we contribute a first-of-its-kind observational dataset that provides ice-stream-scale measurements of 3D secular and time-varying ice flow on Rutford with ~40-m spatial resolution. These data were inferred from 9 months of continuous synthetic aperture radar observations collected with the COSMO-SkyMed 4-satellite constellation from multiple satellite viewing geometries. The resulting velocity fields provide constraints on ice flow in all three spatial dimensions and in time, making them true 4D surface velocity fields. The time-varying velocity field components elucidate the spatial characteristics of the response of ice flow on Rutford to ocean tidal forcing and agree with collocated GPS measurements. We show that the response of horizontal ice flow to ocean tidal forcing is most pronounced over the ice shelf and subsequently propagates through the grounded ice stream at ~29 km/day, decaying quasi-linearly with distance over ~85 km upstream of the grounding zone. We observe multiple regions over the ice shelf whose motion is consistent with subglacial pinning points and that

  2. The Recent Nansen's Ice-Shelf Calving Event : Comparison with Meteo-Climatic and Marine Conditions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fusco, G.; Cannito, A. C. C.; Marinangeli, L.; Cardinale, M.; Pompilio, L.

    2015-12-01

    Ice shelves are important elements of the Cryosphere representing the interface between ice, atmosphere and ocean. They are also the mean to discharge ice from the interior ice sheets contributing to the continental ice mass balance. A sudden change in volume and extension of both ice shelves and floating glacier tongues can rapidly increase the ice streams speed and the ice sheets flow variability.The Nansen ice shelf represent a particular sensible interface between the floating ice and the Terra Nova Bay polynya, a sea area that remains ice-free for almost all the winter time , thus being one of the major responsible of the production of the Antarctic bottom water. Remote sensing technologies gave us the opportunity to observe and investigate on the formation and evolution of an incipient crevasse on the Nansen Ice Shelf, starting from 1999. The crack showed a steady and slow increase in length and rotation up to 2011 and then underwent an abrupt evolution. During the 2014 winter season, the crack reached its maximum elongation and the detachment of large tabular bergs seems to be very close. This should be the first observation of a detachment of large tabular bergs from the Nansen Ice Shelf since the beginning of satellite observations and is an opportunity to investigate complex processes. We analyzed the last ten years record of climate data over the Southern ocean to evaluate the relationships between the intense cyclonic activity, synoptic and mesoscale systems, ocean swells and calving events. We used ECMWF ERA-interim global atmospheric reanalysis model, Landsat images and in situ weather observations from AWS of the Italian Antarctic Program deployed over the Terra Nova Bay cost. Our preliminary results show a strong correlation between the occurrence of some anomalous meteorological configurations over the Southern Ocean and the sudden grow of the monitored crack in the ice shelf. If confirmed, together with this new arrangement of the cryosphere, some

  3. The structure and effect of suture zones in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGrath, Daniel; Steffen, Konrad; Holland, Paul R.; Scambos, Ted; Rajaram, Harihar; Abdalati, Waleed; Rignot, Eric

    2014-03-01

    Ice shelf fractures frequently terminate where they encounter suture zones, regions of material heterogeneity that form between meteoric inflows in ice shelves. This heterogeneity can consist of marine ice, meteoric ice with modified rheological properties, or the presence of fractures. Here, we use radar observations on the Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica, to investigate (i) the termination of a 25 km long rift in the Churchill Peninsula suture zone, which was found to contain ~60 m of accreted marine ice, and (ii) the along-flow evolution of a suture zone originating at Cole Peninsula. We determine a steady state field of basal melting/freezing rates and apply it to a flowline model to delineate the along-flow evolution of layers within the ice shelf. The thickening surface wedge of locally accumulated meteoric ice, which likely has limited lateral variation in its mechanical properties, accounts for ~60% of the total ice thickness near the calving front. Thus, we infer that the lower ~40% of the ice column and the material heterogeneities present there are responsible for resisting fracture propagation and thereby delaying tabular calving events, as demonstrated in the >40 year time series leading up to the 2004/2005 calving event for Larsen C. This likely represents a highly sensitive aspect of ice shelf stability, as changes in the oceanic forcing may lead to the loss of this heterogeneity.

  4. Rheology of the Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica, Inferred from Satellite Radar Interferometry Data using an Inverse Control Method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larour, E.; Rignot, E.; Joughin, I.; Aubry, D.

    2005-01-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet is surrounded by large floating ice shelves that spread under their own weight into the ocean. Ice shelf rigidity depends on ice temperature and fabrics, and is influenced by ice flow and the delicate balance between bottom and surface accumulation. Here, we use an inverse control method to infer the rigidity of the Ronne Ice Shelf that best matches observations of ice velocity from satellite radar interferometry. Ice rigidity, or flow law parameter B, is shown to vary between 300 and 900 kPa a(sup 1/3). Ice is softer along the side margins due to frictional heating, and harder along the outflow of large glaciers, which advect cold continental ice. Melting at the bottom surface of the ice shelf increases its rigidity, while freezing decreases it. Accurate numerical modelling of ice shelf flow must account for this spatial variability in mechanical characteristics.

  5. Modeling the instantaneous response of glaciers after the collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rydt, J.; Gudmundsson, G. H.; Rott, H.; Bamber, J. L.

    2015-07-01

    Following the disintegration of the Larsen B Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, in 2002, regular surveillance of its ˜20 tributary glaciers has revealed a response which is varied and complex in both space and time. The major outlets have accelerated and thinned, smaller glaciers have shown little or no change, and glaciers flowing into the remnant Scar Inlet Ice Shelf have responded with delay. In this study we present the first areawide numerical analysis of glacier dynamics before and immediately after the collapse of the ice shelf, combining new data sets and a state-of-the-art numerical ice flow model. We simulate the loss of buttressing at the grounding line and find a good qualitative agreement between modeled changes in glacier flow and observations. Through this study, we seek to improve confidence in our numerical models and their ability to capture the complex mechanical coupling between floating ice shelves and grounded ice.

  6. Soil temperatures and stability of ice-cemented ground in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, C.; Mellon, M. T.; Friedmann, E. I.

    1998-01-01

    Year-round temperature measurements at 1600 m elevation during 1994 in the Asgard Range Antarctica, indicate that the mean annual frost point of the ice-cemented ground, 25 cm below the surface, is -21.7 +/- 0.2 degrees C and the mean annual frost point of the atmosphere is -27.5 +/- 1.0 degrees C. The corresponding mean annual temperatures are -24.9 degrees C and -23.3 degrees C. These results imply that there is a net flux of water vapour from the ice to the atmosphere resulting in a recession of the ice-cemented ground by about 0.4-0.6 mm yr-1. The level of the ice-cemented permafrost is about 12 cm below the level of dry permafrost. The summer air temperatures would have to increase about 7 degrees C for thawing temperatures to just reach the top of the subsurface ice. Either subsurface ice at this location is evaporating over time or there are sporadic processes that recharge the ice and maintain equilibrium over long timescales.

  7. McMurdo Dry Valleys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    One of the few areas of Antarctica not covered by thousands of meters of ice, the McMurdo Dry Valleys stand out in this satellite image. For a few weeks each summer temperatures are warm enough to melt glacial ice, creating streams that feed freshwater lakes that lie at the bottom of the valleys. Beneath a cap of ice these lakes remains unfrozen year-round, supporting colonies of bacteria and phytoplankton. Over the past 14 years, however, summers have been colder than usual, and the lakes are becoming more and more frozen. If the trend continues, the biological communities they support may go into hibernation. Most of Antarctica has cooled along with the Dry Valleys, in contrast to much of the rest of the Earth, which has warmed over the past 100 years. No one knows if the trend is related to global climate, or just a quirk in the weather. This image was acquired by Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) instrument on December 18, 1999. For more information, visit: National Public Radio's Mixed Signals from Antarctica Declassified Satellite Imagery of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Image by Robert Simmon, based on data provided by the NASA GSFC Oceans and Ice Branch and the Landsat 7 Science Team

  8. The evolving instability of the remnant Larsen B Ice Shelf and its tributary glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazendar, Ala; Borstad, Christopher P.; Scheuchl, Bernd; Rignot, Eric; Seroussi, Helene

    2015-06-01

    Following the 2002 disintegration of the northern and central parts of the Larsen B Ice Shelf, the tributary glaciers of the southern surviving part initially appeared relatively unchanged and hence assumed to be buttressed sufficiently by the remnant ice shelf. Here, we modify this perception with observations from IceBridge altimetry and InSAR-inferred ice flow speeds. Our analyses show that the surfaces of Leppard and Flask glaciers directly upstream from their grounding lines lowered by 15 to 20 m in the period 2002-2011. The thinning appears to be dynamic as the flow of both glaciers and the remnant ice shelf accelerated in the same period. Flask Glacier started accelerating even before the 2002 disintegration, increasing its flow speed by ∼55% between 1997 and 2012. Starbuck Glacier meanwhile did not change much. We hypothesize that the different evolutions of the three glaciers are related to their dissimilar bed topographies and degrees of grounding. We apply numerical modeling and data assimilation that show these changes to be accompanied by a reduction in the buttressing afforded by the remnant ice shelf, a weakening of the shear zones between its flow units and an increase in its fracture. The fast flowing northwestern part of the remnant ice shelf exhibits increasing fragmentation, while the stagnant southeastern part seems to be prone to the formation of large rifts, some of which we show have delimited successive calving events. A large rift only 12 km downstream from the grounding line is currently traversing the stagnant part of the ice shelf, defining the likely front of the next large calving event. We propose that the flow acceleration, ice front retreat and enhanced fracture of the remnant Larsen B Ice Shelf presage its approaching demise.

  9. Arctic continental shelf morphology related to sea-ice zonation, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reimnitz, E.; Toimil, L.; Barnes, P.

    1978-01-01

    Landsat-1 and NOAA satellite imagery for the winter 1972-1973, and a variety of ice and sea-floor data were used to study sea-ice zonation and dynamics and their relation to bottom morphology and geology on the Beaufort Sea continental shelf of arctic Alaska. In early winter the location of the boundary between undeformed fast ice and westward-drifting pack ice of the Pacific Gyre is controlled by major coastal promontories. Pronounced linear pressure- and shear-ridges, as well as hummock fields, form along this boundary and are stabilized by grounding, generally between the 10- and 20-m isobaths. Slippage along this boundary occurs intermittently at or seaward of the grounded ridges, forming new grounded ridges in a widening zone, the stamukhi zone, which by late winter extends out to the 40-m isobath. Between intermittent events along the stamukhi zone, pack-ice drift and slippage is continuous along the shelf edge, at average rates of 3-10 km/day. Whether slippage occurs along the stamukhi zone or along the shelf edge, it is restricted to a zone several hundred meters wide, and ice seaward of the slip face moves at uniform rates without discernible drag effects. A causal relationship is seen between the spatial distribution of major ice-ridge systems and offshore shoals downdrift of major coastal promontories. The shoals appear to have migrated shoreward under the influence of ice up to 400 m in the last 25 years. The sea floor seaward of these shoals within the stamukhi zone shows high ice-gouge density, large incision depths, and a high degree of disruption of internal sedimentary structures. The concentration of large ice ridges and our sea floor data in the stamukhi zone indicate that much of the available marine energy is expended here, while the inner shelf and coast, where the relatively undeformed fast ice grows, are sheltered. There is evidence that anomalies in the overall arctic shelf profile are related to sea-ice zonation, ice dynamics, and bottom

  10. Analogue modelling of the influence of ice shelf collapse on the flow of ice sheets grounded below sea-level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, Giacomo; Zeoli, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    The sudden breakup of ice shelves is expected to result in significant acceleration of inland glaciers, a process related to the removal of the buttressing effect exerted by the ice shelf on the tributary glaciers. This effect has been tested in previous analogue models, which however applied to ice sheets grounded above sea level (e.g., East Antarctic Ice Sheet; Antarctic Peninsula and the Larsen Ice Shelf). In this work we expand these previous results by performing small-scale laboratory models that analyse the influence of ice shelf collapse on the flow of ice streams draining an ice sheet grounded below sea level (e.g., the West Antarctic Ice Sheet). The analogue models, with dimensions (width, length, thickness) of 120x70x1.5cm were performed at the Tectonic Modelling Laboratory of CNR-IGG of Florence, Italy, by using Polydimethilsyloxane (PDMS) as analogue for the flowing ice. This transparent, Newtonian silicone has been shown to well approximate the rheology of natural ice. The silicone was allowed to flow into a water reservoir simulating natural conditions in which ice streams flow into the sea, terminating in extensive ice shelves which act as a buttress for their glaciers and slow their flow. The geometric scaling ratio was 10(-5), such that 1cm in the models simulated 1km in nature; velocity of PDMS (a few mm per hour) simulated natural velocities of 100-1000 m/year. Instability of glacier flow was induced by manually removing a basal silicone platform (floating on water) exerting backstresses to the flowing analogue glacier: the simple set-up adopted in the experiments isolates the effect of the removal of the buttressing effect that the floating platform exerts on the flowing glaciers, thus offering insights into the influence of this parameter on the flow perturbations resulting from a collapse event. The experimental results showed a significant increase in glacier velocity close to its outlet following ice shelf breakup, a process similar to what

  11. Using immersed boundary methods to couple a dynamical ocean model to a dynamical ice sheet/ice shelf model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asay-Davis, Xylar; Lipscomb, William; Price, Steven

    2010-05-01

    The melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), the world's largest marine ice sheet, would mean a ~5 meter sea level rise worldwide. About a third of the WAIS lies in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, where small ice shelves provide buttressing for outlet glaciers. Warming oceans may melt the supporting ice shelves leading to accelerated flow of the outlet glaciers. Perhaps more importantly, warming oceans may mean that warm circumpolar deep water can more easily reach the ice sheet grounding line, where it can melt grounded ice directly and force retreat. Previous theoretical work suggests that ice sheets, such as the WAIS, with seabeds that deepen inland may be unstable to grounding line retreat. We present simulations from a coupled dynamical ocean model (based on POP) and dynamical ice sheet/ice shelf model (Glimmer-CISM). This work is a stepping stone toward a global scale simulation of the southern ocean (using CCSM) together with the full Antarctic ice sheet (using Glimmer-CISM). The ocean model uses an immersed boundary method (IBM) to represent the complex, time-evolving geometry of the ice shelf. The IBM allows for accurate representation of the boundary conditions at the ocean/ice interface without the need for a modeling grid that conforms to the boundary or that changes in time. Using simplified seabed and ice shelf geometries, our simulations explore the effects of varying the seabed slope on the stability of ice sheets. We also investigate the melt rates that result from varying levels of seawater warming beneath the ice shelves.

  12. Evidence against a late Wisconsinan ice shelf in the Gulf of Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oldale, R.N.; Williams, R.S.; Colman, Steven M.

    1990-01-01

    Proposals for the formation of a late Wisconsinan ice shelf in the Gulf of Maine during the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet are considered to be inappropriate. An Antarctic-type ice shelf does not fit the field data that indicate temperate glacial, terrestrial, and marine climates for the region between 18 ka and 12 ka. A temperate ice shelf has no modern analogues and may be physically impossible. The preponderance of stratified drift in the Gulf of Maine region supports temperate climates during late Wisconsinan time. It also indicates that glacial meltwater, rather than ice in either an ice sheet or ice shelf, was the primary transport mechanism of glacial sediment and the source for the glaciomarine mud. For these reasons we have proposed glacial analogues for the deglaciation of the Gulf of Maine that consist of temperate or subpolar marine-based glaciers, characterized by depositional environments dominated by meltwater discharge directly to the sea or the sea by way of subaerial meltwater streams. These analogues include Alaskan fjord glaciers, glaciers on the Alaskan continental shelf that discharged meltwater directly into the sea in the not too distant past, and Austfonna (Nordaustandet, Svalbard, Norway) that is presently discharging meltwater in the sea along a grounded ice wall. This last example is the best modern-day analogue for the depositional environment for most of the glaciomarine mud in the Gulf of Maine and deglaciation of the Gulf. ?? 1990.

  13. Coastal-change and glaciological map of the Amery Ice Shelf area, Antarctica: 1961–2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Foley, Kevin M.; Ferrigno, Jane G.; Swithinbank, Charles; Williams, Richard S.; Orndorff, Audrey L.

    2013-01-01

    Reduction in the area and volume of Earth’s two polar ice sheets is intricately linked to changes in global climate and to the resulting rise in sea level. Measurement of changes in area and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet was given a very high priority in recommendations by the Polar Research Board of the National Research Council. On the basis of these recommendations, the U.S. Geological Survey used its archive of satellite images to document changes in the cryospheric coastline of Antarctica and analyze the glaciological features of the coastal regions. Amery Ice Shelf, lying between 67.5° and 75° East longitude and 68.5° and 73.2° South latitude, is the largest ice shelf in East Antarctica. The latest measurements of the area of the ice shelf range between 62,620 and 71,260 square kilometers. The ice shelf is fed primarily by Lambert, Mellor, and Fisher Glaciers; its thickness ranges from 3,000 meters in the center of the grounding line to less than 300 meters at the ice front. Lambert Glacier is considered to be the largest glacier in the world, and its drainage basin is more than 1 million square kilometers in area. It is possible to see some coastal change on the outlet glaciers along the coast, but most of the noticeable change occurs on the Amery Ice Shelf front.

  14. Characterizing Microbial Mat Morphology with Structure from Motion Techniques in Ice-Covered Lake Joyce, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackey, T. J.; Leidman, S. Z.; Allen, B.; Hawes, I.; Lawrence, J.; Jungblut, A. D.; Krusor, M.; Coleman, L.; Sumner, D. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Structure from Motion (SFM) techniques can provide quantitative morphological documentation of otherwise inaccessible benthic ecosystems such as microbial mats in Lake Joyce, a perennially ice-covered lake of the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV). Microbial mats are a key ecosystem of MDV lakes, and diverse mat morphologies like pinnacles emerge from interactions among microbial behavior, mineralization, and environmental conditions. Environmental gradients can be isolated to test mat growth models, but assessment of mat morphology along these gradients is complicated by their inaccessibility: the Lake Joyce ice cover is 4-5 m thick, water depths containing diverse pinnacle morphologies are 9-14 m, and relevant mat features are cm-scale. In order to map mat pinnacle morphology in different sedimentary settings, we deployed drop cameras (SeaViewer and GoPro) through 29 GPS referenced drill holes clustered into six stations along a transect spanning 880 m. Once under the ice cover, a boom containing a second GoPro camera was unfurled and rotated to collect oblique images of the benthic mats within dm of the mat-water interface. This setup allowed imaging from all sides over a ~1.5 m diameter area of the lake bottom. Underwater lens parameters were determined for each camera in Agisoft Lens; images were reconstructed and oriented in space with the SFM software Agisoft Photoscan, using the drop camera axis of rotation as up. The reconstructions were compared to downward facing images to assess accuracy, and similar images of an object with known geometry provided a test for expected error in reconstructions. Downward facing images identify decreasing pinnacle abundance in higher sedimentation settings, and quantitative measurements of 3D reconstructions in KeckCAVES LidarViewer supplement these mat morphological facies with measurements of pinnacle height and orientation. Reconstructions also help isolate confounding variables for mat facies trends with measurements

  15. RTopo-2: A global high-resolution dataset of ice sheet topography, ice shelf cavity geometry and ocean bathymetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timmermann, Ralph; Schaffer, Janin

    2016-04-01

    The RTopo-1 data set of Antarctic ice sheet/shelf geometry and global ocean bathymetry has proven useful not only for modelling studies of ice-ocean interaction in the southern hemisphere. Following the spirit of this data set, we introduce a new product (RTopo-2) that contains consistent maps of global ocean bathymetry, upper and lower ice surface topographies for Greenland and Antarctica, and global surface height on a spherical grid with now 30 arc seconds resolution. We used the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO_2014) as the backbone and added the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean version 3 (IBCAOv3) and the International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) version 1. To achieve a good representation of the fjord and shelf bathymetry around the Greenland continent, we corrected data from earlier gridded products in the areas of Petermann Glacier, Hagen Bræ and Helheim Glacier assuming that sub-ice and fjord bathymetries roughly follow plausible Last Glacial Maximum ice flow patterns. For the continental shelf off northeast Greenland and the floating ice tongue of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier at about 79°N, we incorporated a high-resolution digital bathymetry model including all available multibeam survey data for the region. Radar data for ice surface and ice base topographies of the floating ice tongues of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier and Zachariæ Isstrøm have been obtained from the data centers of Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Operation Icebridge (NASA/NSF) and Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). For the Antarctic ice sheet/ice shelves, RTopo-2 largely relies on the Bedmap-2 product but applies corrections for the geometry of Getz, Abbot and Fimbul ice shelf cavities. The data set is available in full and in regional subsets in NetCDF format from the PANGAEA database.

  16. Insights into supraglacial lake evolution on the Larsen-B ice shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leeson, A.; Shepherd, A.; Gilbert, L.; Ligtenberg, S.; van den Broeke, M.

    2015-12-01

    The Larsen-B ice shelf was the second largest component of the Larsen ice shelf system in the Antarctic Peninsula. It collapsed in 2002, losing an area more than double the size of London (~3200 km2) to the sea. The collapse of Larsen-B has been attributed to a range of factors, although the dominant control over the fidelity of the ice shelf is thought to be climatological (melting on the ice shelf was three times higher in 2002 than the 1998-2001 average). Supraglacial lakes in particular have been implicated in the collapse; by repeatedly filling and draining, they likely weaken an ice shelf and precondition it for disintegration. However, abundant supraglacial lake coverage has been observed on Larsen-B for many years prior to its break-up and, in fact, surface conditions have been conducive to lake formation for several decades. Here, we use satellite observations and a hydrological model forced with estimates of melting and runoff from a regional climate model in order to investigate the response of supraglacial lakes to extreme melting in 2002 specifically, in contrast with typical supraglacial lake evolution in previous years. We also use state-of-the-art observations of ice shelf topography acquired by CryoSat-2 to examine the potential role of supraglacial lakes on the fate of the Larsen remnant, currently thought to be at risk of collapse by 2020.

  17. Strong sensitivity of Pine Island ice-shelf melting to climatic variability.

    PubMed

    Dutrieux, Pierre; De Rydt, Jan; Jenkins, Adrian; Holland, Paul R; Ha, Ho Kyung; Lee, Sang Hoon; Steig, Eric J; Ding, Qinghua; Abrahamsen, E Povl; Schröder, Michael

    2014-01-10

    Pine Island Glacier has thinned and accelerated over recent decades, significantly contributing to global sea-level rise. Increased oceanic melting of its ice shelf is thought to have triggered those changes. Observations and numerical modeling reveal large fluctuations in the ocean heat available in the adjacent bay and enhanced sensitivity of ice-shelf melting to water temperatures at intermediate depth, as a seabed ridge blocks the deepest and warmest waters from reaching the thickest ice. Oceanic melting decreased by 50% between January 2010 and 2012, with ocean conditions in 2012 partly attributable to atmospheric forcing associated with a strong La Niña event. Both atmospheric variability and local ice shelf and seabed geometry play fundamental roles in determining the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate. PMID:24385606

  18. Strong sensitivity of Pine Island ice-shelf melting to climatic variability.

    PubMed

    Dutrieux, Pierre; De Rydt, Jan; Jenkins, Adrian; Holland, Paul R; Ha, Ho Kyung; Lee, Sang Hoon; Steig, Eric J; Ding, Qinghua; Abrahamsen, E Povl; Schröder, Michael

    2014-01-10

    Pine Island Glacier has thinned and accelerated over recent decades, significantly contributing to global sea-level rise. Increased oceanic melting of its ice shelf is thought to have triggered those changes. Observations and numerical modeling reveal large fluctuations in the ocean heat available in the adjacent bay and enhanced sensitivity of ice-shelf melting to water temperatures at intermediate depth, as a seabed ridge blocks the deepest and warmest waters from reaching the thickest ice. Oceanic melting decreased by 50% between January 2010 and 2012, with ocean conditions in 2012 partly attributable to atmospheric forcing associated with a strong La Niña event. Both atmospheric variability and local ice shelf and seabed geometry play fundamental roles in determining the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate.

  19. Extensive ice stream activity on the North-East Greenland Continental Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arndt, Jan Erik; Jokat, Wilfried; Dorschel, Boris

    2015-04-01

    Even though approximately 20% of the modern day Greenland ice sheet is drained via the North-East Greenland Continental Shelf (NEGCS), its submarine geomorphology is only poorly resolved. Acting as the main export region for Arctic sea-ice transported southward by the cold East Greenland Current, the NEGCS shows year-round harsh ice conditions that limit the accessibility for research vessels to conduct swath bathymetric surveys. While studies based on radiocarbon dating were arguing if the ice sheet reached on the shelf during full-glacial periods, two studies using high-resolution swath bathymetric data from single cruise tracks showed submarine glacial seafloor features, including mega-scale glacial lineations and retreat moraines that gave direct marine evidence of past ice stream activity at least to the middle shelf in Westwind Trough. We have newly processed swath bathymetry and sub-bottom profiler data of 18 cruises of RV Polarstern from 1985 until 2014. This data was investigated for submarine glacial seafloor features to better constrain the past ice sheet configuration, including its maximum extent and retreat history. Amongst others, we have now first marine evidence for ice stream activity in Norske Trough and in general a more intense ice streaming activity on the shelf. In addition, our data indicates that possibly a small separate ice sheet was present offshore the modern day Greenland coast.

  20. Sea ice and the ocean mixed layer over the Antarctic shelf seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petty, A.; Holland, P.; Feltham, D. L.

    2013-12-01

    An ocean mixed layer model has been incorporated into the Los Alamos sea ice model CICE, to investigate regional variations in the surface-driven formation of Antarctic shelf sea waters. The model captures well the expected sea ice thickness distribution and produces deep (>500 m) mixed layers in the Weddell and Ross shelf seas each winter. By deconstructing the surface power input to the mixed layer, we have shown that the salt/fresh water flux from sea ice growth/melt dominates the evolution of the mixed layer in all shelf sea regions, with a smaller contribution from the mixed layer-surface heat flux. The Weddell and Ross shelf seas have the highest annual ice growth, with a large fraction exported northwards each year, whereas the Bellingshausen shelf sea experiences the highest annual ice melt, driven by the advection of ice from the northeast. Forcing the model with ERA-Interim (1980-2011) and hadGEM2-ES (1980-2099) atmospheric data allows us to look at the impact of atmospheric trends on the sea ice and ocean mixed layer. Both simulations show a shallowing of the wintertime mixed layer in the Amundsen & Bellingshausen seas, potentially increasing the access of warm CDW to ice shelves in both regions. The ERA-I hindcast simulation shows a significant freshening in the Ross and salinification in the Weddell due to surface driven trends (primarily through changes in the sea ice). The Ross freshening is smaller than observed however, highlighting the important role of ice shelf melt in the Amundsen Sea.

  1. Multi-temporal satellite analysis of Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, and consequences for its stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rankl, Melanie; Fürst, Johannes; Helm, Veit; Humbert, Angelika; Braun, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    Antarctic Peninsula (AP) ice shelves have been affected by ice front retreat and surface lowering over the past decades. 12 major ice shelves have disintegrated or significantly retreated and have been affected by volume loss. Longterm ice shelf thinning is twice as high at western AP ice shelves than at eastern AP ice shelves. Wilkins Ice Shelf (WIS), located at the western AP, has undergone considerable ice front retreat since the 1990s. It lost ~ 5000 km² of its size since then. Surface lowering at WIS was found to be the largest at AP ice shelves between 1978 and 2008. Here, we analyze time-series of satellite data in order to assess dynamic changes of WIS following the ice front retreat between 1994 and 2010. We present multi-temporal changes in surface velocities and deduced products, such as strain rate and stress regimes. Surface flow was derived from SAR intensity offset tracking applied to ALOS PALSAR image pairs. In addition, we show variations in ice thickness between 2003 and 2012 derived from TanDEM-X satellite acquisitions and altimetry datasets (CryoSAT-2, ICESat). The bistatic TanDEM-X acquisitions are very suitable for interferometric processing due to highly coherent image pairs. The results showed surface velocity speed up during break-up of an ice bridge between two confining islands in 2006-2008, when an area of ~ 1800 km² broke off. A sharp transition between compressive and extensive in-flow strain rates evolved at the narrowest part of the ice bridge, which contributed to the formation of a crack and hence, failure of the ice bridge in April 2009. First principal stresses were estimated to amount to ~ 250 kPa in the vicinity of the crack formation. The imaging TanDEM-X radar geometry allowed for a comprehensive ice thickness mapping of the ice shelf in 2012 and resolved many details due to the high spatial resolution. The ice thickness at WIS was found to be very heterogeneous. Thickness changes between 2003 and 2012 revealed increased

  2. Measuring Changes in the Vicinity of the Seal Nunataks Ice Shelf Remnant from Imagery and Altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuman, C. A.; Berthier, E.; Scambos, T.

    2015-12-01

    Analysis of repeated imagery and ICESat laser altimetry has enabled the ongoing losses from the northern Larsen ice shelf remnant to be assessed in detail. The remnant, the Seal Nunataks ice shelf (SNIS), has four ICESat tracks that cross it as well as adjacent tracks that cross Robertson Island (RI) and its remaining tributary, Rogosh Glacier (RG), on the Antarctic Peninsula. The altimetry data from ICESat (2003-2009) shows that elevation losses increase from west to east across the SNIS. Ice elevation differences suggest mean ice shelf thinning rates of up to 1.6 m a-1 and reveal processes impacting the remaining shelf ice as well. Limited altimetry data across RG suggests elevation losses of almost 1 m a-1 inland from the grounding zone with smaller losses further up the evolving tributary. Farther east, asymmetric elevation changes across RI suggest the magnitude of regional climate impacts vary distinctly depending on slope aspect. Imagery analysis using Landsat 7 and ASTER images from 2001-2013 shows that ice area losses continued on the shelf remnant following the Larsen A break up in 1995 as well as after the Larsen B break up in 2002. The largest losses (~350 km2) occurred on the north side of the remnant in late 2004 into 2005 with smaller losses along the remaining margins. Despite a slight regional cooling recently and more persistent sea ice since early 2008 as seen in MODIS imagery, the SNIS is still losing ice along its margins and appears to be retreating past its pinning nunataks. In contrast to SNIS, RI has experienced minor ice area losses that suggest most of its ice is grounded and thus less directly impacted by ocean interactions. Combining these remote sensing data sets provides additional insights about ongoing ice loss processes in this part of the Antarctic Peninsula.

  3. Late holocene fluctuations in the front of the Muller Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    SciTech Connect

    Domack, E.W. ); Stein, A.B. )

    1993-01-01

    Ice shelves are important environmental indicators along the antarctic Peninsula. This study investigates the fluctuation of the Muller Ice Shelf by collecting and analysing surface sediment samples, piston cores, and kasten cores close to the present calving line. 3 refs., 3 figs.

  4. Ice shelf basal melt rates around Antarctica from simulations and observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schodlok, M. P.; Menemenlis, D.; Rignot, E. J.

    2016-02-01

    We introduce an explicit representation of Antarctic ice shelf cavities in the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II (ECCO2) ocean retrospective analysis; and compare resulting basal melt rates and patterns to independent estimates from satellite observations. Two simulations are carried out: the first is based on the original ECCO2 vertical discretization; the second has higher vertical resolution particularly at the depth range of ice shelf cavities. The original ECCO2 vertical discretization produces higher than observed melt rates and leads to a misrepresentation of Southern Ocean water mass properties and transports. In general, thicker levels at the base of the ice shelves lead to increased melting because of their larger heat capacity. This strengthens horizontal gradients and circulation within and outside the cavities and, in turn, warm water transports from the shelf break to the ice shelves. The simulation with more vertical levels produces basal melt rates (1735 ± 164 Gt/a) and patterns that are in better agreement with observations. Thinner levels in the sub-ice-shelf cavities improve the representation of a fresh/cold layer at the ice shelf base and of warm/salty water near the bottom, leading to a sharper pycnocline and reduced vertical mixing underneath the ice shelf. Improved water column properties lead to more accurate melt rates and patterns, especially for melt/freeze patterns under large cold-water ice shelves. At the 18 km grid spacing of the ECCO2 model configuration, the smaller, warm-water ice shelves cannot be properly represented, with higher than observed melt rates in both simulations.

  5. Dynamics and Mass Balance of Riiser-Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica, and its Drainage Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klauke, S.; Oelke, C.; Kleiner, T.; Lange, M. A.; Baessler, M.; Dietrich, R.

    2006-12-01

    A coupled finite difference ice sheet/ice shelf model is used to investigate the flow regime of Riiser-Larsen ice shelf, Eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica, and its drainage area. The model takes into account higher order terms that are neglected in the popular shallow ice approximation. The modeled region has a total area of roughly 130 · 103 km2. The model grid consists of 2.5 km × 2.5 km cells horizontally, and of 10 sigma layers vertically. As input data for the simulation, a new DEM is derived mainly from recent ICESat/GLAS laser-altimetry data. In the ice sheet part of the modeled area, ice thickness data are taken from the BEDMAP data set. For the ice shelf, the thickness distribution is computed from the DEM by assuming isostatic equilibrium. For this purpose, vertical density variations inside the ice shelf are derived by comparison of GLAS altimetry data with airborne RES ice thickness measurements from the EPICA mission. The modeled ice flow velocity is compared with interferometrically derived surface flow velocities from ERS-SAR scenes of the ice sheet and with published in-situ measurements of the ice shelf. In order to minimize the difference between modeled and measured velocities, the boundary conditions and free parameters of the flow model are adjusted. The boundary condition at the ice-rock interface turns out to play a crucial role in optimizing the agreement. Thus, the basal sliding velocity of the ice body is calculated from the basal temperature and the basal shear stress following a widely used relation originally proposed by Weertman, and by adjusting its parameters. In the ice shelf, the viscosity of the ice is used as a tuning parameter and is adjusted to maximize the agreement with in-situ measurements. From the result of the simulation with an optimal set of parameters a mass flow over the grounding line of roughly 2 · 1013 kg yr-1 is derived. The comparison with published surface accumulation data suggests a stable mass balance for

  6. Modelling Antarctic ice shelf melting under LGM and doubled CO2 climate using ice shelf-ocean model and climate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obase, T.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Kusahara, K.; Hasumi, H.

    2014-12-01

    Ice-ocean interaction is thought to be a responsible process on long-term Antarctic ice sheet variations, such as retreat of West Antarctic Ice Sheet during Eemian interglacial. Numerical simulation of Antarctic ice sheet require melt rate at ice shelf base as a boundary condition, but the relation between climate and melt rate is unclear. We calculate Antarctic ocean and basal melting of Antarctic ice shelves under Last Glacial Maximum(LGM) and doubled CO2(2xCO2) climate at equilibrium as well as present-day(CTL). We use circumpolar ice shelf-ocean general circulation model(OGCM, based on COCO) and outputs of climate model(MIROC). For the CTL case, we drive OGCM with surface atmospheric climatology based on reanalysis(OMIP) and present-day ocean temperature and salinity for restoration at northern boundary, placed at around latitude of 40S. The surface boundary conditions for LGM(or 2xCO2) is computed from the outputs from climate model simulations. Annual mean marine 2m air temperature anomaly averaged for south of 60S is -7.3℃ for LGM and +6.0℃ for 2xCO2. LGM (or 2xCO2) anomalies of surface atmospheric variables are superimposed to OMIP to make LGM (or 2xCO2) atmospheric boundary conditions. We modify the ocean temperature and salinity column for restoration at northern boundary by superimposing anomaly to present-day ocean climatology. Present-day geometry of ice sheet and ice shelf is used in all experiments to test the sensitivity to climate. We show that melting amount of Antarctic ice shelves show 23% reduction for the LGM and 3.5 times increase for the 2xCO2 compared to the CTL case. We perform a series of additional sensitivity experiments to investigate the role of surface change in sea surface atmospheric variables (temperature, wind) and ocean structures in the Southern Ocean on melt rate of ice shelves. Water mass, ocean circulation and sea ice production on continental shelf are analyzed.

  7. Icepod Plus Potential Field: An Integrated Approach For Understanding Ice Shelf Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frearson, N.

    2015-12-01

    Warm water flowing beneath the large floating ice shelves in Antarctica will play an important role in how fast sea level rises. The lack of detailed bathymetry beneath the large ice shelves and lack of understanding of their internal structure inherently limits our knowledge of how ice shelves will thin and collapse. Understanding the bathymetry beneath the remaining ice shelves is critical to understanding how ice shelves will thin in the future and how that will impact the flux of ice into the global ocean. The Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf remaining on our planet, buttresses the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The bathymetry beneath the Ross Ice Shelf is the least explored piece of ocean floor on our planet. The IcePod is a compact integrated ice imaging system developed for use on any C-130 aircraft developed with NSF support. The initial development program was targeted towards investigating glacial and ice-sheet processes. In this program, deep and shallow ice radars were developed. Optical instruments, including a scanning laser, Infra-red camera and visible wave camera were integrated into the pod. We have expanded the IcePod instrument suite to include the potential field measurements of magnetic and gravity anomalies with support from the Moore Foundation. During the development, a total field cesium sensor magnetometer and 3-axis fluxgate from previously funded work were also incorporated into the pod. Their behavioral response to being located close to high-frequency electronics, power supplies and metallic objects were studied. We describe in part some of that development process and the positive findings that resulted. The Icepod group is also actively pursuing the development, modification and incorporation of a new gravimeter into the suite of instruments available to the program and is investigating reduction in size of this that may eventually lead to incorporating the gravimeter into the pod itself. As part of this program we are also

  8. Quantitative Links between Amundsen Sea Heat and Pine Island Ice Shelf Melt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bindschadler, R.; Vaughan, D. G.; Vornberger, P.

    2010-12-01

    Previous researchers have established the strong connection between the Amundsen Sea and basal melt of Pine Island Glacier’s ice shelf in Antarctica. In this presentation we extend this work by focusing on a strong spatial pattern of ice thickness undulations observed on the ice shelf and the predicted temporal pattern of pulses of Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) upwelled onto the Amundsen Sea continental shelf by variable surface winds (Thoma et al., 2008). After converting the temporal pattern to spatial position on the ice shelf, we show a remarkable correlation over the last decade of these records that allows us to quantitatively associate an amount of heat at the front of the ice shelf, with an amount of melt that occurs at the grounding line. By considering the excess melting driven by pulses of CDW separately from the background melting, we extract a set of heat vs. melt values that suggest a linear relationship supporting the results of Rignot and Jacobs (2002) and disputing the non-linear relationship suggested by Holland et al. (2008). We infer that the current delivering the ocean’s heat is approximately 3.4 cm/sec , that most of the heat is expended by melt, and that the majority of melting is spatially limited to the grounding line vicinity. References cited: Holland, P.R., A. Jenkins and D.M. Holland, 2008. The Response of Ice Shelf Basal Melting to Variations in Ocean Temperature. Journal of Climate, Vol. 21, pp. 2558-2572, DOI: 10.1175/2007JCLI1909.1 Rignot E. and S.S. Jacobs, 2002. Rapid bottom melting widespread near Antarctic ice sheet grounding lines, Science, Vol. 296, No. 5575, p. 2020-2023. Thoma, M., A. Jenkins, D. Holland, and S. Jacobs, 2008. Modelling Circumpolar Deep Water intrusions on the Amundsen Sea continental shelf, Antarctica, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, No. 18, L18602, doi: 10.1029/2008GL034939

  9. Sea ice and surface water circulation, Alaskan Continental Shelf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wright, F. F. (Principal Investigator); Sharma, G. D.; Burn, J. J.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The boundaries of land-fast ice, distribution of pack ice, and major polynya were studied in the vicinity of the Bering Strait. Movement of pack ice during 24 hours was determined by plotting the distinctly identifiable ice floes on ERTS-1 imagery obtained from two consecutive passes. Considerably large shallow area along the western Seward Peninsula just north of the Bering Strait is covered by land fast ice. This ice hinders the movement of ice formed in eastern Chukchi Sea southward through the Bering Strait. The movement of ice along the Russian coast is relatively faster. Plotting of some of the ice floes indicated movement of ice in excess of 30 km in and south of the Bering Strait between 6 and 7 March, 1973. North of the Bering Strait the movement approached 18 km. The movement of ice observed during March 6 and 7 considerably altered the distribution and extent of polynya. These features when continually plotted should be of considerable aid in navigation of ice breakers. The movement of ice will also help delineate the migration and distribution of sea mammals.

  10. Bimodal pattern of seismicity detected at the ocean margin of an Antarctic ice shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardi, Denis; Benoit, Lionel; Camelbeeck, Thierry; Martin, Olivier; Meynard, Christophe; Thom, Christian

    2016-08-01

    In Antarctica, locally grounded ice, such as ice rises bordering floating ice shelves, plays a major role in the ice mass balance as it stabilizes the ice sheet flow from the hinterland. When in direct contact with the ocean, the ice rise buttressing effect may be altered in response of changing ocean forcing. To investigate this vulnerable zone, four sites near the boundary of an ice shelf with an ice rise promontory in Dronning Maud Land, East-Antarctica were monitored for a month in early 2014 with new instruments that include both seismic and GPS sensors. Our study indicated that this transition zone experiences periodic seismic activity resulting from surface crevassing during oceanic tide-induced flexure of the ice shelf. The most significant finding is the observation of apparent fortnightly tide-modulated low-frequency, long-duration seismic events at the seaward front of the ice rise promontory. A basal origin of these events is postulated with the ocean water surge at each new spring tide triggering basal crevassing or basal slip on a local bedrock asperity. Detection and monitoring of such seismicity may help identifying ice rise zones vulnerable to intensified ocean forcing.

  11. Bimodal pattern of seismicity detected at the ocean margin of an Antarctic ice shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardi, Denis; Benoit, Lionel; Camelbeeck, Thierry; Martin, Olivier; Meynard, Christophe; Thom, Christian

    2016-06-01

    In Antarctica, locally grounded ice, such as ice rises bordering floating ice shelves, plays a major role in the ice mass-balance as it stabilizes the ice sheet flow from the hinterland. When in direct contact with the ocean, the ice rise buttressing effect may be altered in response of changing ocean forcing. To investigate this vulnerable zone, four sites near the boundary of an ice shelf with an ice rise promontory in Dronning Maud Land, East-Antarctica were monitored for a month in early 2014 with new instruments that include both seismic and GPS sensors. Our study indicated that this transition zone experiences periodic seismic activity resulting from surface crevassing during oceanic tide-induced flexure of the ice shelf. The most significant finding is the observation of apparent fortnightly tide-modulated low frequency, long duration seismic events at the seaward front of the ice rise promontory. A basal origin of these events is postulated with the ocean water surge at each new spring tide triggering basal crevassing or basal slip on a local bedrock asperity. Detection and monitoring of such seismicity may help identifying ice rise zones vulnerable to intensified ocean forcing.

  12. Ice-shelf height variability in Amundsen Sea linked to ENSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paolo, Fernando; Fricker, Helen; Padman, Laurie

    2016-04-01

    Atmospheric and sea-ice conditions around Antarctica, particularly in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas, respond to climate dynamics in the tropical Pacific Ocean on interannual time scales including the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). It has been hypothesized that the mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, including its floating ice shelves, also responds to this climate signal; however, this has not yet been unambiguously demonstrated. We apply multivariate singular spectrum analysis (MSSA) to 18-year (1994-2012) time series of ice-shelf height derived from satellite radar altimetry in the Amundsen Sea (AS) region. This advanced spectral method distinguishes between regular deterministic behavior ("cycles") at sub-decadal time scale and irregular behavior ("noise") at shorter time scales. Although the long-term trends in ice-shelf height change are much larger than the range of interannual variability in the AS region, the short-term rate of change dh/dt can vary about the trend by more than 50%. We extract the principal modes of variability (EOFs) based on common spectral properties from a set of 140 height time series. The mode of interannual variability in the AS ice-shelf height is strongly correlated with the low-frequency mode of ENSO (periodicity of ~4.5 years) as represented by the Southern Oscillation Index. This interannual mode in ice-shelf height, represented by the two leading EOFs, is responsible for about 25% of the variance in the de-trended data set. The ice-shelf height in the AS is expected to respond to changes in precipitation and inflows of warm subsurface Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) into the ocean cavities under the ice shelves, altering basal melt rates. While we find a correlation between modeled precipitation anomalies and ice-shelf height, we are investigating (a) errors in model precipitation, (b) radar backscatter and firn-density issues, and (c) ocean contribution correlated with atmosphere through wind-stress forcing. We

  13. Last Glacial Maximum extent and timing of ice retreat in the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, D. A.; Gore, D. B.; Fink, D.; Ferguson, R.

    2005-12-01

    The response of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) to global climatic and sea level changes that occurred during the last glacial cycle provide important clues to the dynamics of the ice sheet, and it's potential response to future global change. While it is possible to estimate many parameters of the EAIS using methods such as isostatic rebound, marine d180, numerical models and ice core gas content, none provide direct evidence of former ice volumes and geometries that are critical in assessing how the EAIS responded to forcing parameters. We present an overview of the recent program of 26Al and 10Be exposure age dating of the last local Glacial Maximum (lGM) moraines and erratics in the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf drainage system (LG-AIS), that presently drains up to one fifth of the entire East Antarctic Ice Sheet. We contrast these results with existing data from the surrounding area to examine how the convergent ice flow and strong ice streaming of the LG-AIS affected the response of this system to global changes during this time. The lGM moraine heights in the LG-AIS indicate a relatively moderate advance of the ice sheet in this region and can account for no more than ~0.5 m of eustatic sea level rise since 20 ka BP, and are consistent with the both the most recent glacio-hydro-isostatic models that predict former ice heights based on post lGM sea level changes in the LG-AIS, and marine records that indicate that ice did not reach the continental shelf break in this region at the lGM. The small amount of ice thickening precludes this area as a significant source of sea level rise since 20 ka BP, including during MWP-1a. The low ice profiles also suggest that ice streaming occurred in the LG-AIS at the lGM. The pattern of deglaciation following the lGM in and around the LG-AIS was complex. Slow ice downwasting in the middle reaches of the system (near Loewe Massif) began at ~16-15 ka BP and had reached the modern glacial margin by ~11 ka BP. The initial

  14. Mounting evidence for intense ocean interaction with the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bindschadler, R.; Holland, D.; Vaughan, D.; Vornberger, P.

    2008-12-01

    The spatial signature of thinning and acceleration of the Pine Island Glacier has led to the inference that these changes originate at the seaward end of the glacier, possibly within or under the ice shelf (Payne et al., 2004; Shepherd et al., 2004). We present new analyses resulting from both new and archived satellite imagery of the ice shelf that supports this inference and provides new insights into strong seasonal and intra- annual characters of ocean-ice shelf interaction. Strong longitudinal variations in both thickness and surface elevation measured by British Antarctic Survey airborne radars (Vaughan et al., 2006) have wavelengths that correspond roughly to the annual motion of the ice shelf. These could be caused by seasonal variations in flow speed, but such variations of flow speed have never been reported and are not seen in the most recent continuous GPS observations of the ice shelf. We suggest that these strong variations in ice thickness, as large as 200 meters in an average thickness of 600 meters, are caused by seasonal variations in the properties of the water circulating underneath the ice shelf. One likely explanation is that the dominant water mass reaching the deepest parts of the ice shelf alternates between cold High Salinity Shelf Water in the winter and warm Circumpolar Deep Water in the summer. Evidence for recent strengthening of the sub- shelf circulation is the sudden occurrence of three persistent polynyas immediately adjacent to the ice front. These are located in precisely the locations expected from modeled sub-shelf circulation (Payne et al., 2007). This mode was never observed in any satellite imagery prior to the 1999-2000 austral summer (data of 7 summers since 1973 were available), but has occurred in 7 of the 9 summers since and persists throughout the summer. Payne, A.J., A. Vieli, A.P. Shepherd, D.J. Wingham and E. Rignot, 2004. Recent dramatic thinning of largest West Antarctic ice stream triggered by oceans, Geophysical

  15. The Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) Project - Did the Ross Ice Shelf Collapse During MIS 5e?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertler, N. A. N.; Conway, H.; Dahl-Jensen, D.; Blunier, T.; Brook, E.; Dadic, R.; Delmonte, B.; Dongqi, Z.; Edwards, R.; Emanuelsson, D. B.; Fudge, T. J.; Golledge, N.; Hindmarsh, R. C. A.; Hawley, R. L.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Kjær, H. A.; Kurbatov, A.; Lee, J.; Mayewski, P. A.; Naish, T.; Neff, P. D.; Scherer, R. P.; Severinghaus, J. P.; Simonsen, M. F.; Steig, E. J.; Tuohy, A.; Vallelonga, P. T.; Waddington, E. D.

    2014-12-01

    Geological evidence and modelling experiments suggest that the removal of ice shelves from marine based ice sheets can lead to catastrophic collapse. Roosevelt and Ross Islands are thought to be key stabilization anchors for the Ross Ice Shelf and thus the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. As part of the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) project, a 763m deep ice core was recovered during 2011-2013 from Roosevelt Island, at the northern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf. The ice at Roosevelt Island is grounded 210m below sea level and accumulates in situ, with the Ross Ice Shelf flowing around the rise. High resolution radar surveys show a well developed Raymond Bump at the divide of the ice dome. With the conclusion of the RICE core processing campaign in July 2014, a preliminary age model is developed using annual layer count, volcanic ash layers; and high resolution methane data tied to the WAIS Divide ice core record, and a glacial flow model. Here we show preliminary data spanning over 100 ka including evidence of ice from the Eemian period (MIS 5e) at the base of the core. The presence of Eemian ice in the RICE record raises the question: how much of the Ross Ice Shelf and West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsed during the last interglacial, when global sea level was 4-8m higher than today? We discuss reconstructions of sea surface and air temperature, sea ice extent, atmospheric circulation patterns, and ice shelf retreat. An ensemble of sensitivity modelling experiments is used to determine thresholds for the removal of ice on Roosevelt Island and correlated grounding line and ice volume changes of the Ross Ice Shelf and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  16. Evolution of basal crevasses links ice shelf stability to ocean forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassis, J. N.; Ma, Y.

    2015-01-01

    Iceberg calving is one of the primary mechanisms responsible for transferring ice from the Antarctic ice shelves to the ocean, but remains poorly understood. Previous theories of calving have sought to explain the calving process as a brittle phenomenon that occurs rapidly when surface or basal crevasses penetrate the entire ice thickness. Here we show that the strain-rate-weakening nature of ice permits initially narrow basal crevasses to seed an instability that gives rise to locally enhanced ductile deformation and thinning over length scales that are large compared to the ice thickness. This ductile failure process, called necking, amplifies long wavelength features of bottom topography and allows basal crevasses to penetrate an increasing fraction of the ice thickness as they advect downstream. Application of the model to the four largest Antarctic ice shelves shows that necking occurs downstream of pinning points and sharp protrusions in the ice shelf embayment where stress is highly concentrated. However, model predictions are sensitive to assumptions about basal melting and refreezing within crevasses, suggesting that the combination of mechanical instability and ice-ocean interaction on the scale of an individual crevasse may play a leading role in controlling ice shelf stability.

  17. Two Decades of Variability in Nutrient Budgets for Ice-Covered, Closed Basin Lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truhlar, A. M.; Gooseff, M. N.; McKnight, D. M.; Priscu, J. C.; Doran, P. T.

    2013-12-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys (MCM) of Antarctica represent one of the world's driest deserts. A collection of permanently ice-covered lakes in the MCM provide an important refuge for microorganisms. Thus, it is of interest to understand the nutrient dynamics of these lakes and how these dynamics have changed over time. One to two decade-long records of physical, chemical, and biological characteristics in the East Lobe of Lake Bonney (ELB), Lake Fryxell (FRX), and Lake Hoare (HOR) allowed for development of annual nutrient budgets and analysis of possible causes of variability. Annual nutrient budgets were built by accounting for total seasonal streamflow and average seasonal nutrient concentration in streamflow, as well as nutrient diffusion across the chemocline, which roughly coincides with the bottom of the photic zone. Unaccounted-for changes in nutrient content were assumed to be caused by processes internal to the lake. Changes to the proportion of lake volume in the photic zone, seasonal streamflow, and biological activity, represented by chlorophyll-a (CHL) concentration, were considered as potential explanations. For all three lakes, nutrient diffusion either into or out of the photic zone was minimal compared to nutrient inputs from streamflow. The sole exception to this was NH4 inputs to FRX; for eight of the nine years considered, diffusive inputs of NH4 to the photic zone were greater than streamflow inputs. In most cases, internal processes appeared to dominate over streamflow inputs; this is likely because seasonal streamflow represented less than 8% of the photic zone volume in all three lakes. Three exceptions to this trend were the phosphorus budget in ELB, and the NH4 and NO3 budgets in HOR; in these cases, streamflow inputs represented a notable portion of the annual nutrient budgets. The MCM lakes decreased in volume from the early 1990s to the early 2000s; they have since been increasing in volume. The volume of the photic zone was positively

  18. Future sea-level rise from tidewater and ice-shelf tributary glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schannwell, Clemens; Barrand, Nicholas E.; Radić, Valentina

    2016-11-01

    Iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers contribute significant amounts to global sea-level rise (SLR) from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). Owing to ongoing ice dynamical changes (collapse of buttressing ice shelves), these contributions have accelerated in recent years. As the AP is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth, further ice dynamical adjustment (increased ice discharge) is expected over the next two centuries. In this paper, the first regional SLR projection of the AP from both iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers in response to ice-shelf collapse is presented. An ice-sheet model forced by temperature output from 13 global climate models (GCMs), in response to the high greenhouse gas emission scenario (RCP8.5), projects AP contribution to SLR of 28 ± 16 to 32 ± 16 mm by 2300, partitioned approximately equally between contributions from tidewater glaciers and ice-shelf tributary glaciers. In the RCP4.5 scenario, sea-level rise projections to 2300 are dominated by tidewater glaciers (∼8-18 mm). In this cooler scenario, 2.4 ± 1 mm is added to global sea levels from ice-shelf tributary drainage basins as fewer ice-shelves are projected to collapse. Sea-level projections from ice-shelf tributary glaciers are dominated by drainage basins feeding George VI Ice Shelf, accounting for ∼70% of simulated SLR. Combined total ice dynamical SLR projections to 2300 from the AP vary between 11 ± 2 and 32 ± 16 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE), depending on the emission scenario used. These simulations suggest that omission of tidewater glaciers could lead to a substantial underestimation of the ice-sheet's contribution to regional SLR.

  19. Biodiversity change after climate-induced ice-shelf collapse in the Antarctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutt, Julian; Barratt, Iain; Domack, Eugene; d'Udekem d'Acoz, Cédric; Dimmler, Werner; Grémare, Antoine; Heilmayer, Olaf; Isla, Enrique; Janussen, Dorte; Jorgensen, Elaina; Kock, Karl-Hermann; Sophia Lehnert, Linn; López-Gonzáles, Pablo; Langner, Stephanie; Linse, Katrin; Eugenia Manjón-Cabeza, Maria; Meißner, Meike; Montiel, Americo; Raes, Maarten; Robert, Henri; Rose, Armin; Sañé Schepisi, Elisabet; Saucède, Thomas; Scheidat, Meike; Schenke, Hans-Werner; Seiler, Jan; Smith, Craig

    2011-03-01

    The marine ecosystem on the eastern shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula was surveyed 5 and 12 years after the climate-induced collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves. An impoverished benthic fauna was discovered, that included deep-sea species presumed to be remnants from ice-covered conditions. The current structure of various ecosystem components appears to result from extremely different response rates to the change from an oligotrophic sub-ice-shelf ecosystem to a productive shelf ecosystem. Meiobenthic communities remained impoverished only inside the embayments. On local scales, macro- and mega-epibenthic diversity was generally low, with pioneer species and typical Antarctic megabenthic shelf species interspersed. Antarctic Minke whales and seals utilised the Larsen A/B area to feed on presumably newly established krill and pelagic fish biomass. Ecosystem impacts also extended well beyond the zone of ice-shelf collapse, with areas of high benthic disturbance resulting from scour by icebergs discharged from the Larsen embayments.

  20. Seismic observations of sea swell on the floating Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cathles, L. M.; Okal, Emile A.; Macayeal, Douglas R.

    2009-06-01

    A seismometer operating on the floating Ross Ice Shelf near its seaward ice front (Nascent Iceberg) for 340 days (out of 730 days) during the 2004, 2005, and 2006 Antarctic field seasons recorded the arrival of 93 distantly sourced ocean swell events displaying frequency dispersion characteristic of surface gravity waves propagating on deep water. Comparison of swell event dispersion with the NOAA Wave Watch III (NWW3) ocean wave model analysis reveals that 83 of these events were linked to specific storms located in the Pacific, Southern, and Indian oceans. Nearly all major storms in the NWW3 analysis of the Pacific Ocean were linked to signals observed at the Nascent site during the period of seismometer operation. Swell-induced motion of the Ross Ice Shelf is found to increase by several orders of magnitude over the time period that sea ice surrounding Antarctica decreases from its maximum extent (October) to its minimum extent (February). The amplitude of vertical vibration of the ice shelf in the frequency band between 0.025 and 0.14 Hz varies between tens of micrometers to millimeters as sea ice decays to its minimum seasonal extent. This suggests that climate influence on sea ice extent may indirectly modulate swell energy incident on the calving margins of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The largest swell signals observed on the Ross Ice Shelf come from storms in the tropical Pacific and Gulf of Alaska. These remote events emphasize how the iceberg calving margin of Antarctica is connected to environmental conditions well beyond Antarctica.

  1. Coupled ice shelf-ocean modeling and complex grounding line retreat from a seabed ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rydt, J.; Gudmundsson, G. H.

    2016-05-01

    Recent observations and modeling work have shown a complex mechanical coupling between Antarctica's floating ice shelves and the adjacent grounded ice sheet. A prime example is Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, which has a strong negative mass balance caused by a recent increase in ocean-induced melting of its ice shelf. The mass loss coincides with the retreat of the grounding line from a seabed ridge, on which it was at least partly grounded until the 1970s. At present, it is unclear what has caused the onset of this retreat and how feedback mechanisms between the ocean and ice shelf geometry have influenced the ice dynamics. To address these questions, we present the first results from an offline coupling between a state-of-the-art shallow-ice flow model with grounding line resolving capabilities and a three-dimensional ocean general circulation model with a static implementation of the ice shelf. A series of idealized experiments simulate the retreat from a seabed ridge in response to changes in the ocean forcing, and we show that the retreat becomes irreversible after 20 years of warm ocean conditions. A comparison to experiments with a simple depth-dependent melt rate parameterization demonstrates that such parameterizations are unable to capture the details of the retreat process, and they overestimate mass loss by more than 40% over a 50 year timescale.

  2. Bathymetry Beneath Abbot Ice Shelf, West Antarctica, From Inversion Of Icebridge Gravity Data: Glaciological And Tectonic Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, J. R.; Tinto, K. J.; Bell, R. E.

    2012-12-01

    The Abbot Ice Shelf, with a surface area of just over 30,000 km2, extends for about 400 km along the Eights Coast of West Antarctica between 103°W and 89°W. Thurston Island forms the seaward side of the western portion of the ice shelf, while the eastern portion opens onto the Bellingshausen Sea. The very western edge of the ice shelf opens into the Amundsen Embayment. Operation IceBridge radar data show that the ice thickness over most of the ice shelf varies from 180-350 m. Numerous islands and ice rises imply a complex bathymetry beneath the ice shelf. NASA's Operation IceBridge obtained ten north-south low-altitude airborne geophysical profiles across Abbot Ice Shelf and an east-west line along the ice shelf during the 2009 OIB Antarctic campaign. We inverted the gravity data from these flights to obtain the bathymetry and water cavity geometry on a set of cross sections. Coincident radar data provided control on ice thickness and the location of the bed in grounded regions. The inversion shows that the ice shelf is underlain by a series of east-west trending, apparently fault-bounded, basins. The individual basins are less than 75 km long and vary from 15 to 35 km wide. The ice shelf is pinned on the rift shoulders and intra-rift highs, which results in low (50-150 m/yr) flow rates compared to other ice shelves. The basins do not extend the entire length of the ice shelf but are discontinuous or offset along accommodation zones. This complex geometry may inhibits circulation in the water cavity beneath the ice shelf and contribute to its stability. The structure beneath the Abbot Ice Shelf indicates minor crustal extension. The extension may be related to Latest Cretaceous intra-plate deformation or the presence of a distributed southern plate boundary of the Bellingshausen microplate that is thought to have been active from about 79 Ma to 61 Ma.

  3. Antarctic ice shelf thickness from CryoSat-2 radar altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chuter, Stephen; Bamber, Jonathan

    2016-04-01

    The Antarctic ice shelves provide buttressing to the inland grounded ice sheet, and therefore play a controlling role in regulating ice dynamics and mass imbalance. Accurate knowledge of ice shelf thickness is essential for input-output method mass balance calculations, sub-ice shelf ocean models and buttressing parameterisations in ice sheet models. Ice shelf thickness has previously been inferred from satellite altimetry elevation measurements using the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium, as direct measurements of ice thickness do not provide the spatial coverage necessary for these applications. The sensor limitations of previous radar altimeters have led to poor data coverage and a lack of accuracy, particularly the grounding zone where a break in slope exists. We present a new ice shelf thickness dataset using four years (2011-2014) of CryoSat-2 elevation measurements, with its SARIn dual antennae mode of operation alleviating the issues affecting previous sensors. These improvements and the dense across track spacing of the satellite has resulted in ˜92% coverage of the ice shelves, with substantial improvements, for example, of over 50% across the Venable and Totten Ice Shelves in comparison to the previous dataset. Significant improvements in coverage and accuracy are also seen south of 81.5° for the Ross and Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelves. Validation of the surface elevation measurements, used to derive ice thickness, against NASA ICESat laser altimetry data shows a mean bias of less than 1 m (equivalent to less than 9 m in ice thickness) and a fourfold decrease in standard deviation in comparison to the previous continental dataset. Importantly, the most substantial improvements are found in the grounding zone. Validation of the derived thickness data has been carried out using multiple Radio Echo Sounding (RES) campaigns across the continent. Over the Amery ice shelf, where extensive RES measurements exist, the mean difference between the datasets is 3

  4. Antarctic ice shelf thickness from CryoSat-2 radar altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chuter, Stephen; Bamber, Jonathan

    2016-04-01

    The Antarctic ice shelves provide buttressing to the inland grounded ice sheet, and therefore play a controlling role in regulating ice dynamics and mass imbalance. Accurate knowledge of ice shelf thickness is essential for input-output method mass balance calculations, sub-ice shelf ocean models and buttressing parameterisations in ice sheet models. Ice shelf thickness has previously been inferred from satellite altimetry elevation measurements using the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium, as direct measurements of ice thickness do not provide the spatial coverage necessary for these applications. The sensor limitations of previous radar altimeters have led to poor data coverage and a lack of accuracy, particularly the grounding zone where a break in slope exists. We present a new ice shelf thickness dataset using four years (2011-2014) of CryoSat-2 elevation measurements, with its SARIn dual antennae mode of operation alleviating the issues affecting previous sensors. These improvements and the dense across track spacing of the satellite has resulted in ˜92% coverage of the ice shelves, with substantial improvements, for example, of over 50% across the Venable and Totten Ice Shelves in comparison to the previous dataset. Significant improvements in coverage and accuracy are also seen south of 81.5° for the Ross and Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelves. Validation of the surface elevation measurements, used to derive ice thickness, against NASA ICESat laser altimetry data shows a mean bias of less than 1 m (equivalent to less than 9 m in ice thickness) and a fourfold decrease in standard deviation in comparison to the previous continental dataset. Importantly, the most substantial improvements are found in the grounding zone. Validation of the derived thickness data has been carried out using multiple Radio Echo Sounding (RES) campaigns across the continent. Over the Amery ice shelf, where extensive RES measurements exist, the mean difference between the datasets is 3

  5. Ice shelf breaking and increase velocity of glacier: the view from analogue experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, Giacomo; Iandelli, Irene

    2013-04-01

    Collapse of the Larsen II platform during the late 90s has generated an increase in velocity if ice sheet discharge, highlighting that these processes may strongly destabilize large ice masses speeding up the plateau discharge toward the sea. Parameters such as ice thickness, valley width and slope, ice pack dimensions may contribute to modulate the effect of increase in ice flow velocity following the removal of ice. We analyze this process through scale analogue models, aimed at reproducing the flow of ice from a plateau into the sea through a narrow valley. The ice is reproduced with a transparent silicone (Polydimethisiloxane), flowing at velocities of a few centimeters per hour and simulating natural velocities in the range of a few meters per year. Having almost the same density of the ice, PDMS floats on water and simulate the ice-shelf formation. Results of preliminary experimental series support that this methodology is able to reasonably reproduce the process and support a significant increase in velocity discharge following the removal of ice pack. Additional tests are designed to verify the influence of the above-mentioned parameters on the increase in ice velocity.

  6. Contrasts in Arctic shelf sea-ice regimes and some implications: Beaufort Sea versus Laptev Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reimnitz, E.; Dethleff, D.; Nurnberg, D.

    1994-01-01

    The winter ice-regime of the 500 km) from the mainland than in the Beaufort Sea. As a result, the annual freeze-up does not incorporate old, deep-draft ice, and with a lack of compression, such deep-draft ice is not generated in situ, as on the Beaufort Sea shelf. The Laptev Sea has as much as 1000 km of fetch at the end of summer, when freezing storms move in and large (6 m) waves can form. Also, for the first three winter months, the polynya lies inshore at a water depth of only 10 m. Turbulence and freezing are excellent conditions for sediment entrainment by frazil and anchor ice, when compared to conditions in the short-fetched Beaufort Sea. We expect entrainment to occur yearly. Different from the intensely ice-gouged Beaufort Sea shelf, hydraulic bedforms probably dominate in the Laptev Sea. Corresponding with the large volume of ice produced, more dense water is generated in the Laptev Sea, possibly accompanied by downslope sediment transport. Thermohaline convection at the midshelf polynya, together with the reduced rate of bottom disruption by ice keels, may enhance benthic productivity and permit establishment of open-shelf benthic communities which in the Beaufort Sea can thrive only in the protection of barrier islands. Indirect evidence for high benthic productivity is found in the presence of walrus, who also require year-round open water. By contrast, lack of a suitable environment restricts walrus from the Beaufort Sea, although over 700 km farther to the south. We could speculate on other consequences of the different ice regimes in the Beaufort and Laptev Seas, but these few examples serve to point out the dangers of exptrapolating from knowledge gained in the North American Arctic to other shallow Arctic shelf settings. ?? 1994.

  7. On the Structure of the Ice-Shelf-Ocean Boundary Layer and Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, A.

    2015-12-01

    Ocean-forced basal melting has been implicated in the widespread thinning of Antarctic ice shelves that has been causally linked with acceleration in the outflow of grounded ice. What determines the distribution and rates of basal melting and freezing beneath an ice shelf and how these respond to changes in the ocean temperature or circulation are therefore key questions. Recent years have seen major progress in our ability to observe basal melting and the ocean conditions that drive it, but data on the latter remain sparse, limiting our understanding of the key processes of ice-ocean heat transfer. In particular, we have no observations of current profiles through the buoyancy- and frictionally-controlled flows along the ice shelf base that drive mixing through the ice-ocean boundary layer. This presentation represents an attempt to address this gap in our knowledge through the application of a very simple model of such boundary flows that considers only the spatial dimension perpendicular to the boundary. Results indicate that for the purely buoyancy-driven flow two possible regimes exist: a weakly-stratified, geostrophic cross-slope current with an embedded Ekman layer; or a strongly-stratified upslope jet with weak cross-slope flow. The latter regime, while well-known to students of katabatic winds, has no analogue in the ocean, and is most appropriate when the ice-ocean interface is very steep. For the gentle slopes typical of ice shelves the buoyant Ekman regime provides some useful insight. When combined with a background flow a range of possible near-ice current profiles emerges as a result of arrest or enhancement of the upslope Ekman transport. Furthermore a simple expression for the upslope transport can be formed that is analogous to that for the wind-forced surface Ekman layer, with the curvature of the ice shelf base replacing the wind-stress curl in driving Ekman pumping to and from the geostrophic flow.

  8. Ice-shelf collapse from subsurface warming as a trigger for Heinrich events

    PubMed Central

    Marcott, Shaun A.; Clark, Peter U.; Padman, Laurie; Klinkhammer, Gary P.; Springer, Scott R.; Liu, Zhengyu; Otto-Bliesner, Bette L.; Carlson, Anders E.; Ungerer, Andy; Padman, June; He, Feng; Cheng, Jun; Schmittner, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Episodic iceberg-discharge events from the Hudson Strait Ice Stream (HSIS) of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, referred to as Heinrich events, are commonly attributed to internal ice-sheet instabilities, but their systematic occurrence at the culmination of a large reduction in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) indicates a climate control. We report Mg/Ca data on benthic foraminifera from an intermediate-depth site in the northwest Atlantic and results from a climate-model simulation that reveal basin-wide subsurface warming at the same time as large reductions in the AMOC, with temperature increasing by approximately 2 °C over a 1–2 kyr interval prior to a Heinrich event. In simulations with an ocean model coupled to a thermodynamically active ice shelf, the increase in subsurface temperature increases basal melt rate under an ice shelf fronting the HSIS by a factor of approximately 6. By analogy with recent observations in Antarctica, the resulting ice-shelf loss and attendant HSIS acceleration would produce a Heinrich event. PMID:21808034

  9. Competing connections between the Ross Ice Shelf with the Southern Ocean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jendersie, Stefan

    2016-04-01

    The stability of the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) is critical to both the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Results from a climatological ice shelf-ocean coupled numerical model (ROMS) suggest a new circulation mechanism associated with High Salinity Water (HSSW) production in the Ross Sea Polynya (RSP) that controls oceanic heat access to the RIS cavity. Within the RSP the dense water-saturated water column contracts during winter and causes a seasonal drop in Sea Surface Height (SSH) localised to a convection chimney under the RSP. The SSH gradients of up to 1.5 mm per km are sufficient to generate a barotropic pressure gradient that can counteract the wide scale horizontal baroclinic force and reverse the geostrophic circulation. In water depths between 600 and 800 m north of the western RIS the effect causes the seasonal occurrence of a cyclonic circulation cell with transports greater than 1Sv. Appearing with the beginning of winter sea ice formation in the RSP it significantly changes the dynamics at the ice shelf front. The new mechanism is described as one element in a framework of oceanographic processes that mitigate the exchange between the deep ocean and the ocean cavity under the RIS. Our study links local circulation features that are known from observation and previous model studies, and for the first time establishes a coherent system of responsible physical forcing processes in the Ross Sea.​

  10. Ice-shelf collapse from subsurface warming as a trigger for Heinrich events.

    PubMed

    Marcott, Shaun A; Clark, Peter U; Padman, Laurie; Klinkhammer, Gary P; Springer, Scott R; Liu, Zhengyu; Otto-Bliesner, Bette L; Carlson, Anders E; Ungerer, Andy; Padman, June; He, Feng; Cheng, Jun; Schmittner, Andreas

    2011-08-16

    Episodic iceberg-discharge events from the Hudson Strait Ice Stream (HSIS) of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, referred to as Heinrich events, are commonly attributed to internal ice-sheet instabilities, but their systematic occurrence at the culmination of a large reduction in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) indicates a climate control. We report Mg/Ca data on benthic foraminifera from an intermediate-depth site in the northwest Atlantic and results from a climate-model simulation that reveal basin-wide subsurface warming at the same time as large reductions in the AMOC, with temperature increasing by approximately 2 °C over a 1-2 kyr interval prior to a Heinrich event. In simulations with an ocean model coupled to a thermodynamically active ice shelf, the increase in subsurface temperature increases basal melt rate under an ice shelf fronting the HSIS by a factor of approximately 6. By analogy with recent observations in Antarctica, the resulting ice-shelf loss and attendant HSIS acceleration would produce a Heinrich event. PMID:21808034

  11. Efficient Flowline Simulations of Ice Shelf-Ocean Interactions: Sensitivity Studies with a Fully Coupled Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, Ryan Thomas; Holland, David; Parizek, Byron R.; Alley, Richard B.; Nowicki, Sophie M. J.; Jenkins, Adrian

    2013-01-01

    Thermodynamic flowline and plume models for the ice shelf-ocean system simplify the ice and ocean dynamics sufficiently to allow extensive exploration of parameters affecting ice-sheet stability while including key physical processes. Comparison between geophysically and laboratory-based treatments of ice-ocean interface thermodynamics shows reasonable agreement between calculated melt rates, except where steep basal slopes and relatively high ocean temperatures are present. Results are especially sensitive to the poorly known drag coefficient, highlighting the need for additional field experiments to constrain its value. These experiments also suggest that if the ice-ocean interface near the grounding line is steeper than some threshold, further steepening of the slope may drive higher entrainment that limits buoyancy, slowing the plume and reducing melting; if confirmed, this will provide a stabilizing feedback on ice sheets under some circumstances.

  12. Oceanic and atmospheric forcing of Larsen C Ice-Shelf thinning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holland, P. R.; Brisbourne, A.; Corr, H. F. J.; Mcgrath, Daniel; Purdon, K.; Paden, J.; Fricker, H. A.; Paolo, F. S.; Fleming, A.H.

    2015-01-01

    The catastrophic collapses of Larsen A and B ice shelves on the eastern Antarctic Peninsula have caused their tributary glaciers to accelerate, contributing to sea-level rise and freshening the Antarctic Bottom Water formed nearby. The surface of Larsen C Ice Shelf (LCIS), the largest ice shelf on the peninsula, is lowering. This could be caused by unbalanced ocean melting (ice loss) or enhanced firn melting and compaction (englacial air loss). Using a novel method to analyse eight radar surveys, this study derives separate estimates of ice and air thickness changes during a 15-year period. The uncertainties are considerable, but the primary estimate is that the surveyed lowering (0.066 ± 0.017 m yr−1) is caused by both ice loss (0.28 ± 0.18 m yr−1) and firn-air loss (0.037 ± 0.026 m yr−1). The ice loss is much larger than the air loss, but both contribute approximately equally to the lowering because the ice is floating. The ice loss could be explained by high basal melting and/or ice divergence, and the air loss by low surface accumulation or high surface melting and/or compaction. The primary estimate therefore requires that at least two forcings caused the surveyed lowering. Mechanisms are discussed by which LCIS stability could be compromised in the future. The most rapid pathways to collapse are offered by the ungrounding of LCIS from Bawden Ice Rise or ice-front retreat past a "compressive arch" in strain rates. Recent evidence suggests that either mechanism could pose an imminent risk.

  13. Thermohaline circulation below the Ross Ice Shelf - A consequence of tidally induced vertical mixing and basal melting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macayeal, D. R.

    1984-01-01

    The warmest water below parts of the Ross Ice Shelf resides in the lowest portion of the water column because of its high salinity. Vertical mixing caused by tidal stirring can thus induce ablation by lifting the warm but dense water into contact with the ice shelf. A numerical tidal simulation indicates that vertically well-mixed conditions predominate in the southeastern part of the sub-ice shelf cavity, where the water column thickness is small. Basal melting in this region is expected to be between 0.05 and 0.5 m/yr and will drive a thermohaline circulation having the following characteristics: high salinity shelf water (at - 1.8 C), formed by winter sea ice production in the open Ross Sea, flows along the seabed toward the tidal mixing fronts below the ice shelf; and meltwater (at -2.2 C), produced in the well-mixed region, flows out of the sub-ice shelf cavity along the ice shelf bottom. Sensitivity of this ablation process to climatic change is expected to be small because high salinity shelf water is constrained to have the sea surface freezing temperature.

  14. Observed vulnerability of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf to wind-driven inflow of warm deep water.

    PubMed

    Darelius, E; Fer, I; Nicholls, K W

    2016-01-01

    The average rate of melting at the base of the large Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in the southern Weddell Sea is currently low, but projected to increase dramatically within the next century. In a model study, melt rates increase as changing ice conditions cause a redirection of a coastal current, bringing warm water of open ocean origin through the Filchner Depression and into the Filchner Ice Shelf cavity. Here we present observations from near Filchner Ice Shelf and from the Filchner Depression, which show that pulses of warm water already arrive as far south as the ice front. This southward heat transport follows the eastern flank of the Filchner Depression and is found to be directly linked to the strength of a wind-driven coastal current. Our observations emphasize the potential sensitivity of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf melt rates to changes in wind forcing. PMID:27481659

  15. Observed vulnerability of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf to wind-driven inflow of warm deep water.

    PubMed

    Darelius, E; Fer, I; Nicholls, K W

    2016-01-01

    The average rate of melting at the base of the large Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in the southern Weddell Sea is currently low, but projected to increase dramatically within the next century. In a model study, melt rates increase as changing ice conditions cause a redirection of a coastal current, bringing warm water of open ocean origin through the Filchner Depression and into the Filchner Ice Shelf cavity. Here we present observations from near Filchner Ice Shelf and from the Filchner Depression, which show that pulses of warm water already arrive as far south as the ice front. This southward heat transport follows the eastern flank of the Filchner Depression and is found to be directly linked to the strength of a wind-driven coastal current. Our observations emphasize the potential sensitivity of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf melt rates to changes in wind forcing.

  16. Observed vulnerability of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf to wind-driven inflow of warm deep water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darelius, E.; Fer, I.; Nicholls, K. W.

    2016-08-01

    The average rate of melting at the base of the large Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in the southern Weddell Sea is currently low, but projected to increase dramatically within the next century. In a model study, melt rates increase as changing ice conditions cause a redirection of a coastal current, bringing warm water of open ocean origin through the Filchner Depression and into the Filchner Ice Shelf cavity. Here we present observations from near Filchner Ice Shelf and from the Filchner Depression, which show that pulses of warm water already arrive as far south as the ice front. This southward heat transport follows the eastern flank of the Filchner Depression and is found to be directly linked to the strength of a wind-driven coastal current. Our observations emphasize the potential sensitivity of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf melt rates to changes in wind forcing.

  17. Observed vulnerability of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf to wind-driven inflow of warm deep water

    PubMed Central

    Darelius, E.; Fer, I.; Nicholls, K. W.

    2016-01-01

    The average rate of melting at the base of the large Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in the southern Weddell Sea is currently low, but projected to increase dramatically within the next century. In a model study, melt rates increase as changing ice conditions cause a redirection of a coastal current, bringing warm water of open ocean origin through the Filchner Depression and into the Filchner Ice Shelf cavity. Here we present observations from near Filchner Ice Shelf and from the Filchner Depression, which show that pulses of warm water already arrive as far south as the ice front. This southward heat transport follows the eastern flank of the Filchner Depression and is found to be directly linked to the strength of a wind-driven coastal current. Our observations emphasize the potential sensitivity of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf melt rates to changes in wind forcing. PMID:27481659

  18. The Effect of Ice Shelf Meltwater on Antarctic Sea Ice and the Southern Ocean in an Earth System Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pauling, A.; Bitz, C. M.; Smith, I.; Langhorne, P.

    2015-12-01

    It has been suggested that recent Antarctic sea ice expansion resulted from an increase in fresh water reaching the Southern Ocean. This presentation investigates this conjecture in an Earth System Model. The freshwater flux from ice sheet and ice shelf mass imbalance is largely missing in models that participated in the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). However, CMIP5 models do account for the fresh water from precipitation minus evaporation (P-E). On average in CMIP5 models P- E reaching the Southern Ocean has increased to a present value of about 2600 Gt yr-1 greater than pre-industrial times and 3-8 times larger than estimates of the mass imbalance of Antarctic ice sheets and shelves. Two sets of model experiments were conducted from 1980-2013 in CESM1-CAM5 artificially distributing fresh water either at the ocean surface according to an estimate of iceberg melt, or at the ice shelf fronts at depth. An anomalous reduction in vertical advection of heat into the surface mixed layer resulted in sea surface cooling at high southern latitudes, and an associated increase in sea ice area. A freshwater enhancement of 1780 Gt yr-1 (approximately 1.3 times either present day basal melt or iceberg calving freshwater fluxes) raised the sea ice total area by 1×106 km2. Yet, even a freshwater enhancement up to 2670 Gt yr-1 was insufficient to offset the sea ice decline due to anthropogenic forcing for any period of 20 years or longer. Further, the sea ice response was found to be insensitive to the depth of fresh water injection.

  19. RTOPO-1: A consistent dataset for Antarctic ice shelf topography and global ocean bathymetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timmermann, Ralph

    2010-05-01

    Sub-ice shelf circulation and freezing/melting rates depend critically on an accurate and consistent representation of cavity geometry (i.e. ice-shelf draft and ocean bathymetry). Existing global or pan-Antarctic data sets have turned out to contain various inconsistencies and inaccuracies. The goal of this work is to compile independent regional fields into a global data set. We use the S-2004 global 1-minute bathymetry as the backbone and add an improved version of the BEDMAP topography for an area that roughly coincides with the Antarctic continental shelf. Locations of the merging line have been carefully adjusted in order to get the best out of each data set. High-resolution gridded data for the Amery, Fimbul, Filchner-Ronne, Larsen C and George VI Ice Shelves and for Pine Island Glacier have been carefully merged into the ambient ice and ocean topographies. Multibeam ship survey data for bathymetry in the former Larsen B cavity and the southeastern Bellingshausen Sea have been obtained from the data centers of Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), gridded, and again carefully merged into the existing bathymetry map. The resulting global 1-minute data set contains consistent masks for open ocean, grounded ice, floating ice, and bare land surface. The Ice Shelf Cavern Geometry Team: Anne Le Brocq, Tara Deen, Eugene Domack, Pierre Dutrieux, Ben Galton-Fenzi, Dorothea Graffe, Hartmut Hellmer, Angelika Humbert, Daniela Jansen, Adrian Jenkins, Astrid Lambrecht, Keith Makinson, Fred Niederjasper, Frank Nitsche, Ole Anders Nøst, Lars Henrik Smedsrud, and Walter Smith

  20. Validation of the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge Basal Stress Boundary in the South Eastern Region of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, C. B.; King, K.

    2015-12-01

    The largest ice shelf in Antarctic, Ross Ice Shelf, was investigated over the years of (1970-2015). Near the basal stress boundary between the ice shelf and the West Antarctic ice sheet, ice velocity ranges from a few meters per year to several hundred meters per year in ice streams. Most of the drainage from West Antarctica into the Ross Ice Shelf flows down two major ice streams, each of which discharges more than 20 km3 of ice each year. Along with velocity changes, the warmest water below parts of the Ross Ice Shelf resides in the lowest portion of the water column because of its high salinity. Vertical mixing caused by tidal stirring can thus induce ablation by lifting the warm water into contact with the ice shelf. This process can cause melting over a period of time and eventually cause breakup of ice shelf. With changes occurring over many years a validation is needed for the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge (ASAID) basal stress boundary created in 2003. After the 2002 Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegration, nearby glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula accelerated up to eight times their original speed over the next 18 months. Similar losses of ice tongues in Greenland have caused speed-ups of two to three times the flow rates in just one year. Rapid changes occurring in regions surrounding Antarctica are causing concern in the polar science community to research changes occurring in coastal zones over time. During the research, the team completed study on the Ross Ice Shelf located on the south western coast of the Antarctic. The study included a validation of the ABSB vs. the natural basal stress boundary (NBSB) along the Ross Ice Shelf. The ASAID BSB was created in 2003 by a team of researchers headed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA GSFC), with an aim of studying coastal deviations as it pertains to the mass balance of the entire continent. The point data file was aimed at creating a replica of the

  1. In-situ aircraft observations of ice concentrations within clouds over the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosvenor, D. P.; Choularton, T. W.; Lachlan-Cope, T.; Gallagher, M. W.; Crosier, J.; Bower, K. N.; Ladkin, R. S.; Dorsey, J. R.

    2012-07-01

    In-situ aircraft observations of ice crystal concentrations in Antarctic clouds are presented for the first time. Orographic, layer and wave clouds around the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice shelf regions were penetrated by the British Antarctic Survey's Twin Otter Aircraft, which was equipped with modern cloud physics probes. The clouds studied were mostly in the free troposphere and hence ice crystals blown from the surface are unlikely to have been a major source for the ice phase. The temperature range covered by the experiments was 0 to -21°C. The clouds were found to contain supercooled liquid water in most regions and at heterogeneous ice formation temperatures ice crystal concentrations (60 s averages) were often less than 0.07 l-1, although values up to 0.22 l-1 were observed. Estimates of observed aerosol concentrations were used as input into the DeMott et al., 2010 ice nuclei (IN) parameterisation. The observed ice crystal number concentrations were generally in broad agreement with the IN predictions, although on the whole the predicted values were higher. Possible reasons for this are discussed and include the lack of IN observations in this region with which to characterise the parameterisation, and/or problems in relating ice concentration measurements to IN concentrations. Other IN parameterisations significantly overestimated the number of ice particles. Generally ice particle concentrations were much lower than found in clouds in middle latitudes for a given temperature. Higher ice crystal concentrations were sometimes observed at temperatures warmer than -9 °C, with values of several per litre reached. These were attributable to secondary ice particle production by the Hallett Mossop process. Even in this temperature range it was observed that there were regions with little or no ice that were dominated by supercooled liquid water. It is likely that in some cases this was due to a lack of seeding ice crystals to act as rimers to initiate

  2. In-situ aircraft observations of ice concentrations within clouds over the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosvenor, D. P.; Choularton, T. W.; Lachlan-Cope, T.; Gallagher, M. W.; Crosier, J.; Bower, K. N.; Ladkin, R. S.; Dorsey, J. R.

    2012-12-01

    In-situ aircraft observations of ice crystal concentrations in Antarctic clouds are presented for the first time. Orographic, layer and wave clouds around the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice shelf regions were penetrated by the British Antarctic Survey's Twin Otter aircraft, which was equipped with modern cloud physics probes. The clouds studied were mostly in the free troposphere and hence ice crystals blown from the surface are unlikely to have been a major source for the ice phase. The temperature range covered by the experiments was 0 to -21 °C. The clouds were found to contain supercooled liquid water in most regions and at heterogeneous ice formation temperatures ice crystal concentrations (60 s averages) were often less than 0.07 l-1, although values up to 0.22 l-1 were observed. Estimates of observed aerosol concentrations were used as input into the DeMott et al. (2010) ice nuclei (IN) parameterisation. The observed ice crystal number concentrations were generally in broad agreement with the IN predictions, although on the whole the predicted values were higher. Possible reasons for this are discussed and include the lack of IN observations in this region with which to characterise the parameterisation, and/or problems in relating ice concentration measurements to IN concentrations. Other IN parameterisations significantly overestimated the number of ice particles. Generally ice particle concentrations were much lower than found in clouds in middle latitudes for a given temperature. Higher ice crystal concentrations were sometimes observed at temperatures warmer than -9 °C, with values of several per litre reached. These were attributable to secondary ice particle production by the Hallett Mossop process. Even in this temperature range it was observed that there were regions with little or no ice that were dominated by supercooled liquid water. It is likely that in some cases this was due to a lack of seeding ice crystals to act as rimers to initiate

  3. Glacial eustatic mechanism (marine ice sheet decoupling) for isolation of shelf sand bodies

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.B.; Bartek, L.R.; Thomas, M.A.

    1988-01-01

    The formation of shelf sand bodies requires a mechanism for delivering sand to the offshore environment (below wave base or ravinement depth). The distribution of these sand bodies (sheetlike versus patchy distribution) is greatly influenced by the rate of shoreline translation. Holocene sand bodies of the north Texas shelf illustrate these influences well, as does a map depicting the thickness and lateral extent of sand bodies that would be formed were sea level to rise rapidly again. Preliminary observations imply that wave-dominated deltas have actively (via plume mechanisms) and passively (via transgressions) been key factors in delivering very fine to fine sands to the offshore environment. Other sand bodies may be relict shoreline deposits that, like the modern Galveston Island barrier, prograded into the offshore environment so that their roots were preserved beneath the ravinement surface. Recently gathered evidence from the Antarctic continental shelf indicates that ice sheets were formerly grounded to the shelf edge and that the retreat of these ice sheets from the shelf was rapid but sporadic. The subsequent ''drawdown'' of marine ice sheets and the associated eustatic rise in sea level during any single event was probably on the order of 5-10 m in a few centuries. Such a sea level rise would manifest itself in rapid translations of the shoreline of about 10-25 km on the Texas shelf. Several of these eustatic events are believed to have occurred during the Holocene, and were probably instrumental in isolating shelf sand bodies. Sand bodies associated with the most recent rapid rise occur within 30 km of the present shoreline and their origin is being investigated using high-resolution seismic (uniboom) profiling and coring.

  4. Ice interaction with the Arctic shelf and coast: Constraints on and implication for petroleum development

    SciTech Connect

    Barnes, P.W.; Reimnitz, E. )

    1990-05-01

    Along the Arctic coast of Alaska sea ice affects structures placed on and under the sea bed and influences the erosion and dispersal patterns of sedimentary particulates and pollutants. Most directly, ice gouges the sea floor to depths of a few meters, with return periods on the inner shelf of tens of years and, in places, annually, primarily during freezeup and breakup. These sea-floor ice-gouge patterns provide information on the motion and characteristics of the local ice canopy. The design and alignment of pipelines and coast structures should consider that ice gouging extends to the coast and onto the beaches; however, ice gouging is less apparent on beaches owing to lower gouge intensities and vigorous wave reworking. In the long term, gouging contributes to high rates of coastal and shelf erosion. Protruding ice keels extending downward from the sea-ice canopy divert and focus currents causing increased sea-floor scour to depths of a few meters below the sea floor. Sea-ice freezing during the commonly turbulent fall storms causes large volumes of sediment and pollutants to be sorted, resuspended, and, ultimately, incorporated into the ice canopy. Most entrained material is re-released to the nearshore the following open-water season however, some material may be transported offshore to become part of the Arctic pack. During freezeup and breakup (4-5 months/yr) when these processes are most active, trafficability in the Arctic nearshore is nil owing to the instability of the ice canopy, and so our comprehension of this processes is limited.

  5. Mass Balance of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula and its Ongoing Response to Ice Shelf Loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scambos, T. A.; Berthier, E.; Haran, T. M.; Shuman, C. A.; Cook, A. J.; Bohlander, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    An assessment of the most rapidly changing areas of the Antarctic Peninsula (north of 66°S) shows that ice mass loss for the region is dominated by areas affected by eastern-Peninsula ice shelf losses in the past 20 years. Little if any of the mass loss is compensated by increased snowfall in the northwestern or far northern areas. We combined satellite stereo-image DEM differencing and ICESat-derived along-track elevation changes to measure ice mass loss for the Antarctic Peninsula north of 66°S between 2001-2010, focusing on the ICESat-1 period of operation (2003-2009). This mapping includes all ice drainages affected by recent ice shelf loss in the northeastern Peninsula (Prince Gustav, Larsen Inlet, Larsen A, and Larsen B) as well as James Ross Island, Vega Island, Anvers Island, Brabant Island and the adjacent west-flowing glaciers. Polaris Glacier (feeding the Larsen Inlet, which collapsed in 1986) is an exception, and may have stabilized. Our method uses ASTER and SPOT-5 stereo-image DEMs to determine dh/dt for elevations below 800 m; at higher elevations ICESat along-track elevation differencing is used. To adjust along-track path offsets between its 2003-2009 campaigns, we use a recent DEM of the Peninsula to establish and correct for cross-track slope (Cook et al., 2012, doi:10.5194/essdd-5-365-2012; http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0516.html) . We reduce the effect of possible seasonal variations in elevation by using only integer-year repeats of the ICESat tracks for comparison. Mass losses are dominated by the major glaciers that had flowed into the Prince Gustav (Boydell, Sjorgren, Röhss), Larsen A (Edgeworth, Bombardier, Dinsmoor, Drygalski), and Larsen B (Hektoria, Jorum, and Crane) embayments. The pattern of mass loss emphasizes the significant and multi-decadal response to ice shelf loss. Areas with shelf losses occurring 30 to 100s of years ago seem to be relatively stable or losing mass only slowly (western glaciers, northernmost areas). The

  6. Outlet glacier response to the 2012 collapse of the Matusevich Ice Shelf, Severnaya Zemlya, Russian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, Michael J.; Melkonian, Andrew K.; Pritchard, Matthew E.

    2015-10-01

    The Matusevich Ice Shelf (MIS), located within the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago in the Russian Arctic, rapidly broke apart between 10 August and 7 September 2012. We examine the response of the outlet glaciers that fed the MIS from local ice caps to the removal of the ice shelf. We use spaceborne laser altimetry and multiple optically derived digital elevation models to track ice surface elevation change rates (dh/dt) between 1984 and 2014. Glacier speeds are measured by pixel-tracking from optical and RADAR imagery between 2010 and 2014 and interferometric synthetic aperture radar in 1995 to compare precollapse and postcollapse velocities. We find that the three main outlet glaciers that fed the MIS are thinning an order of magnitude more rapidly than most of the rest of Severnaya Zemyla, based upon ICESat data from 2003 to 2009. Recent, 2012 to 2014 thinning rates are three to four times faster than the 30 year average thinning rate, calculated between 1984 and 2014. The springtime speeds of the largest outlet glacier (Issledovateley) have increased more than 200% at the terminus between April 2010 and April 2014. To date, changes in surface elevation (dh/dt) and velocity at the outlet glaciers near MIS are smaller than glacier responses to ice shelf collapse in Antarctica. It is possible that the MIS was already very weak prior to the 2012 collapse and unable to support back stress. Further observations are required to assess whether the thinning and nonmelt season glacier speeds are continuing to accelerate.

  7. Multi-year monitoring of rift propagation on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fricker, H. A.; Young, N. W.; Coleman, R.; Bassis, J. N.; Minster, J.-B.

    2005-01-01

    We use satellite imagery from four sensors (Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM), and RADARSAT and ERS Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to monitor the lengths of two rifts on the Amery Ice Shelf, from 1996 to 2004. We find that the rifts have each been propagating at a steady annual rate for the past 5 years. Superimposed on this steady rate is a seasonal signal, where propagation rates are significantly higher in the summer period (i.e., September-April) than in the winter period (i.e., April-September). Possible causes of this summer-winter effect are changing properties of the ice mélange, which fills the rifts, and seasonal changes in ocean circulation beneath the ice shelf.

  8. Grounding Zone and Tidal Response of the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fricker, Helen A.; Sandwell, David; Coleman, Richard; Minster, Bernard

    2005-01-01

    This report summarizes the main findings of the research project. Unfortunately, it turned out that there was not a great deal of SAR data over the Amery Ice Shelf that we were able to work with on the project; nevertheless, we did make considerable progress on this project, with both the existing SAR data and new field measurements that were collected under this grant. In total we had constructed two SAR interferograms (SSIs), and four SSIs. The latter were combined them to construct two differential SAR interferograms (DSIs;). DSIs are useful because the contribution to the SAR phase from horizontal ice motion is eliminated, since the time difference between the first and second pass within both image pairs used to make the DSI is the same for each pair. The SSIs and DSIs have revealed several interesting glaciological features, and have added to our knowledge of the Amery Ice Shelf (AIS).

  9. Sea ice and surface water circulation, Alaskan continental shelf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wright, F. F. (Principal Investigator); Sharma, G. D.; Burns, J. J.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Sediments contributed by the Copper River in the Gulf of Alaska are carried westward along the shore as a distinct plume. Oceanic water relatively poor in suspended material appears to intrude near Montague Island, and turbid water between Middleton Island and Kayak Island is the result of Ekman between transport. An anticlockwise surface water circulation is observed in this region. Ground truth data indicate striking similarity with ERTS-1 imagery obtained on October 12, 1972. Observations of ERTS-1 imagery reveal that various characteristics and distribution of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean can be easily studied. Formation of different types of sea ice and their movement is quite discrenible. Sea ice moves parallel to the cost in near shore areas and to the northerly direction away from the coast.

  10. Anomalously-dense firn in an ice-shelf channel revealed by wide-angle radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drews, R.; Brown, J.; Matsuoka, K.; Witrant, E.; Philippe, M.; Hubbard, B.; Pattyn, F.

    2015-10-01

    The thickness of ice shelves, a basic parameter for mass balance estimates, is typically inferred using hydrostatic equilibrium for which knowledge of the depth-averaged density is essential. The densification from snow to ice depends on a number of local factors (e.g. temperature and surface mass balance) causing spatial and temporal variations in density-depth profiles. However, direct measurements of firn density are sparse, requiring substantial logistical effort. Here, we infer density from radio-wave propagation speed using ground-based wide-angle radar datasets (10 MHz) collected at five sites on Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf (RBIS), Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Using a novel algorithm including traveltime inversion and raytracing with a prescribed shape of the depth-density relationship, we show that the depth to internal reflectors, the local ice thickness and depth-averaged densities can reliably be reconstructed. For the particular case of an ice-shelf channel, where ice thickness and surface slope change substantially over a few kilometers, the radar data suggests that firn inside the channel is about 5 % denser than outside the channel. Although this density difference is at the detection limit of the radar, it is consistent with a similar density anomaly reconstructed from optical televiewing, which reveals 10 % denser firn inside compared to outside the channel. The denser firn in the ice-shelf channel should be accounted for when using the hydrostatic ice thickness for determining basal melt rates. The radar method presented here is robust and can easily be adapted to different radar frequencies and data-acquisition geometries.

  11. Southern ocean controls on current ice shelf evolution. Annual progress report, September 1, 1993--August 31, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Hellmer, H.H.; Jacobs, S.S.

    1994-04-01

    A seasonal cycle of shelf water temperatures and salinities observed at the eastern Ross Ice Shelf edge was used to force a two-dimensional thermohaline circulation model adapted to two different sub-ice cavity paths around Roosevelt Island. Model results verified by current meter measurements reveal that shelf water flowing into the cavity west of Roosevelt Island might follow a sub-ice path with nearly constant water column thickness of 200 m. This would largely exclude the grounding line of the northern Siple Coast from the contact with open ocean water masses. In contrast to the forcing with time-independent summer profiles, seasonal forcing causes a higher spatial and temporal variability of the cavity`s circulation and property distribution. At the model`s open boundaries the intermitted inflow of shelf water displaces the meltwater outflow originating from the interior ice shelf base to greater depth and initiates an additional shallow meltwater plume. The average melting along the ice shelf base increases from 0.07 m/a to 0.38.m/a due to seasonality in shelf water characteristics, and to 2.3 m/a, if we introduce a 100-year temperature rise of 1{degree}C. The rate decreases, if salinity simultanously decreases; a possible scenario, if the enhanced meltwater outflow mixes with shelf water in front of the ice shelves.

  12. Mapping the grounding zone of Ross Ice Shelf using ICESat laser altimetry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brunt, Kelly M.; Fricker, Helen A.; Padman, Laurie; Scambos, Ted A.; O'Neel, Shad

    2010-01-01

    We use laser altimetry from the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) to map the grounding zone (GZ) of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, at 491 locations where ICESat tracks cross the grounding line (GL). Ice flexure in the GZ occurs as the ice shelf responds to short-term sea-level changes due primarily to tides. ICESat repeat-track analysis can be used to detect this region of flexure since each repeated pass is acquired at a different tidal phase; the technique provides estimates for both the landward limit of flexure and the point where the ice becomes hydrostatically balanced. We find that the ICESat-derived landward limits of tidal flexure are, in many places, offset by several km (and up to ∼60 km) from the GL mapped previously using other satellite methods. We discuss the reasons why different mapping methods lead to different GL estimates, including: instrument limitations; variability in the surface topographic structure of the GZ; and the presence of ice plains. We conclude that reliable and accurate mapping of the GL is most likely to be achieved when based on synthesis of several satellite datasets

  13. Coupled ice shelf-ocean modeling and complex grounding line retreat for Pine Island Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rydt, Jan; Gudmundsson, Hilmar

    2016-04-01

    Recent observations and modeling work have shown a complex mechanical coupling between Antarctica's floating ice shelves and the adjacent grounded ice sheet. A prime example is Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, which has a strong negative mass balance caused by a recent increase in ocean-induced melting of its ice shelf. The mass loss coincides with the retreat of the grounding line from a seabed ridge, on which it was at least partly grounded until the 1970s. At present, it is unclear what has caused the onset of this retreat, and how feedback mechanisms between the ocean and iceshelf geometry have influenced the ice dynamics. To address these questions, we present results from an offline coupling between a state-of-the-art shallow-ice flow model with grounding line resolving capabilities, and a three-dimensional ocean general circulation model with a static implementation of the ice shelf. A series of idealized experiments simulate the retreat from a seabed ridge in response to changes in the ocean forcing, and we show that the retreat becomes irreversible after 20 years of warm ocean conditions. A comparison to experiments with a simple depth-dependent meltrate parameterisation demonstrates that such parameterizations are unable to capture the details of the retreat process, and they overestimate mass loss by more than 40% over a 50-year timescale.

  14. Ross ice shelf cavity circulation, residence time, and melting: Results from a model of oceanic chlorofluorocarbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddy, Tasha E.; Holland, David M.; Arrigo, Kevin R.

    2010-04-01

    Despite their harmful effects in the upper atmosphere, anthropogenic chlorofluorocarbons dissolved in seawater are extremely useful for studying ocean circulation and ventilation, particularly in remote locations. Because they behave as a passive tracer in seawater, and their atmospheric concentrations are well-mixed, well-known, and have changed over time, they are ideal for gaining insight into the oceanographic characteristics of the isolated cavities found under Antarctic ice shelves, where direct observations are difficult to obtain. Here we present results from a modeling study of air-sea chlorofluorocarbon exchange and ocean circulation in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. We compare our model estimates of oceanic CFC-12 concentrations along an ice shelf edge transect to field data collected during three cruises spanning 16 yr. Our model produces chlorofluorocarbon concentrations that are quite similar to those measured in the field, both in magnitude and distribution, showing high values near the surface, decreasing with depth, and increasing over time. After validating modeled circulation and air-sea gas exchange through comparison of modeled temperature, salinity, and chlorofluorocarbons with field data, we estimate that the residence time of water in the Ross Ice Shelf cavity is approximately 2.2 yr and that basal melt rates for the ice shelf average 10 cm yr -1. The model predicts a seasonal signature to basal melting, with highest melt rates in the spring and also the fall.

  15. Antarctic ice shelf thickness from CryoSat-2 radar altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chuter, S. J.; Bamber, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    Ice shelf thickness for the whole of Antarctica is derived from 4 years (2011-2014) of CryoSat-2 (CS2) radar altimetry measurements using the assumption that the shelves are in hydrostatic equilibrium. The satellite orbit and novel synthetic aperture radar interferometric mode of CS2 results in 92.3% data coverage over the ice shelves, with particular improvements around the grounding zone. When compared to ICESat data, surface elevations have a mean bias of less than 1 m and a fourfold reduction in standard deviation compared with the previous data set. Over the Amery Ice Shelf there is a mean thickness difference of 3.3% between radio echo sounding measurements and the CS2-derived thicknesses, rising to 4.7% within 10 km of the grounding line. Our new data set provides key improvements in accuracy and coverage, especially in the grounding zone, allowing for reduced uncertainties in mass budget calculations, subshelf ocean and ice sheet-shelf modeling.

  16. Identification of Late Pleistocene Ice-Rafted Debris (IRD) on the New Jersey Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, R. J.; Christensen, B. A.; Wampler, J.; Uptegrove, J.; Goff, J.

    2004-12-01

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential for ice-rafted debris (IRD) on the New Jersey shelf and develop procedures for IRD identification on a shelf environment using a variety of techniques to assess texture and age of the sediments. Pleistocene New Jersey shelf sedimentology is strongly defined by glacially driven sea level changes. IRD and its provenance may be identified on a shelf environment through analysis of grain size distribution, heavy mineral content (higher % suggests non-fluvial processes), mineralogical point counts (anomalous mineralogy indicates distal source), isotopic dating methods (age value determination to narrow down potential source rocks), and surface texture analysis (specific glacial transport features). IRD must be differentiated from sediment derived from the NJ bedrock. Likely sources for IRD include the bedrock of Maine and of the southeastern Canadian Shield. Duncan and Goff (2001) reported iceberg grounding along the NJ shelf. IRD is typically identified in the deep sea through anomalously large grain size within pelagic mud, but different methods are needed for the shelf, where regressive shoreline processes, subaerial exposure, fluvial downcutting, and deposition and reworking during transgression have influenced the sediment composition found today. We analyzed grab samples in or near the features believed to be iceberg scour marks and downcore samples from recent Geoclutter drilling in the same area. The coarse grain size fractions of shelf samples were separated by phi classes before heavy mineral separation methods were employed. Initial analyses show high percentages of heavy minerals in the 2 phi and 3 phi size fractions, consistent with past NJ shelf studies. Hornblende grains were hand-picked from select samples for K-Ar dating, providing age values of about 0.96 ± 0.03 Ga for three sites within iceberg scours. Mineral content of each size fraction is determined by point count. Qualitative assessment of

  17. Rapid glass sponge expansion after climate-induced Antarctic ice shelf collapse.

    PubMed

    Fillinger, Laura; Janussen, Dorte; Lundälv, Tomas; Richter, Claudio

    2013-07-22

    Over 30% of the Antarctic continental shelf is permanently covered by floating ice shelves, providing aphotic conditions for a depauperate fauna sustained by laterally advected food. In much of the remaining Antarctic shallows (<300 m depth), seasonal sea-ice melting allows a patchy primary production supporting rich megabenthic communities dominated by glass sponges (Porifera, Hexactinellida). The catastrophic collapse of ice shelves due to rapid regional warming along the Antarctic Peninsula in recent decades has exposed over 23,000 km(2) of seafloor to local primary production. The response of the benthos to this unprecedented flux of food is, however, still unknown. In 2007, 12 years after disintegration of the Larsen A ice shelf, a first biological survey interpreted the presence of hexactinellids as remnants of a former under-ice fauna with deep-sea characteristics. Four years later, we revisited the original transect, finding 2- and 3-fold increases in glass sponge biomass and abundance, respectively, after only two favorable growth periods. Our findings, along with other long-term studies, suggest that Antarctic hexactinellids, locked in arrested growth for decades, may undergo boom-and-bust cycles, allowing them to quickly colonize new habitats. The cues triggering growth and reproduction in Antarctic glass sponges remain enigmatic.

  18. Amundsen Sea sector ice shelf thickness, melt rates, and inland response from annual high-resolution DEM mosaics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shean, D. E.; Joughin, I. R.; Smith, B. E.; Alexandrov, O.; Moratto, Z.; Porter, C. C.; Morin, P. J.

    2014-12-01

    Significant grounding line retreat, acceleration, and thinning have occurred along the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica in recent decades. These changes are driven primarily by ice-ocean interaction beneath ice shelves, but existing observations of the spatial distribution, timing, and magnitude of ice shelf melt are limited. Using the NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline, we generated digital elevation models (DEMs) with ~2 m posting from all ~450 available WorldView-1/2 along-track stereopairs for the Amundsen Sea sector. A novel iterative closest point algorithm was used to coregister DEMs to filtered Operation IceBridge ATM/LVIS data and ICESat-1 GLAS data, offering optimal sub-meter horizontal/vertical accuracy. The corrected DEMs were used to produce annual mosaics for the entire ~500x700 km region with focused, sub-annual products for ice shelves and grounding zones. These mosaics provide spatially-continuous measurements of ice shelf topography with unprecedented detail. Using these data, we derive estimates of ice shelf thickness for regions in hydrostatic equilibrium and map networks of sub-shelf melt channels for the Pine Island (PIG), Thwaites, Crosson, and Dotson ice shelves. We also document the break-up of the Thwaites ice shelf and PIG rift evolution leading up to the 2013 calving event. Eulerian difference maps document 2010-2014 thinning over fast-flowing ice streams and adjacent grounded ice. These data reveal the greatest thinning rates over the Smith Glacier ice plain and slopes beyond the margins of the fast-flowing PIG trunk. Difference maps also highlight the filling of at least two subglacial lakes ~30 km upstream of the PIG grounding line in 2011. Lagrangian difference maps reveal the spatial distribution of ice shelf thinning, which can primarily be attributed to basal melt. Preliminary results show focused ice shelf thinning within troughs and large basal channels, especially along the western margin of the Dotson ice shelf. These new data

  19. Glacier Acceleration and Thinning after Ice Shelf Collapse in the Larsen B Embayment, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scambos, T. A.; Bohlander, J. A.; Shuman, C. A.; Skvarca, P.

    2004-01-01

    Ice velocities derived from five Landsat 7 images acquired between January 2000 and February 2003 show a two- to six-fold increase in centerline speed of four glaciers flowing into the now-collapsed section of the Larsen B Ice Shelf. Satellite laser altimetry from ICEsat indicates the surface of Hektoria Glacier lowered by up to 38 +/- 6 m a six-month period beginning one year after the break-up in March 2002. Smaller elevation losses are observed for Crane and Jorum glaciers over a later 5-month period. Two glaciers south of the collapse area, Flask and Leppard, show little change in speed or elevation. Seasonal variations in speed preceding the large post-collapse velocity increases suggest that both summer melt percolation and changes in the stress field due to shelf removal play a major role in glacier dynamics.

  20. Sea, ice and surface water circulation, Alaskan continental shelf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharma, G. D.; Wright, F. F.; Burns, J. J. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. ERTS-1 imagery has been extremely useful in understanding the tidal water movements in a large estuary such as Cook Inlet. As more imagery obtained during various tidal stages become available it appears that complex and fast changing micro-circulation patterns develop in various regions of Cook Inlet during each advancing and receding tide. More ERTS-1 synoptic imagery is needed to fully understand the effect of the approach of tidal front on the water movements in the various regions through the estuary. The conventional onboard ship data gathered during various cruises although revealed the overall circulation pattern in Cook Inlet but failed to show micro-subgyres which develop in various regions during each tide which are discernible on ther ERTS-1 imagery. Suspended load distribution in the Bering Sea during summer varies significantly. In areas of phytoplankton bloom and at the river mouths the suspended load is higher than the 1 mg/1 which is found over most areas. The influence of major rivers on temperature, salinity, and suspended load in surface water as well as at shallow depth is apparent. On the Bering shelf a strong pycnocline generally at depth 10-20 m is formed by surface fresh water flow which retains sediment in suspension over extended periods.

  1. The influence of continental shelf bathymetry on Antarctic Ice Sheet response to climate forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bart, Philip J.; Mullally, Dan; Golledge, Nicholas R.

    2016-07-01

    We investigated whether shelf-depth changes would have influenced Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) response to climate forcing using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM). The simulations confirm that this would have indeed been the case. For the last-glacial-cycle (LGC) type forcing we prescribed, a modern-like polar AIS surrounded by shallow and intermediate bathymetries experiences rapid grounding-line advance early during the transition from interglacial to glacial forcing. This is in contrast to our baseline simulation of AIS response on the currently overdeepened bathymetry, which showed the expected gradual advance of grounding lines to the same climatic forcing. In the simulation, the more-positive mass balance for the shallower bathymetry is primarily a result of significantly lower calving fluxes from smaller-area ice shelves. On the basis of these results, we suggest that shelf bathymetry is an important boundary condition that should be considered when reconstructing AIS behavior since at least the middle Miocene. We note that caution should be used when applying these concepts because the particular way in which AIS mass balance is altered by shelf depth depends on how the changes in accumulation and ablation at the marine terminations combine with accumulation and ablation on land.

  2. Bathymetry of Grounding Zones and Sub-Ice Shelf Cavities of the Amundsen Sea, from Operation IceBridge Gravity Inversions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinto, K. J.; Cochran, J. R.; Bell, R. E.

    2012-12-01

    In order to understand the observed changes in thinning and grounding line position of outlet glaciers it is essential to have accurate maps of the bathymetry of the sea floor within and around the grounding zone. This bathymetry controls the stability of the grounding line as well as access and circulation of seawater under their stabilizing ice shelves. Since 2009 Operation IceBridge has flown gridded surveys over four of the ice shelves of the Amundsen Sea embayment. We present a 3D inversion of the gravity from the region, supplemented by 2D profile models across the ice shelves to provide a self-consistent bathymetric model of the grounding zone and sub ice cavity of Pine Island, Thwaites, Dotson and Crosson ice shelves. Much attention has been paid to the largest outlet glaciers of the Amundsen Sea, and to the bathymetry beneath the floating ice in front of their grounding zones. Considerable changes have also been observed from the smaller Amundsen ice shelves, Crosson and Dotson, which flow to the east and north respectively, between Thwaites Glacier and Getz ice shelf, but little is known about their sub-ice bathymetry. The Amundsen Sea region is vulnerable to the influence of relatively warm circumpolar deep water encroaching on to the continental shelf. The influence of these waters at the grounding zone of the glaciers in the region is dictated by the depth and orientation of bathymetric features of the sea floor. The dominant geological fabric of the region is a NE-SW trending series of ridges and troughs, formed in association with the rifting of the Amundsen Sea region. The bathymetry models from OIB gravity inversions reveal the continuation of the deep (~1500 m) trough of the Kohler Glacier under Crosson Ice Shelf. At the eastern end of the trough, at the front of Crosson ice shelf, the sea floor rises to an average of ~500 m depth over a broad, 50 km wide region. Further east from here the NE-SW fabric is continued in a previously reported ridge

  3. Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice-shelf history.

    PubMed

    Mulvaney, Robert; Abram, Nerilie J; Hindmarsh, Richard C A; Arrowsmith, Carol; Fleet, Louise; Triest, Jack; Sime, Louise C; Alemany, Olivier; Foord, Susan

    2012-09-01

    Rapid warming over the past 50 years on the Antarctic Peninsula is associated with the collapse of a number of ice shelves and accelerating glacier mass loss. In contrast, warming has been comparatively modest over West Antarctica and significant changes have not been observed over most of East Antarctica, suggesting that the ice-core palaeoclimate records available from these areas may not be representative of the climate history of the Antarctic Peninsula. Here we show that the Antarctic Peninsula experienced an early-Holocene warm period followed by stable temperatures, from about 9,200 to 2,500 years ago, that were similar to modern-day levels. Our temperature estimates are based on an ice-core record of deuterium variations from James Ross Island, off the northeastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. We find that the late-Holocene development of ice shelves near James Ross Island was coincident with pronounced cooling from 2,500 to 600 years ago. This cooling was part of a millennial-scale climate excursion with opposing anomalies on the eastern and western sides of the Antarctic Peninsula. Although warming of the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula began around 600 years ago, the high rate of warming over the past century is unusual (but not unprecedented) in the context of natural climate variability over the past two millennia. The connection shown here between past temperature and ice-shelf stability suggests that warming for several centuries rendered ice shelves on the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula vulnerable to collapse. Continued warming to temperatures that now exceed the stable conditions of most of the Holocene epoch is likely to cause ice-shelf instability to encroach farther southward along the Antarctic Peninsula.

  4. Bathymetry and geological structures beneath the Ross Ice Shelf at the mouth of Whillans Ice Stream, West Antarctica, modeled from ground-based gravity measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muto, A.; Christianson, K.; Horgan, H.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Alley, R. B.

    2012-12-01

    Grounding zones of ice sheets and contiguous ice shelves are important in understanding ice sheet dynamics, as key processes that influence the grounded ice and its discharge into the ocean occur in these regions. Ice-ocean interactions are controlled by the relatively poorly known bathymetry and the configuration of the cavity beneath ice shelves. In addition, knowledge of submarine geological structures and their distributions contributes to understanding the dynamic history of the glaciers and ice streams feeding the ice shelves. However, detailed geophysical surveys of these areas remain scarce due largely to the logistic difficulties of obtaining observational data about the subglacial environment beneath an ice shelf. Here we present a 3D model of the bathymetry and geological structures beneath the Ross Ice Shelf in an embayment at the mouth of Whillans Ice Stream. We use gravity data collected at 82 locations with a portable gravimeter, in conjunction with high-resolution active-source seismic and ice-penetrating radar data to constrain thicknesses of the water column, sediments, ice and firn where the data sets overlap. The active-source seismic survey revealed a shallow water column and soft sediments approximately 15 km seaward of the grounding zone. We explore the extent of such water and sedimentary columns, and the density of the sediment, in a ~500 km-2 embayment that is roughly triangular in shape. Finally, we discuss the uncertainties and trade-offs of the various methods.

  5. A modeling experiment on the grounding of an ice shelf in the central Arctic Ocean during MIS 6

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakobsson, M.; Siegert, M.; Paton, M.

    2003-12-01

    High-resolution chirp sonar subbottom profiles from the Lomonosov Ridge in the central Arctic Ocean, acquired from the Swedish icebreaker Oden in 1996, revealed large-scale erosion of the ridge crest down to depths of 1000 m below present sea level [Jakobsson, 1999]. Subsequent acoustic mapping during the SCICEX nuclear submarine expedition in 1999 showed glacial fluting at the deepest eroded areas and subparallel ice scours from 950 m water depth to the shallowest parts of the ridge crest [Polyak et al., 2001]. The directions of the mapped glaciogenic bed-forms and the redeposition of eroded material on the Amerasian side of the ridge indicate ice flow from the Barents-Kara Sea area. Core studies revealed that sediment drape the eroded areas from Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5.5 and, thus, it was proposed that the major erosional event took place during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6 [Jakobsson et al., 2001]. Glacial geological evidence suggests strongly that the Late Saalian (MIS 6) ice sheet margin reached the shelf break of the Barents-Kara Sea [Svendsen et al. in press] and this gives us two possible ways to explain the ice erosional features on the Lomonosov Ridge. One is the grounding of a floating ice shelf and the other is the scouring from large deep tabular iceberg. Here we apply numerical ice sheet modeling to test the hypothesis that an ice shelf emanating from the Barents/Kara seas grounded across part of the Lomonsov Ridge and caused the extensive erosion down to a depth of around 1000 m below present sea level. A series of model experiments was undertaken in which the ice shelf mass balance (surface accumulation and basal melting) and ice shelf strain rates were adjusted. Grounding of the Lomonosov Ridge was not achieved when the ice shelf strain rate was 0.005 yr-1 (i.e. a free flowing ice shelf). However this model produced two interesting findings. First, with basal melt rates of up to 50 cm yr-1 an ice shelf grew from the St. Anna Trough ice stream

  6. Ice streaming in western Scotland and the deglaciation of the Hebrides Shelf and Firth of Lorn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arosio, Riccardo; Howe, John; O'Cofaigh, Colm; Crocket, Kirsty

    2014-05-01

    Previously, numerous studies have been undertaken both onshore and offshore to decipher the morphological and sedimentological record in order to better constrain the limits and duration of the British-Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) (Ballantyne et al. 2009, Bradwell et al. 2008b, Clark et al. 2011, Dunlop et al. 2010, Howe et al. 2012, O'Cofaigh et al., 2012). Late glacial ice sheet dynamics have been revealed to be far more rapid and responsive to climatic amelioration than had previously been considered. Notable in this debate has been the evidence that has been obtained in the inshore and, to a lesser extent, offshore on the UK continental shelf. Here new geomorphological data, principally multibeam echo sounder (MBES) data has provided imagery of previously unseen features interpreted as being glacial in origin. In the wake of these new discoveries this projects aims to investigate the extent, timing, growth and final disintegration of the BIIS across Western Scotland. This area of particular interest for the development of the glaciated North Atlantic margin has been generally neglected in past studies, especially across the mid-outer shelf, which constitutes a missing part in the jigsaw of the reconstructed BIIS during the last ~20.000yrs. We aim to mainly focus on geomorphological analyses of MBES data collected in the Firth of Lorn and Sea of Hebrides; a study of features as moraines, glacial lineations and drumlins will provide important clues on the dynamics and maximum extension of the sheet. Subsequently we will examine the geometry and composition of the shelf sediment infill, aiming to constrain the influence of ice retreat on depositional environments using multi-element geochemical (Pb-isotopes ratios, 14C and OSL dating) and sedimentological techniques. Such an investigation will also give retrospective information on the sources for these sediments, hence more indications on ice configuration. Ultimately we aim to provide a model of deglaciation for the

  7. Satellite color observations of spring blooming in Bering Sea shelf waters during the ice edge retreat in 1980

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maynard, Nancy G.; Clark, Dennis K.

    1987-01-01

    The temporal and spatial development of the ice-edge bloom and the spring open-water bloom on the eastern Bering Sea shelf was studied using CZCS images of the eastern Bering Sea between April 27 and July 22, 1980. Images of the Norton Sound area taken during the period of ice breakup show that the influence of ice melt on phytoplankton growth is particularly significant where the ice is actively melting. Significant levels (5-30 mg/cu m) of chlorophyll could be seen trailing the ice pack as it melted and moved northward and westward in late April and early May. In the ice-free eastern Bering Sea midsummer image, a northwesterly oriented band of high pigment concentration was seen in the area of the outer domain, suggesting periodic offshore movements of shelf waters.

  8. Greenhouse to Icehouse Antarctic Paleoclimate and Ice History from George V Land and Adélie Land Shelf Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, T.; Escutia, C.; De Santis, L.; O'Brien, P.; Pekar, S. F.; Brinkhuis, H.; Domack, E. W.

    2013-12-01

    Along the George V and Adélie Land continental shelf of East Antarctica, shallowly-buried strata contain a record of Antarctica's climate and ice history from the lush forests of the Eocene greenhouse to the dynamic ice sheet margins of the Neogene. Short piston cores and dredges have recovered Early Cretaceous and Eocene organic-rich sediment at the seabed, and in 2010, IODP Expedition 318 recovered earliest Oligocene and early Pliocene subglacial and proglacial diamictites. However, challenging ice and drilling conditions from the JOIDES Resolution on the shelf resulted in poor core recovery and sites had to be abandoned before the stratigraphic targets could be reached. Therefore, in a new IODP drilling proposal submitted earlier this year, we propose to use the MeBo sea bed drill for improved core recovery and easier access to the shelf, and drill a stratigraphic transect of shallow (~80m) holes. To investigate the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet in this sector, we target strata above and below regional erosional and downlap surfaces to date and characterize major episodes of ice sheet advance and retreat. These direct records of ice extent on the shelf can be set in the context of Southern Ocean records of temperature, ice-rafted debris (IRD) and latitudinal fluctuations of the opal belt, and hence we can relate ice sheet evolution to paleoclimate conditions. Targets include possible late Eocene precursor glaciations, the Eocene/Oligocene boundary erosion surface, Oligocene and Miocene ice extents, and ice margin fluctuations in the Pliocene. At the Cretaceous and Eocene proposed sites, marine and terrestrial temperature proxies and palynological records will provide information on high-latitude paleoenvironments and pole-equator temperature gradients. Here we present existing data from the area and the proposed new drill sites. The ice and climate history of the George V and Adélie Land margin can provide warm-world scenarios to help understand ice

  9. Recent climate tendencies on an East Antarctic ice shelf inferred from a shallow firn core network

    PubMed Central

    Schlosser, E; Anschütz, H; Divine, D; Martma, T; Sinisalo, A; Altnau, S; Isaksson, E

    2014-01-01

    Nearly three decades of stable isotope ratios and surface mass balance (SMB) data from eight shallow firn cores retrieved at Fimbul Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, in the Austral summers 2009–2011 have been investigated. An additional longer core drilled in 2000/2001 extends the series back to the early eighteenth century. Isotope ratios and SMB from the stacked record of all cores were also related to instrumental temperature data from Neumayer Station on Ekström Ice Shelf. Since the second half of the twentieth century, the SMB shows a statistically significant negative trend, whereas the δ18O of the cores shows a significant positive trend. No trend is found in air temperature at the nearest suitable weather station, Neumayer (available since 1981). This does not correspond to the statistically significant positive trend in Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index, which is usually associated with a cooling of East Antarctica. SAM index and SMB are negatively correlated, which might be explained by a decrease in meridional exchange of energy and moisture leading to lower precipitation amounts. Future monitoring of climate change on the sensitive Antarctic ice shelves is necessary to assess its consequences for sea level change. Key Points Mass balance and stable oxygen isotope ratios from shallow firn cores Decreasing trend in surface mass balance, no trend in stable isotopes Negative correlation between SAM and SMB PMID:25821663

  10. Foehn winds link climate-driven warming to ice shelf evolution in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cape, M. R.; Vernet, Maria; Skvarca, Pedro; Marinsek, Sebastián.; Scambos, Ted; Domack, Eugene

    2015-11-01

    Rapid warming of the Antarctic Peninsula over the past several decades has led to extensive surface melting on its eastern side, and the disintegration of the Prince Gustav, Larsen A, and Larsen B ice shelves. The warming trend has been attributed to strengthening of circumpolar westerlies resulting from a positive trend in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), which is thought to promote more frequent warm, dry, downsloping foehn winds along the lee, or eastern side, of the peninsula. We examined variability in foehn frequency and its relationship to temperature and patterns of synoptic-scale circulation using a multidecadal meteorological record from the Argentine station Matienzo, located between the Larsen A and B embayments. This record was further augmented with a network of six weather stations installed under the U.S. NSF LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica, project. Significant warming was observed in all seasons at Matienzo, with the largest seasonal increase occurring in austral winter (+3.71°C between 1962-1972 and 1999-2010). Frequency and duration of foehn events were found to strongly influence regional temperature variability over hourly to seasonal time scales. Surface temperature and foehn winds were also sensitive to climate variability, with both variables exhibiting strong, positive correlations with the SAM index. Concomitant positive trends in foehn frequency, temperature, and SAM are present during austral summer, with sustained foehn events consistently associated with surface melting across the ice sheet and ice shelves. These observations support the notion that increased foehn frequency played a critical role in precipitating the collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf.

  11. Variability of the oceanic environment and basal melting of the Dotson Ice Shelf, West Antarctica, 2000 to 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shoosmith, Deb; Jenkins, Adrian; Dutrieux, Pierre; Jacobs, Stan; Kim, Tae Wan; Lee, Sang Hoon; Ha, Ho Kyung; Stammerjohn, Sharon

    2016-04-01

    It is well known that the ocean plays a key role in the process of mass loss from ice sheets through iceberg calving and basal melting. The Amundsen Sea, in the eastern Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean, is a region where the ice shelves are rapidly thinning. The widespread, coherent nature of the thinning suggests oceanic forcing, which has now been well documented for Pine Island Glacier. Studies using satellite data have indicated that Dotson Ice Shelf was melting at a rate of 8 m per year and thinning by about 3 m per year during the 2003 - 2008 period. This study takes a slightly longer term perspective, exploiting oceanographic observations spanning a decade and a half (2000 - 2014) that have been obtained at the Dotson Ice Front. A total of 7 hydrographic sections reveal variability in the oceanographic environment in front of the ice shelf and associated changes in meltwater production over time. We quantify the variability in circulation and net meltwater transport from beneath the ice shelf to produce estimates of the basal melt rate for this 15 year period. We find that changes in ocean heat content in front of the ice shelf drive high variability in melting on multi-annual to decadal time-scales.

  12. Shear, Stability and Mixing within the Ice-Shelf-Ocean Boundary Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Adrian

    2016-04-01

    Ocean-forced basal melting has been implicated in the widespread thinning of Antarctic ice shelves that has been causally linked with acceleration in the outflow of grounded ice. What determines the distribution and rates of basal melting and freezing beneath an ice shelf and how these respond to changes in the ocean temperature or circulation are therefore key questions. Recent years have seen major progress in our ability to observe basal melting and the ocean conditions that drive it, but data on the latter remain sparse, limiting our understanding of the key processes of ice-ocean heat transfer. In particular, we have no observations of current profiles through the buoyancy- and frictionally-controlled flows along the ice shelf base that drive mixing through the ice-ocean boundary layer. This presentation represents an attempt to address this gap in our knowledge through application of a very simple model of such boundary flows that considers only the spatial dimension perpendicular to the boundary. Initial results obtained with an unrealistic assumuption of constant eddy viscosity/diffusivity are nevertheless informative. For the buoyancy-driven flow two possible regimes exist: a weakly-stratified, geostrophic cross-slope current with an embedded Ekman layer, somewhat analogous to a conventional density current on a slope; or a strongly-stratified upslope jet with weak cross-slope flow, more analogous to an inverted katabatic wind. The latter is most appropriate when the ice-ocean interface is very steep, while for the gentle slopes typical of ice shelves the buoyant Ekman regime prevails. Introduction of a variable eddy viscosity/diffusivity derived from a local turbulence closure scheme modifies the current structure and stratification. There is a sharp step in properties across the surface layer, where the viscosity/diffusivity is low, weak gradients across the outer part of the boundary layer, where shear-driven mixing is strong, and a relatively strong

  13. Twenty-first-century warming of a large Antarctic ice-shelf cavity by a redirected coastal current.

    PubMed

    Hellmer, Hartmut H; Kauker, Frank; Timmermann, Ralph; Determann, Jürgen; Rae, Jamie

    2012-05-09

    The Antarctic ice sheet loses mass at its fringes bordering the Southern Ocean. At this boundary, warm circumpolar water can override the continental slope front, reaching the grounding line through submarine glacial troughs and causing high rates of melting at the deep ice-shelf bases. The interplay between ocean currents and continental bathymetry is therefore likely to influence future rates of ice-mass loss. Here we show that a redirection of the coastal current into the Filchner Trough and underneath the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf during the second half of the twenty-first century would lead to increased movement of warm waters into the deep southern ice-shelf cavity. Water temperatures in the cavity would increase by more than 2 degrees Celsius and boost average basal melting from 0.2 metres, or 82 billion tonnes, per year to almost 4 metres, or 1,600 billion tonnes, per year. Our results, which are based on the output of a coupled ice-ocean model forced by a range of atmospheric outputs from the HadCM3 climate model, suggest that the changes would be caused primarily by an increase in ocean surface stress in the southeastern Weddell Sea due to thinning of the formerly consolidated sea-ice cover. The projected ice loss at the base of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf represents 80 per cent of the present Antarctic surface mass balance. Thus, the quantification of basal mass loss under changing climate conditions is important for projections regarding the dynamics of Antarctic ice streams and ice shelves, and global sea level rise.

  14. Evaluation of Ice sheet evolution and coastline changes from 1960s in Amery Ice Shelf using multi-source remote sensing images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiao, G.; Ye, W.; Scaioni, M.; Liu, S.; Feng, T.; Liu, Y.; Tong, X.; Li, R.

    2013-12-01

    Global change is one of the major challenges that all the nations are commonly facing, and the Antarctica ice sheet changes have been playing a critical role in the global change research field during the past years. Long time-series of ice sheet observations in Antarctica would contribute to the quantitative evaluation and precise prediction of the effects on global change induced by the ice sheet, of which the remote sensing technology would make critical contributions. As the biggest ice shelf and one of the dominant drainage systems in East Antarctic, the Amery Ice Shelf has been making significant contributions to the mass balance of the Antarctic. Study of Amery Ice shelf changes would advance the understanding of Antarctic ice shelf evolution as well as the overall mass balance. At the same time, as one of the important indicators of Antarctica ice sheet characteristics, coastlines that can be detected from remote sensing imagery can help reveal the nature of the changes of ice sheet evolution. Most of the scientific research on Antarctica with satellite remote sensing dated from 1970s after LANDSAT satellite was brought into operation. It was the declassification of the cold war satellite reconnaissance photographs in 1995, known as Declassified Intelligence Satellite Photograph (DISP) that provided a direct overall view of the Antarctica ice-sheet's configuration in 1960s, greatly extending the time span of Antarctica surface observations. This paper will present the evaluation of ice-sheet evolution and coastline changes in Amery Ice Shelf from 1960s, by using multi-source remote sensing images including the DISP images and the modern optical satellite images. The DISP images scanned from negatives were first interior-oriented with the associated parameters, and then bundle block adjustment technology was employed based on the tie points and control points, to derive the mosaic image of the research region. Experimental results of coastlines generated

  15. Climatological aspects of mesoscale cyclogenesis over the Ross Sea and Ross Ice shelf regions of Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Carrasco, J.F.; Bromwich, D.H.

    1994-11-01

    A one-year (1988) statistical study of mesoscale cyclogenesis near Terra Nova Bay and Byrd Glacier, Antarctica, was conducted using high-resolution digital satellite imagery and automatic weather station data. Results indicate that on average two (one) mesoscale cyclones form near Terra Nova Bay (Byrd Glacier) each week, confirming these two locations as mesoscale cyclogeneis areas. The maximum (minimum) weekly frequency of mesoscale cyclones occurred during the summer (winter). The satellite survey of mesoscale vortices was extended over the Ross Sea and Ross Ice Shelf. Results suggest southern Marie Byrd Land as another area of mesoscale cyclone formation. Also, frequent mesoscale cyclonic activity was noted over the Ross Sea and Ross Ice Shelf, where, on average, six and three mesoscale vortices were observed each week, respectively, with maximum (minimum) frequency during summer (winter) in both regions. The majority (70-80%) of the vortices were of comma-cloud type and were shallow. Only around 10% of the vortices near Terra Nova Bay and Byrd Glacier were classified as deep vortices, while over the Ross Sea and Ross Ice Shelf around 20% were found to be deep. The average large-scale pattern associated with cyclogenesis days near Terra Nova Bay suggests a slight decrease in the sea level pressure and 500-hPa geopotential height to the northwest of this area with respect to the annual average. This may be an indication of the average position of synoptic-scale cyclones entering the Ross Sea region. Comparison with a similar study but for 1984-85 shows that the overall mesoscale cyclogenesis activity was similar during the three years, but 1985 was found to be the year with greater occurrence of {open_quotes}significant{close_quotes} mesoscales cyclones. The large-scale pattern indicates that this greater activity is related to a deeper circumpolar trough and 500-hPa polar vortex for 1985 in comparison to 1984 and 1988. 64 refs., 13 figs., 5 tabs.

  16. Numerical Modeling of West Antarctic Ice Sheet grounding-line stability under the influence of changing continental shelf physiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, R.; Fastook, J.; Bart, P.

    2007-12-01

    Bart and Iwai (in prep.) utilize morphologic and biologic evidence to hypothesize that the Antarctic Peninsula's outer continental shelf overdeepened during a transitory period of increased glacial erosion in the early Pliocene. They attribute the enhanced erosion of the continental shelf to a period of regional warming on the peninsula's pacific margin that produced an associated increased flux of snow and ice. On the over-deepened outer continental shelf, the deeper-water sills presumably permitted a larger influx of relatively warm circumpolar deep water. If correct and if early Pliocene overdeepening of the continental shelf was a continent-wide phenomenon, then this relatively recent modification of the Antarctic continental shelf may have greatly altered the way in which the marine terminus of the Antarctic Ice Sheet interacts with global thermohaline circulation. Our ongoing numerical modeling experiments of the Eastern Basin Ross Sea continental shelf are designed to evaluate the influence of changing shelf morphology (primarily water depth) and water-mass properties (primarily, water temperature) on West Antarctic Ice Sheet grounding-line stability.

  17. An unusual early Holocene diatom event north of the Getz Ice Shelf (Amundsen Sea): Implications for West Antarctic Ice Sheet development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esper, O.; Gersonde, R.; Hillenbrand, C.; Kuhn, G.; Smith, J.

    2011-12-01

    Modern global change affects not only the polar north but also, and to increasing extent, the southern high latitudes, especially the Antarctic regions covered by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Consequently, knowledge of the mechanisms controlling past WAIS dynamics and WAIS behaviour at the last deglaciation is critical to predict its development in a future warming world. Geological and palaeobiological information from major drainage areas of the WAIS, like the Amundsen Sea Embayment, shed light on the history of the WAIS glaciers. Sediment records obtained from a deep inner shelf basin north of Getz Ice Shelf document a deglacial warming in three phases. Above a glacial diamicton and a sediment package barren of microfossils that document sediment deposition by grounded ice and below an ice shelf or perennial sea ice cover (possibly fast ice), respectively, a sediment section with diatom assemblages dominated by sea ice taxa indicates ice shelf retreat and seasonal ice-free conditions. This conclusion is supported by diatom-based summer temperature reconstructions. The early retreat was followed by a phase, when exceptional diatom ooze was deposited around 12,500 cal. years B.P. [1]. Microscopical inspection of this ooze revealed excellent preservation of diatom frustules of the species Corethron pennatum together with vegetative Chaetoceros, thus an assemblage usually not preserved in the sedimentary record. Sediments succeeding this section contain diatom assemblages indicating rather constant Holocene cold water conditions with seasonal sea ice. The deposition of the diatom ooze can be related to changes in hydrographic conditions including strong advection of nutrients. However, sediment focussing in the partly steep inner shelf basins cannot be excluded as a factor enhancing the thickness of the ooze deposits. It is not only the presence of the diatom ooze but also the exceptional preservation and the species composition of the diatom assemblage

  18. Autonomous ocean observations beneath Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutrieux, P.; Jenkins, A.; Jacobs, S.; Heywood, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    Warm circumpolar deep water reaching 3.5ºC above the in situ freezing point pervasively fills a network of glacially carved troughs in the Amundsen sea, West Antarctica, and melts and thins neighbouring ice shelves, including Pine Island glacier Ice Shelf (PIIS). Hydrographic, current, and microstructure observations obtained in austral summer 2009 and 2014 by an autonomous underwater vehicle beneath the PIIS are used here to detail the complex ice-ocean interaction and resulting ocean circulation. The theoretical schematic of deeply incoming warm and saline water melting the grounding line and generating a buoyant plume upwelling along the ice draft is generally consistent with observations. The cavity beneath PIIS is clearly divided in two by a seabed ridge, constraining the oceanic circulation and water masses distribution. On the seaward side of the ridge, a thick warm deep water layer circulates cyclonically and is overlaid by a thin meltwater layer. Only intermediate depth waters are allowed to overflow from the ridge top into the inner cavity, where a much thinner warm water layer is now overlaid by a thicker meltwater layer. At the ice/ocean interface, melt induced freshening is forcing an upwelling which in turn injects cyclonic vorticity and participates in creating a vigorous cyclonic recirculation in the inner cavity. The top of the ridge, where warm waters overflow in the inner cavity, is a dynamical boundary characterized by northward along-ridge currents up to 0.2 m/s and enhanced shear, thermal gradient, and mixing. Observations at two points at the ice interface indicate that the ocean remains stratified within 2 meters of the ice.

  19. Lateral mixing across ice meltwater fronts of the Chukchi Sea shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, K.; Weingartner, T.; Danielson, S.; Winsor, P.; Dobbins, E.; Martini, K.; Statscewich, H.

    2015-08-01

    Summer and fall hydrographic sections in the northeastern Chukchi Sea frequently capture 5-20 m thick intrapycnocline lenses or horizontal plumes of warm, moderately salty summer Bering Sea Water flowing northward from Bering Strait. These features occur within the shallow (~20 m depth) pycnocline separating cold, dilute, surface meltwater from near-freezing, salty, winter-formed waters beneath the pycnocline. An idealized numerical model suggests that the features arise from eddies and meanders generated by instability of the surface front separating meltwater from Bering Sea Water. Warm Bering Sea Water is transported across the front and into the pycnocline by the cross-frontal velocities associated with the instabilities. The accompanying lateral eddy heat fluxes may be important both in summer for promoting ice melt and in fall by delaying the onset of ice formation over portions of this shelf. Lateral heat flux magnitudes depend upon the stratification of the Bering Sea Water.

  20. Minimum distribution of subsea ice-bearing permafrost on the US Beaufort Sea continental shelf

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brothers, Laura L.; Hart, Patrick E.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.

    2012-01-01

    Starting in Late Pleistocene time (~19 ka), sea level rise inundated coastal zones worldwide. On some parts of the present-day circum-Arctic continental shelf, this led to flooding and thawing of formerly subaerial permafrost and probable dissociation of associated gas hydrates. Relict permafrost has never been systematically mapped along the 700-km-long U.S. Beaufort Sea continental shelf and is often assumed to extend to ~120 m water depth, the approximate amount of sea level rise since the Late Pleistocene. Here, 5,000 km of multichannel seismic (MCS) data acquired between 1977 and 1992 were examined for high-velocity (>2.3 km s−1) refractions consistent with ice-bearing, coarse-grained sediments. Permafrost refractions were identified along <5% of the tracklines at depths of ~5 to 470 m below the seafloor. The resulting map reveals the minimum extent of subsea ice-bearing permafrost, which does not extend seaward of 30 km offshore or beyond the 20 m isobath.

  1. Coastal-change and glaciological map of the Ronne Ice Shelf area, Antarctica, 1974-2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ferrigno, Jane G.; Foley, K.M.; Swithinbank, C.; Williams, R.S.; Dalide, L.M.

    2005-01-01

    Changes in the area and volume of polar ice sheets are intricately linked to changes in global climate, and the resulting changes in sea level may severely impact the densely populated coastal regions on Earth. Melting of the West Antarctic part alone of the Antarctic ice sheet could cause a sea-level rise of approximately 6 meters (m). The potential sea-level rise after melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet is estimated to be 65 m (Lythe and others, 2001) to 73 m (Williams and Hall, 1993). In spite of its importance, the mass balance (the net volumetric gain or loss) of the Antarctic ice sheet is poorly known; it is not known for certain whether the ice sheet is growing or shrinking. In a review paper, Rignot and Thomas (2002) concluded that the West Antarctic part of the Antarctic ice sheet is probably becoming thinner overall; although it is thickening in the west, it is thinning in the north. Joughin and Tulaczyk (2002), on the basis of analysis of ice-flow velocities derived from synthetic aperture radar, concluded that most of the Ross ice streams (ice streams on the east side of the Ross Ice Shelf) have a positive mass balance, whereas Rignot and others (in press) infer even larger negative mass balance for glaciers flowing northward into the Amundsen Sea, a trend suggested by Swithinbank and others (2003a,b, 2004). The mass balance of the East Antarctic part of the Antarctic ice sheet is unknown, but thought to be in near equilibrium. Measurement of changes in area and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet was given a very high priority in recommendations by the Polar Research Board of the National Research Council (1986), in subsequent recommendations by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) (1989, 1993), and by the National Science Foundation's (1990) Division of Polar Pro-grams. On the basis of these recommendations, the U.S. Geo-logical Survey (USGS) decided that the archive of early 1970s Landsat 1, 2, and 3 Multispectral Scanner

  2. The LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica, LARISSA a Model for Antarctic Integrated System Science (AISS) Investigations using Marine Platforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domack, E. W.; Huber, B. A.; Vernet, M.; Leventer, A.; Scambos, T. A.; Mosley-Thompson, E. S.; Smith, C. R.; de Batist, M. A.; Yoon, H.; Larissa

    2010-12-01

    The LARISSA program is the first interdisciplinary project funded in the AISS program of the NSF Office of Polar Programs and was officially launched in the closing days of the IPY. This program brings together investigators, students, and media to address the rapid and fundamental changes taking place in the region of the Larsen Ice Shelf and surrounding areas. Scientific foci include: glaciologic and oceanographic interactions, the response of pelagic and benthic ecosystems to ice shelf decay, sedimentary record of ice shelf break disintegration, the geologic evolution of ice shelf systems over the last 100,000 years, paleoclimate/environmental records from marine sediment and ice cores, and the crustal response to ice mass loss at decade to millennial time scales. The first major field season took place this past austral summer aboard the NB Palmer (cruise NBP10-01) which deployed with a multi-layered logistical infrastructure that included: two Bell 220 aircraft, a multifunctional deep water ROV, video guided sediment corer, jumbo piston core, and an array of oceanographic and biological sensors and instruments. In tandem with this ship based operation Twin Otter aircraft supported an ice core team upon the crest of the Bruce Plateau with logistic support provided by the BAS at Rothera Station. Although unusually heavy sea ice prevented much of the original work from being completed in the Larsen Embayment the interdisciplinary approach proved useful. Further the logistical model of ship based aircraft to support interdisciplinary work proved viable, again despite an unusually severe summer meterologic pattern across the northern Antarctic Peninsula. As the program moves forward other vessels will come into play and the model can be applied to interdisciplinary objectives in other regions of Antarctica which are remote and lack land based infrastructure to support coastal field programs in glaciology, geology, or meteorology. This work could then be completed

  3. The impact of early Holocene Arctic Shelf flooding on climate in an atmosphere-ocean-sea-ice model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaschek, M.; Renssen, H.

    2013-07-01

    Glacial terminations are characterized by a strong rise in sea level related to melting ice sheets. This rise in sea level is not uniform all over the world, because regional effects (uplift and subsidence of coastal zones) are superimposed on global trends. During the early Holocene the Siberian Shelf became flooded before 7.5 ka BP and the coastline reached modern-day high stands at 5 ka BP. This area is currently known as a sea-ice production area and contributes significantly to the sea-ice exported from the Arctic through the Fram Strait. This leads to the following hypothesis: during times of rising sea levels, shelves become flooded, increasing sea-ice production on these shelves, increasing sea-ice volume and export through Fram Strait and causing the sea-ice extent to advance in the Nordic Seas, yielding cooler and fresher sea surface conditions. We have tested this hypothesis in an ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere coupled model of intermediate complexity (LOVECLIM). Our results of an early Holocene Siberian Shelf flooding show that in our model the Northern Hemisphere sea-ice production is increased (15%) and that the Northern Hemisphere sea-ice extent increases (14%) contrary to our hypothesis with lower sea-ice export through Fram Strait (-15%). The reason of this unexpected behaviour has its origin in a weakened polar vortex, induced by the land-ocean changes due to the shelf flooding, and a resulting decrease of zonality in the Nordic Seas pressure regime. Hence the winter Greenland high and the Icelandic low strengthen, yielding stronger winds on both sides of the Nordic Seas. Increased winds along the East Greenland Current support local sea-ice production and transport towards the south, resulting in a wider sea-ice cover and a southward shift of convection areas. The overall strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is reduced by 4% and the heat transport in the Atlantic basin by 7%, resulting in an annual cooling pattern over the Nordic

  4. Subsurface ice and brine sampling using an ultrasonic/sonic gopher for life detection and characterization in the McMurdo Dry Valleys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bar-Cohen, Y.; Sherrit, S.; Chang, Z.; Wessel, L.; Bao, X.; Doran, P. T.; Fritsen, C. H.; Kenig, F.; McKay, C. P.; Murray, A.; Peterson, T.

    2004-01-01

    There is growing evidence for ice and fluids near the surface of Mars with potential discharge of brines, which may preserve a record of past life on the planet. Proven techniques to sample Mars subsurface will be critical for future NASA astrobiology missions that will search for such records.

  5. Rheology of the Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica, inferred from satellite radar interferometry data using an inverse control method.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larour, E. Y.; Rignot, E.; Joughin, I.

    2004-12-01

    Ice shelves floating around the Antarctic Ice Sheet spread under their own weight into the ocean. The ice flow is controlled by the rigidity of ice, and a delicate interaction with bottom and surface accumulation. Rigidity ( or flow law parameter B ) depends mainly on temperature [Paterson, 1994], and fabrics. This study presents an inverse control method developped to infer B on ice shelves. The method is based on finding the best fit with observations of ice velocity from satellite radar interferometry. The model was tested on the Ronne Ice Shelf, and the results show flow law parameter B varying between 300 kPa a1/3 and 900 kPa a1/3. Minimums appear along the ice margins which could be due to ice softening (viscous heating). High values are found in the wake of large glaciers which advect large quantities of cold ice. Some areas near the grounding lines experience basal melting, which increases rigidity. Melting near the icefront corresponds to areas of decreased rigidity. This method allows the modeller to account for variations in the distribution of B in ice flow models. We thank the California Institude of Technology for making this study possible.

  6. DEM generation and tidal deformation detection for sulzberger ice shelf, West Antarctica using SAR interferometry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baek, S.; Kwoun, Oh-Ig; Bassler, M.; Lu, Zhiming; Shum, C.K.; Dietrich, R.

    2004-01-01

    In this study we generated a relative Digital Elevation Model (DEM) over the Sulzberger Ice Shelf, West Antarctica using ERS1/2 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry data. Four repeat pass differential interferograms are used to find the grounding zone and to classify the study area. An interferometrically derived DEM is compared with laser altimetry profile from ICESat. Standard deviation of the relative height difference is 5.12 m and 1.34 m in total length of the profile and at the center of the profile respectively. The magnitude and the direction of tidal changes estimated from interferogram are compared with those predicted tidal differences from four ocean tide models. Tidal deformation measured in InSAR is -16.7 cm and it agrees well within 3 cm with predicted ones from tide models.

  7. The impact of early Holocene Arctic shelf flooding on climate in an atmosphere-ocean-sea-ice model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaschek, M.; Renssen, H.

    2013-11-01

    Glacial terminations are characterized by a strong rise in sea level related to melting ice sheets. This rise in sea level is not uniform all over the world, because regional effects (uplift and subsidence of coastal zones) are superimposed on global trends. During the early Holocene the Siberian Shelf became flooded before 7.5 ka BP and the coastline reached modern-day high stands at 5 ka BP. This area is currently known as a sea-ice production area and contributes significantly to the sea-ice exported from the Arctic through the Fram Strait. This leads to the following hypothesis: during times of rising sea levels, shelves become flooded, increasing sea-ice production on these shelves, increasing sea-ice volume and export through the Fram Strait and causing the sea-ice extent to advance in the Nordic Seas, yielding cooler and fresher sea surface conditions. We have tested this hypothesis in an atmosphere-ocean-sea-ice coupled model of intermediate complexity (LOVECLIM). Our experiment on early Holocene Siberian Shelf flooding shows that in our model sea-ice production in the Northern Hemisphere increases (15%) and that sea-ice extent in the Northern Hemisphere increases (14%) but sea-ice export decreases (-15%) contrary to our hypothesis. The reason of this unexpected behaviour has its origin in a weakened polar vortex, induced by the land-ocean changes due to the shelf flooding, and a resulting decrease of zonality in the Nordic Seas pressure regime. Hence the winter Greenland high and the Icelandic low strengthen, yielding stronger winds on both sides of the Nordic Seas. Increased winds along the East Greenland Current support local sea-ice production and transport towards the South, resulting in a wider sea-ice cover and a southward shift of convection areas. The overall strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation is reduced by 4% and the heat transport in the Atlantic basin by 7%, resulting in an annual cooling pattern over the Nordic Seas by

  8. Motion of Major Ice Shelf Fronts in Antarctica from Slant Range Analysis of Radar Altimeter Data, 1978 - 1998

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. J.; Beckley, M. A.; Brenner, A. C.; Giovinetto, M. B.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Slant range analysis of radar altimeter data from the Seasat, Geosat, ERS-1 and ERS-2 databases are used to determine barrier location at particular times, and estimate barrier motion (km/yr) for major Antarctic ice shelves. The barrier locations, which are the seaward edges or fronts of floating ice shelves, advance with time as the ice flows from the grounded ice sheets and retreat whenever icebergs calve from the fronts. The analysis covers various multiyear intervals from 1978 to 1998, supplemented by barrier location maps produced elsewhere for 1977 and 1986. Barrier motion is estimated as the ratio between mean annual ice shelf area change for a particular interval, and the length of the discharge periphery. This value is positive if the barrier location progresses seaward, or negative if the barrier location regresses (break-back). Either positive or negative values are lower limit estimates because the method does not detect relatively small area changes due to calving or surge events. The findings are discussed in the context of the three ice shelves that lie in large embayments (the Filchner-Ronne, Amery, and Ross), and marginal ice shelves characterized by relatively short distances between main segments of grounding line and barrier (those in the Queen Maud Land sector between 10.1 deg. W and 32.5 deg. E, and the West and Shackleton ice shelves). All the ice shelves included in the study account for approximately three-fourths of the total ice shelf area of Antarctica, and discharge approximately two-thirds of the total grounded ice area.

  9. Seismometers on Europa: Insights from Modeling and Antarctic Ice Shelf Analogs (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmerr, N. C.; Brunt, K. M.; Cammarano, F.; Hurford, T. A.; Lekic, V.; Panning, M. P.; Rhoden, A.; Sauber, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    the depth of an ocean layer. Likewise, evaluation of arrival times of reflected wave multiples observed at a single seismic station would record properties of the mantle and core of Europa. Cluster analysis of waveforms from various seismic source mechanisms could be used to classify different types of seismicity originating from the ice and rocky parts of the moon. We examine examples of single station results for analogous seismic experiments on Earth, e.g., where broadband, 3-component seismometers have been placed upon the Ross Ice Shelf of Antarctica. Ultimately this work reveals that seismometer deployments will be essential for understanding the internal dynamics, habitability, and surface evolution of Europa, and that seismic instruments need to be a key component of future missions to surface of Europa and outer satellites.

  10. Late Quaternary Sea-Ice Variability at the North Icelandic Shelf (Sub-Arctic): Reconstruction from Biomarkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, X.; Zhao, M.; Jiang, H.; Eiriksson, J.; Guo, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Sea ice, prevailing in the polar region and characterized by distinct seasonal and interannual variability, plays a pivotal role in Earth's climate system (Thomas and Dieckmann, 2010). In order to understand processes controlling the recent dramatic reduction in Arctic sea-ice cover, it is essential to determine temporal changes in sea-ice occurrence and its natural variability in the past. The North Icelandic shelf, bordering a marginal area of the Arctic Ocean, is located at the present-day boundary between the cold polar currents and warm Atlantic water masses, very sensitive to the changes in sea-ice cover, ice sheet and oceanic circulation patterns (Knudsen and Eiriksson, 2002). All these processes have been recorded in the marine shelf-sediment cores. We determined the concentrations of sea-ice diatom-derived biomarker "IP25" (monoene highly-branched isoprenoid with 25 carbon atom; Belt et al., 2007), phytoplankton-derived biomarkers (brassicasterol and dinosterol) and terrigenous biomarkers (campesterol and ß-sitosterol) in a sediment core from the North Icelandic shelf to reconstruct the Late Quaternary sea-ice conditions and related surface-water processes. The sea-ice cover reached its maximum during the cold period (i.e., Last Glacial Maximum and Younger dryas), while an open ocean environment existed during less severe periods (e.g. Bølling-Allerød and 8.2 ka event) in the study area. The biomarker records from this sediment core give insights into the variability in sea ice and circulation patterns as well as primary productivity in the Arctic marginal area during the Late Quaternary. References Belt, S.T., Massé, G., Rowland, S.J., Poulin, M., Michel, C., LeBlanc, B., 2007. A novel chemical fossil of palaeo sea ice: IP25. Org. Geochem. 38, 16-27. Knudsen, K.L. and Eiriksson, J., 2002. Application of tephrochronology to the timing and correlation of palaeoceanographic events recorded in Holocene and Late Glacial shelf sediments off North Iceland

  11. Diatoms in sediments of perennially ice-covered Lake Hoare, and implications for interpreting lake history in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spaulding, S.A.; McKnight, Diane M.; Stoermer, E.F.; Doran, P.T.

    1997-01-01

    Diatom assemblages in surficial sediments, sediment cores, sediment traps, and inflowing streams of perennially ice-covered Lake Hore, South Victorialand, Antarctica were examined to determine the distribution of diatom taxa, and to ascertain if diatom species composition has changed over time. Lake Hoare is a closed-basin lake with an area of 1.8 km2, maximum depth of 34 m, and mean depth of 14 m, although lake level has been rising at a rate of 0.09 m yr-1 in recent decades. The lake has an unusual regime of sediment deposition: coarse grained sediments accumulate on the ice surface and are deposited episodically on the lake bottom. Benthic microbial mats are covered in situ by the coarse episodic deposits, and the new surfaces are recolonized. Ice cover prevents wind-induced mixing, creating the unique depositional environment in which sediment cores record the history of a particular site, rather than a lake=wide integration. Shallow-water (<1 m) diatom assemblages (Stauroneis anceps, Navicula molesta, Diadesmis contenta var. parallela, Navicula peraustralis) were distinct from mid-depth (4-16 m) assemblages (Diadesmis contenta, Luticola muticopsis fo. reducta, Stauroneis anceps, Diadesmis contenta var. parallela, Luticola murrayi) and deep-water (2-31 m) assemblages (Luticola murrayi, Luticola muticopsis fo. reducta, Navicula molesta. Analysis of a sediment core (30 cm long, from 11 m water depth) from Lake Hoare revealed two abrupt changes in diatom assemblages. The upper section of the sediment core contained the greatest biomass of benthic microbial mat, as well as the greatest total abundance and diversity of diatoms. Relative abundances of diatoms in this section are similar to the surficial samples from mid-depths. An intermediate zone contained less organic material and lower densities of diatoms. The bottom section of core contained the least amount of microbial mat and organic material, and the lowest density of diatoms. The dominant process

  12. Extremotrophs, extremophiles and broadband pigmentation strategies in a high arctic ice shelf ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Derek R; Vincent, Warwick F; Bonilla, Sylvia; Laurion, Isabelle

    2005-06-01

    Remnant ice shelves along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada ( approximately 83 degrees N) provide a habitat for cryo-tolerant microbial mat communities. Bioassays of bacterial and primary production were undertaken to quantify the short-term physiological response of the mats to changes in key variables that characterize this cryo-ecosystem (salinity, irradiance and temperature). The heterotrophic versus autotrophic community responses to these stressors differed markedly. The heterotrophic bacteria were extremophilic and specifically adapted to ambient conditions on the ice shelf, whereas the autotrophic community had broader tolerance ranges and optima outside the ambient range. This latter, extremotrophic response may be partly due to a diverse suite of pigments including oligosaccharide mycosporine-like amino acids, scytonemins, carotenoids, phycobiliproteins and chlorophylls that absorb from the near UV-B to red wavelengths. These pigments provide a comprehensive broadband strategy for coping with the multiple stressors of high irradiance, variable salinity and low temperatures in this extreme cryo-environment.

  13. Sea ice retreat alters the biogeography of the Bering Sea continental shelf.

    PubMed

    Mueter, Franz J; Litzow, Michael A

    2008-03-01

    Seasonal ice cover creates a pool of cold bottom water on the eastern Bering Sea continental shelf each winter. The southern edge of this cold pool, which defines the ecotone between arctic and subarctic communities, has retreated approximately 230 km northward since the early 1980s. Bottom trawl surveys of fish and invertebrates in the southeastern Bering Sea (1982-2006) show a coincident reorganization in community composition by latitude. Survey catches show community-wide northward distribution shifts, and the area formerly covered by the cold pool has seen increases in total biomass, species richness, and average trophic level as subarctic fauna have colonized newly favorable habitats. Warming climate has immediate management implications, as 57% of variability in commercial snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) catch is explained by winter sea ice extent. Several measures of community distribution and structure show linear relationships with bottom temperature, suggesting warming climate as the primary cause of changing biogeography. However, residual variability in distribution not explained by climate shows a strong temporal trend, suggesting that internal community dynamics also contribute to changing biogeography. Variability among taxa in their response to temperature was not explained by commercial status or life history traits, suggesting that species-specific responses to future warming will be difficult to predict.

  14. A Shift to Melted Sea Ice From Runoff as the Major Component of Chukchi Shelf Open Water Freshwater Fractions, 1993-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, L. W.; Frey, K. E.; Logvinova, C. L.; Biasatti, D. M.; Grebmeier, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    The freshwater fraction of water that is derived from melted sea ice has increased significantly on the Chukchi shelf relative to runoff within the past decade, based upon analysis of salinity and δ18O mixing lines from a number of research cruises from 1993-2013. The shift to summertime dominance of melted sea ice (freshwater end-member δ18O >-10 per mil) relative to runoff occurred within the past ten years with a transition primarily observed from runoff dominance to sea ice melt after 2004. This shift is localized to the Chukchi shelf and does not reflect large amounts of melted sea ice flowing north through Bering Strait, which still largely transports a freshwater component with runoff origins (freshwater end-member δ18O ~-20 per mil). These observations have implications for understanding high latitude shelf biogeochemical cycling as melted sea ice carries much lower fractions of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) than runoff, allowing for greater light penetration, including through melt ponds in sea ice, and potential changes in productivity. Lower alkalinity and buffering capacity in melted sea ice compared to runoff will also increase the vulnerability of shelf organisms to water column acidification. Melted sea ice, with low DOC relative to runoff can dominate the freshwater budget in Chukchi shelf waters even under apparently continuous ice coverage. The higher transmission of light through melted sea ice with low DOC may be in part responsible for recent reported under-ice blooms on the Chukchi shelf. Since these blooms occur in waters with the freshwater budget dominated by melted sea ice, they can reasonably interpreted as being part of a continuum with other ice melt-associated blooms and not independent of sea ice retreat and dissolution.

  15. Seasonality of sea ice controls interannual variability of summertime ΩA at the ice shelf in the Eastern Weddell Sea - an ocean acidification sensitivity study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weeber, A.; Swart, S.; Monteiro, P. M. S.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing anthropogenic CO2 is decreasing surface water aragonite saturation state (ΩA), a growing concern for calcifying Euthecosome pteropods and its wider impact on Antarctic ecosystems. However, our understanding of the seasonal cycle and interannual variability of this vulnerable ecosystem remains limited. This study examines surface water ΩA from four consecutive summers in the Eastern Weddell Gyre (EWG) ice shelf region, and investigates the drivers and the role played by the seasonal cycle in the interannual variability of ΩA. Interannual variability in the seasonal phasing and the rate of summer sea ice thaw was found to be the primary factor explaining interannual variability in surface water ΩA. In "optimal" summers when summer sea ice thaw began in late November/early December (2008/2009 and 2010/2011), the summertime increase in ΩA was found to be 1.02, approximately double that from summers when sea ice thaw was delayed to late December (2009/2010 and 2011/2012). We propose that the two critical climate (physical-biogeochemical) sensitivities for ΩA are the timing and the rate of sea ice thaw, which has a direct impact on the mixed layer and the resulting onset and persistence of phytoplankton blooms. The strength of summertime carbonate saturation depends on seasonal changes of sea ice, stratification and primary production. The sensitivity of surface water biogeochemistry in this region to interannual changes in mixed layer - sea ice processes, suggests that future trends in climate and the seasonal cycle of sea ice, combined with rapidly increasing anthropogenic CO2 will likely be a concern for the Antarctic ice shelf ecosystem within the next few decades. If in the future, primary production is reduced and CO2 increased, our results suggest that in the EWG summertime surface water aragonite undersaturation will emerge by the middle of this century.

  16. Unique manifestations of mixed-phase cloud microphysics over Ross Island and the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Ryan C.; Lubin, Dan

    2016-03-01

    Spaceborne radar and lidar observations from the CloudSat and CALIPSO satellites are used to compare seasonal variations in the microphysical and radiative properties of clouds over Ross Island, Antarctica, with two contrasting Arctic atmospheric observatories located in Barrow, Alaska, and Summit, Greenland. At Ross Island, downstream from recurrent intrusions of marine air over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and eastern Ross Ice Shelf, clouds exhibit a tendency toward the greatest geometrical thickness and coldest temperatures in summer, the largest average ice water content, IWC, at low altitude during summer and autumn, the most abundant IWC at cold mixed-phase temperatures (-40°C ice water on the surface energy budget year round, all with likely origins in orographic lifting of marine air over complex ice sheet and mountainous terrain. Clouds over Barrow form and evolve in a contrastingly warm and moist atmosphere and on average contain the largest liquid water content and ice and liquid water effective particle radii, re, year round. In contrast, clouds observed atop the central Greenland Ice Sheet are relatively tenuous, containing the smallest IWC and ice re of all sites.

  17. Episodic warming of near-bottom waters under the Arctic sea ice on the central Laptev Sea shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janout, Markus; Hölemann, Jens; Juhls, Bennet; Krumpen, Thomas; Rabe, Benjamin; Bauch, Dorothea; Wegner, Carolyn; Kassens, Heidemarie; Timokhov, Leonid

    2016-01-01

    A multiyear mooring record (2007-2014) and satellite imagery highlight the strong temperature variability and unique hydrographic nature of the Laptev Sea. This Arctic shelf is a key region for river discharge and sea ice formation and export and includes submarine permafrost and methane deposits, which emphasizes the need to understand the thermal variability near the seafloor. Recent years were characterized by early ice retreat and a warming near-shore environment. However, warming was not observed on the deeper shelf until year-round under-ice measurements recorded unprecedented warm near-bottom waters of +0.6°C in winter 2012/2013, just after the Arctic sea ice extent featured a record minimum. In the Laptev Sea, early ice retreat in 2012 combined with Lena River heat and solar radiation produced anomalously warm summer surface waters, which were vertically mixed, trapped in the pycnocline, and subsequently transferred toward the bottom until the water column cooled when brine rejection eroded stratification.

  18. Firn air-content of Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, from seismic velocities, borehole surveys and firn modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulessa, Bernd; Brisbourne, Alex; Booth, Adam; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Bevan, Suzanne; Luckman, Adrian; Hubbard, Bryn; Gourmelen, Noel; Palmer, Steve; Holland, Paul; Ashmore, David; Shepherd, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    The rising surface temperature of Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves is strongly implicated in ice shelf disintegration, by exacerbating the compaction of firn layers. Firn compaction is expected to warm the ice column and, given sufficiently wet and compacted layers, to allow meltwater to penetrate into surface crevasses and thus enhance hydrofracture potential. Integrating seismic refraction surveys with borehole neutron and firn core density logging, we reveal vertical and horizontal changes in firn properties across Larsen C Ice Shelf. Patterns of firn air-content derived from seismic surveys are broadly similar to those estimated previously from airborne radar and satellite data. Specifically, these estimates show greater firn compaction in the north and landward inlets compared to the south, although spatial gradients in seismic-derived air-contents are less pronounced than those previously inferred. Firn thickness is less than 10 m in the extreme northwest of Larsen C, in Cabinet Inlet, yet exceeds 40 m in the southeast, suggesting that the inlet is a focus of firn compaction; indeed, buried layers of massive refrozen ice were observed in 200 MHz GPR data in Cabinet and Whirlwind Inlets during a field campaign in the 2014-15 austral summer. Depth profiles of firn density provide a reasonable fit with those derived from closely-located firn cores and neutron probe data. Our model of firn structure is driven by RACMO and includes a 'bucket'-type hydrological implementation, and simulates the depth-density profiles in the inlets well. Discrepancies between measured and modelled depth-density profiles become progressively greater towards the ice-shelf front. RACMO incorrectly simulates the particular leeward (sea-ice-influenced) microclimate of the shallow boundary layer, leading to excess melt and/or lack of snowfall. The spatial sampling density of our seismic observations will be augmented following a further field campaign in the 2016-17 austral summer

  19. Sinking particle flux in the sea ice zone of the Amundsen Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Minkyoung; Hwang, Jeomshik; Kim, Hyung J.; Kim, Dongseon; Yang, Eun J.; Ducklow, Hugh W.; Hyoung, S. La; Lee, Sang H.; Park, Jisoo; Lee, SangHoon

    2015-07-01

    We have examined the flux, biogenic composition, and isotopic values of sinking particles collected by a time-series sediment trap deployed in the sea ice zone (SIZ) of the Amundsen Sea from January 2011 for 1 year. The major portion of the particle flux occurred during the austral summer in January and February when sea ice concentration was reduced to <60%. Biogenic components, dominated by opal (~78% of the biogenic components), accounted for over 75% of particle flux during this high-flux period. The dominant source of sinking particles shifted from diatoms to soft-tissued organisms, evidenced by high particulate organic carbon (POC) content (>30%) and a low bio-Si/POC ratio (<0.5) during the austral winter. CaCO3 content and its contribution to total particle flux was low (~6%) throughout the study period. Aged POC likely supplied from sediment resuspension accounted for a considerable fraction only from October to December, which was evidenced by a low radiocarbon content and relatively high (30-50%) content of the non-biogenic components. When compared with POC flux inside the Amundsen Sea polynya obtained by the US Amundsen Sea Polynya International Research Expedition (ASPIRE), the POC flux integrated over the austral summer in the SIZ was virtually identical, although the maximum POC flux was approximately half that inside the Amundsen Sea polynya. This comparatively high POC flux integrated over the austral summer in the SIZ may be caused by phytoplankton blooms persisting over a longer periods and more efficient export of organic matter potentially owing to the diatom-dominant plankton community. If this observation is a general phenomenon on the Amundsen Shelf, the role of the SIZ, compared with the polynyas, need to be examined more carefully when trying to characterize the POC export in this region.

  20. Sinking Particle Flux in the Sea Ice Zone of the Amundsen Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, M.; Hwang, J.; Kim, H. J.; Kim, D.; Ducklow, H. W.; Lee, S. H.; Yang, E. J.; Lee, S.

    2014-12-01

    We have examined the flux, compositions of biogenic components, and isotopic values of sinking particles collected by a sediment trap deployed in the sea ice zone (SIZ) of the Amundsen Sea from January 2011 for one year. Major portion of the particle flux occurred during the austral summer in January and February when sea ice concentration was reduced to below 60 %. Biogenic components, dominated by opal, accounted for over 75 % during this high flux period. The dominant source of sinking particles shifted from diatoms to soft-tissued organisms, evidenced by high particulate organic carbon (POC) content (> 30 %) during the polar night. CaCO3 content and its contribution to total particle flux were low throughout the study period. Contribution of aged POC likely supplied from sediment resuspension was considerable only from October to December, evidenced by low radiocarbon content and relatively high (30-50 %) content of the non-biogenic component. When compared to POC flux inside the Amundsen Sea polynya obtained by the US Amundsen Sea Polynya International Research Expedition (ASPIRE), the POC flux integrated over the austral summer in the SIZ was virtually identical although maximum POC flux was about half that inside the Amundsen Sea polynya. This comparatively high POC flux in the SIZ may be caused by persistence of phytoplankton bloom for longer period and more efficient export of organic matter owing to the diatom-dominant plankton community. If this observation is a general phenomenon on the Amundsen shelf, the role of the SIZ compared to the polynyas need to be examined more carefully when trying to characterize the POC export in this region.

  1. Characteristics of the near-surface atmosphere over the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassano, John J.; Nigro, Melissa A.; Lazzara, Matthew A.

    2016-04-01

    Two years of data from a 30 m instrumented tower are used to characterize the near-surface atmospheric state over the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Stable stratification dominates the surface layer at this site, occurring 83% of the time. The strongest inversions occur for wind speeds less than 4 m s-1 and the inversion strength decreases rapidly as wind speed increases above 4 m s-1. In summer unstable stratification occurs 50% of the time and unstable conditions are observed in every season. A novel aspect of this work is the use of an artificial neural network pattern identification technique, known as self-organizing maps, to objectively identify characteristic potential temperature profiles that span the range of profiles present in the 2 year study period. The self-organizing map clustering technique allows the more than 100,000 observed potential temperature profiles to be represented by just 30 patterns. The pattern-averaged winds show distinct and physically consistent relationships with the potential temperature profiles. The strongest winds occur for the nearly well mixed but slightly stable patterns and the weakest winds occur for the strongest inversion patterns. The weakest wind shear over the depth of the tower occurs for slightly unstable profiles and the largest wind shear occurs for moderately strong inversions. Pattern-averaged log wind profiles are consistent with theoretical expectations. The log wind profiles exhibit a kinked profile for the strongest inversion cases indicative of decoupling of the winds between the bottom and top of the tower.

  2. Ocean current observations near McMurdo Station, Antarctica, 1993 to 1994: Relation to wastewater discharge dispersal

    SciTech Connect

    Barry, J.P.

    1995-09-01

    This report presents analyses of current measurements from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica during December, 1993 to November, 1994, in relation to dispersal of the McMurdo Station wastewater plume. Data collected from 1991 to 1993 are also discussed here. Six current meters were deployed near McMurdo Station, Antarctica, from December 1993 to November 1994. Five functioned properly throughout the observation period, and one failed. Analyses of 5 data series include: (1) summaries of current speed and direction, (2) directional analyses of flow, (3) time series current vectors averaged over 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 h, (4) principal axes of flow, (5) maps of mean seasonal flow, (6) progressive vector plots, (7) spectral analyses, and (8) low-pass filtered (30h) time series of currents at McMurdo Station. Observations of flow near McMurdo Station during 1994 were generally similar to 1993. Short term variation in flow was related principally to diurnal tidal motions. Longer period oscillations in flow such as seasonal shifts, and non-periodic changes in current speed and direction were likely related to changes in ice cover and wind stress in the vicinity of McMurdo Station or over much larger scales or both. Three distinct oceanographic {open_quote}seasons{close_quote} were apparent in time series from 1992 to 1994, from stations furthest offshore, where the effects of local topography are minimal. The spring-summer (Oct.-Jan.) period of both years was dominated by regional southward flow, which generates a counter-clockwise eddy (McMurdo Gyre) adjacent to McMurdo Station. With regard to dispersal of the wastewater plume from McMurdo Station, observations of currents during 1994 generally corroborate those from 1993, and the recommendation that the outfall pipe should be repositioned offshore of the McMurdo Gyre is supported.

  3. Seafloor glacial geomorphology in a cross shelf trough: insights into the deglaciation of the Melville Bay Ice Stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newton, Andrew; Huuse, Mads

    2016-04-01

    Compared to other glaciated margins such as offshore mid-Norway and Svalbard, the Greenland continental shelf has, until recently, been the subject of only a limited amount of academic and industry research. This has been mainly due to the difficulty and expense of obtaining data in such harsh and operationally complex settings. Climate amelioration and technological advance has, particularly in recent years, allowed both academics and industry to substantially increase data collection across the many glaciated continental shelves in the Northern Hemisphere. Baffin Bay has been one of the primary regions of interest for the hydrocarbon industry which has sought to operate in the frontier basins offshore Greenland. As a result of these industry operations, a large database of geophysical and geological data has been collected. Some of this data has been made available to glacial scientists and provides a unique opportunity to investigate the seafloor geomorphology for regions where the majority of previous work has been hypothetical rather than grounded in geological evidence. In the work presented here we present a landform record offshore NW Greenland in the Melville Bay cross-shelf trough. This is one of the largest troughs on the entire Greenland shelf and measures up to 140 km in width. Shallow-marine cores collected in the coastal part of the trough show bedrock of Miocene age and indicate that a significant cover has likely been removed from the shelf by ice streams operating through the Late Cenozoic. This material has then been deposited at the shelf edge as a trough mouth fan. Using multibeam and seismic reflection data a large number of glacial landforms are observed and mapped in the trough. These include mega-scale glacial lineations, grounding-zone wedges, iceberg scours, and iceberg grounding pits. These landforms are used to reconstruct the ice dynamics of the Melville Bugt Ice Stream at the last glacial maximum and during its deglaciation. The

  4. Sea Ice Formation Rate and Temporal Variation of Temperature and Salinity at the Vicinity of Wilkins Ice Shelf from Data Collected by Southern Elephant Seals in 2008

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santini, M. F.; Souza, R.; Wainer, I.; Muelbert, M.; Hindell, M.

    2013-05-01

    The use of marine mammals as autonomous platforms for collecting oceanographic data has revolutionized the understanding of physical properties of low or non-sampled regions of the polar oceans. The use of these animals became possible due to advancements in the development of electronic devices, sensors and batteries carried by them. Oceanographic data collected by two southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) during the Fall of 2008 were used to infer the sea-ice formation rate in the region adjacent to the Wilkins Ice Shelf, west of the Antarctic Peninsula at that period. The sea-ice formation rate was estimated from the salt balance equation for the upper (100 m) ocean at a daily frequency for the period between 13 February and 20 June 2008. The oceanographic data collected by the animals were also used to present the temporal variation of the water temperature and salinity from surface to 300 m depth in the study area. Sea ice formation rate ranged between 0,087 m/day in early April and 0,008 m/day in late June. Temperature and salinity ranged from -1.84°C to 1.60°C and 32.85 to 34.85, respectively, for the upper 300 m of the water column in the analyzed period. The sea-ice formation rate estimations do not consider water advection, only temporal changes of the vertical profile of salinity. This may cause underestimates of the real sea-ice formation rate. The intense reduction of sea ice rate formation from April to June 2008 may be related to the intrusion of the Circumpolar Depth Water (CDW) into the study region. As a consequence of that we believe that this process can be partly responsible for the disintegration of the Wilkins Ice Shelf during the winter of 2008. The data presented here are considered a new frontier in physical and biological oceanography, providing a new approach for monitoring sea ice changes and oceanographic conditions in polar oceans. This is especially valid for regions covered by sea ice where traditional instruments deployed by

  5. Ice Velocity Mapping of Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica by Matching Surface Undulations Measured by Icesat Laser Altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Choon-Ki; Han, Shin-Chan; Yu, Jaehyung; Scambos, Ted A.; Seo, Ki-Weon

    2012-01-01

    We present a novel method for estimating the surface horizontal velocity on ice shelves using laser altimetrydata from the Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat; 20032009). The method matches undulations measured at crossover points between successive campaigns.

  6. The sensitivity of Arctic sea ice production to shelf flooding during the early Holocene: a modelling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaschek, M.; Renssen, H.

    2012-04-01

    During the last deglaciation, the global sea-level started rising, changing the coastlines from an early Holocene stand (40 m lower than today at approximately 10 kyr BP, Siddall et al., 2003) to modern day coastlines. Proxy evidence shows that this transgression occurred non-uniformly over the globe. For instance, Bauch et al. (2001) report for the Laptev Sea (Arctic Ocean), that the modern coastline was only established at 5 kyr BP after a fast transgression from the early Holocene, leading to a flooding of the extensive shelf area. This shelf area is presently regarded to be an important production zone of Arctic sea ice, playing an important role in the dynamics of sea ice in the Arctic, as well as its export to the Nordic Seas along the East Greenland Current (EGC). Through this sea ice export, changes in the Laptev Sea shelf area during the Holocene could potentially have had a substantial impact on the sea surface conditions of the EGC, and the Denmark Strait, which is known to be sensitive to sea ice. This is consistent with a rapid increase in sea ice export through the EGC around 5 kyr BP as reported by Jennings et al. (2002). In this study we investigate the impact of this Arctic shelf flooding on sea ice production in the Holocene, and on the climate of the Nordic Seas in the LOVECLIM1.2 global ocean-atmosphere-vegetation model. We present results of several experiments in which we study the sensitivity of Arctic sea ice production to various Arctic shelf areas under early Holocene conditions (9 kyr BP). We approach this by changing the land-sea mask to represent different lower-than-present sea-level coastlines. For example, we perform experiments with the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) land-sea mask, representing a lowering of the sea-level by 120 m, while keeping other forcings at 9 kyr BP. A further step is to modify selected areas in the Arctic, such as the Laptev Sea area, to examine the importance of different areas. Our results help to explain long

  7. Late Holocene variations in Arctic shelf hydrology and sea-ice regime: evidence from north of the Lena Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauch, Henning A.; Polyakova, Yelena I.

    2000-10-01

    Diatom assemblage studies are used to interpret past changes in river runoff (salinity) and sea-ice regime in the vicinity of the vast Lena River delta, southern Laptev Sea shelf. On the basis of their distribution in surface sediments, the shelf region outside the strong influence of riverine waters is characterized by a dominance in sea-ice diatoms and other marine species. Their numbers increase steeply (>20%) within the area of drifting pack ice. In contrast, the marginal zone of the delta, where exceedingly low salinities prevail, is marked by freshwater diatoms showing values higher than 70%. Using the environmental information from the surface sediments, the downcore distribution patterns of the main ecological groups of diatoms were investigated on a sediment core that covers the past 2800 cal. years BP. Although the freshwater group indicates some temporal variations in salinities, the study site north of the Lena River delta remained under a dominantly riverine influence for most of the three recognized phases. In contrast, the relative abundance of sea-ice species gives evidence that pack-ice conditions were more severe during the oldest phase (older than 2700 cal. years BP). The most significant changes are observed in the uppermost core section (younger than 300 cal. years BP) when the relative abundance of freshwater diatoms decreases from 80% down to below 20%. This dramatic decrease is interpreted as a major shift from a more northward-directed to the modern, dominantly eastern outflow pattern. Because the dispersal and fate of riverine waters and its role on the ice regime as well as on water mass properties is a central issue in understanding short- and longer-term climatic changes in the Arctic and beyond, it needs to be tested using more cores if this most recent change in outflow pattern from the delta is connected to climate change or simply a result of channel migration within the delta.

  8. Observations of the Summertime Boundary Layer over the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica Using SUMO UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, M. A.; Cassano, J. J.; Jolly, B.; McDonald, A.

    2014-12-01

    During January 2014 Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer (SUMO) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were used to observe the boundary layer over the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. A total of 41 SUMO flights were completed during a 9-day period with a maximum of 11 flights during a single day. Flights occurred as frequently as every 1.5 hours so that the time evolution of the boundary layer could be documented. On almost all of the flights the boundary layer was well mixed from the surface to a depth of less than 50 m to over 350 m. The depth of the well-mixed layer was observed to both increase and decrease over the course of an individual day suggesting that processes other than entrainment were altering the boundary layer depth. The well-mixed layer was observed to both warm and cool during the field campaign indicating that advective processes as well as surface fluxes were acting to control the temporal evolution of the boundary layer temperature. Only a small number of weakly stably stratified boundary layers were observed. Strong, shallow inversions, of up to 6 K, were observed above the top of the boundary layer. Observations from a 30 m automatic weather station and two temporary automatic weather stations 10 km south and west of the main field campaign location provide additional data for understanding the boundary layer evolution observed by the SUMO UAVs during this 9-day period. This presentation will discuss the observed evolution of the summertime boundary layer as well as comment on lessons learned operating the SUMO UAVs at a remote Antarctic field camp.

  9. A new bathymetric compilation highlighting extensive paleo-ice sheet drainage on the continental shelf, South Georgia, sub-Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, Alastair G. C.; Fretwell, Peter T.; Larter, Robert D.; Hodgson, Dominic A.; Wilson, Christian K.; Tate, Alex J.; Morris, Peter

    2008-07-01

    A grid derived from a new compilation of marine echo-sounding data sets has allowed us to visualize and map the geomorphology of the entire continental shelf around South Georgia at an unprecedented level of detail. The grid is the first continuous bathymetric data set covering South Georgia to include multibeam swath bathymetry and represent them at a subkilometer resolution. Large and previously undescribed glacially eroded troughs, linked to South Georgia's modern-day fjords, radiate from the island, marking the former pathways of large outlet glaciers and ice streams. A tectonic or geological influence is apparent for the major troughs, where glaciers have exploited structural weaknesses on the continental block. Bed forms lining the troughs give some first insights into glacial dynamics within the troughs, suggesting arteries of fast flowing ice occupied these topographic depressions in the past and operated over both bedrock and sedimentary substrates. On the outer shelf and within the troughs, large ridges and banks are also common, interpreted as terminal, lateral, and recessional moraines marking former positions of ice sheets on the shelf and their subsequent reorganization during deglaciation. A small trough mouth fan has developed at the mouth of at least one of the cross-shelf troughs, demonstrating a focused sediment delivery to the margin. Slides and slide scars are also present on parts of the margin, showing that margin stability, perhaps also related to glaciation, has been an important factor in depositional processes on the continental slope. Implications of the new observations are that ice sheets have been more extensive on South Georgia than any previous studies have reported. Their age may date back to late Miocene times, and evolution of the shelf system has probably involved numerous late Cenozoic glacial episodes. However, relatively fresh seafloor geomorphology coupled with evidence from other maritime-Antarctic islands (Heard Island and

  10. Sedimentology and chronology of the advance and retreat of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet on the continental shelf west of Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, Jared L.; Benetti, Sara; Dunlop, Paul; Ó Cofaigh, Colm; Moreton, Steven G.; Wheeler, Andrew J.; Clark, Christopher D.

    2016-05-01

    The last British-Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) had extensive marine-terminating margins and was drained by multiple large ice streams and is thus a useful analogue for marine-based areas of modern ice sheets. However, despite recent advances from investigating the offshore record of the BIIS, the dynamic history of its marine margins, which would have been sensitive to external forcing(s), remain inadequately understood. This study is the first reconstruction of the retreat dynamics and chronology of the western, marine-terminating, margin of the last (Late Midlandian) BIIS. Analyses of shelf geomorphology and core sedimentology and chronology enable a reconstruction of the Late Midlandian history of the BIIS west of Ireland, from initial advance to final retreat onshore. Five AMS radiocarbon dates from marine cores constrain the timing of retreat and associated readvances during deglaciation. The BIIS advanced without streaming or surging, depositing a bed of highly consolidated subglacial traction till, and reached to within ˜20 km of the shelf break by ˜24,000 Cal BP. Ice margin retreat was likely preceded by thinning, grounding zone retreat and ice shelf formation on the outer shelf by ˜22,000 Cal BP. This ice shelf persisted for ≤2500 years, while retreating at a minimum rate of ˜24 m/yr and buttressing a >150-km long, 20-km wide, bathymetrically-controlled grounding zone. A large (˜150 km long), arcuate, flat-topped grounding-zone wedge, termed here the Galway Lobe Grounding-Zone Wedge (GLGZW), was deposited below this ice shelf and records a significant stillstand in BIIS retreat. Geomorphic relationships indicate that the BIIS experienced continued thinning during its retreat across the shelf, which led to increased topographic influence on its flow dynamics following ice shelf break up and grounding zone retreat past the GLGZW. At this stage of retreat the western BIIS was comprised of several discrete, asynchronous lobes that underwent several readvances

  11. Ice-sheet retreat from the continental shelf offshore of Northwest Ireland following the last glacial maximum: sedimentary facies and initial chronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weilbach, Kasper; O'Cofaigh, Colm; Lloyd, Jerry; Benetti, Sara; Dunlop, Paul; Howe, John; Purcell, Catriona

    2015-04-01

    The glacial history of North-West Ireland and the adjoining continental shelf have been debated for over a century. The traditional reconstruction of a British-Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) in this region was based predominantly on terrestrial evidence and showed an ice sheet that did not extend beyond the present coastline of Britain and Ireland. This traditional reconstruction of a relatively restricted ice sheet has been replaced in the last decade by the reconstruction of a more dynamic ice sheet that, during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), flowed onto the continental shelf and extended to the NW-Irish shelf edge. High resolution swath bathymetry and sub bottom profiler data along with sedimentological, micropalaeontological and geochronological investigations of sediment cores from the shelf offshore of NW Ireland are being used to reconstruct the timing, extent and the nature of retreat of the BIIS from the shelf following the LGM. A total of twenty seven vibro-cores were collected during two research cruises on the NW-Irish shelf in 2008 and 2014 on board the Irish and UK research vessels the Celtic Explorer and RRS James Cook The cores were collected in two east-west orientated transects across a series of arcuate recessional moraines from the shelf edge to Donegal Bay. These moraines record progressive stillstands of a lobate ice sheet margin during its retreat from the shelf edge, although to date, there has been a lack of direct dating control to constrain the timing and rate of ice retreat across the shelf. Sedimentary descriptions of core facies and physical properties, combined with taxonomic analysis of foraminifera will be presented along with radiocarbon dates. This forms the first detailed reconstruction of glacigenic sedimentation, depositional environments and the timing of ice sheet retreat across the shelf offshore of NW Ireland. The project is part of a larger EU funded research programme GLANAM ('Glaciated North Atlantic Margins') which is

  12. Abbot Ice Shelf, structure of the Amundsen Sea continental margin and the southern boundary of the Bellingshausen Plate seaward of West Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Cochran, James R; Tinto, Kirsty J; Bell, Robin E

    2015-01-01

    Inversion of NASA Operation IceBridge airborne gravity over the Abbot Ice Shelf in West Antarctica for subice bathymetry defines an extensional terrain made up of east-west trending rift basins formed during the early stages of Antarctica/Zealandia rifting. Extension is minor, as rifting jumped north of Thurston Island early in the rifting process. The Amundsen Sea Embayment continental shelf west of the rifted terrain is underlain by a deeper, more extensive sedimentary basin also formed during rifting between Antarctica and Zealandia. A well-defined boundary zone separates the mildly extended Abbot extensional terrain from the deeper Amundsen Embayment shelf basin. The shelf basin has an extension factor, β, of 1.5–1.7 with 80–100 km of extension occurring across an area now 250 km wide. Following this extension, rifting centered north of the present shelf edge and proceeded to continental rupture. Since then, the Amundsen Embayment continental shelf appears to have been tectonically quiescent and shaped by subsidence, sedimentation, and the advance and retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The Bellingshausen Plate was located seaward of the Amundsen Sea margin prior to incorporation into the Antarctic Plate at about 62 Ma. During the latter part of its independent existence, Bellingshausen plate motion had a clockwise rotational component relative to Antarctica producing convergence across the north-south trending Bellingshausen Gravity Anomaly structure at 94°W and compressive deformation on the continental slope between 94°W and 102°W. Farther west, the relative motion was extensional along an east-west trending zone occupied by the Marie Byrd Seamounts. Key Points: Abbot Ice Shelf is underlain by E-W rift basins created at ∼90 Ma Amundsen shelf shaped by subsidence, sedimentation, and passage of the ice sheet Bellingshausen plate boundary is located near the base of continental slope and rise PMID:26709352

  13. Reconstructing the last British-Irish Ice Sheet from continental shelf records: initial results from BRITICE-CHRONO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Cofaigh, Colm; Benetti, Sara; Callard, S. Louise; Chiverell, Richard; Clark, Chris D.; Livingstone, Stephen; Praeg, Daniel; Saher, Margot; Scourse, James; van Landeghem, Katrien

    2015-04-01

    BRITICE-CHRONO is a large UK NERC-funded project that aims to constrain the timing and rate of retreat of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS). Although the pattern of ice sheet retreat is reasonably well established the retreat chronology remains poorly constrained for many areas, particularly offshore. In BRITICE-CHRONO marine and terrestrial samples are being collected for dating along a series of 8 transects extending from the continental shelf edge to a few tens of kilometres onshore. The transects will yield over 800 new dates, which will be combined with existing age and landform information to undertake an ice-sheet wide empirical reconstruction of the demise of the BIIS as it underwent the transition from marine-terminating margins to being entirely land-based. This talk will present an overview of the project and highlight some of the key scientific findings from the first of two research cruises that form a central part of the project. Cruise JC106 of the RRS James Cook took place in 2014 and circumnavigated Ireland, surveying and sampling in the Celtic Sea, Irish Sea, Malin Sea, Donegal Bay and the shelf offshore of western Ireland, including the Porcupine Bank. During the 38 day cruise over 220 cores were collected as well as extensive geophysical datasets (sub-bottom profiles and swath bathymetry). Analysis of these data is now underway and is yielding important new insights into the extent, retreat style, chronology and depositional environments associated with the BIIS during and following the Last Glacial Maximum. A second cruise, planned for the summer 2015, will survey and sample the continental shelf north of Scotland and the North Sea.

  14. Examination Of A Strong Downslope Warming Wind Event Over The Larsen Ice Shelf In Antarctica Through Modeling And Aircraft Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosvenor, D. P.; Choularton, T. W.; Gallagher, M. W.; Lachlan-Cope, T. A.; King, J. C.

    2009-12-01

    The high mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) provide a climatic barrier between the west and east. The east side is generally blocked from the warmer oceanic air of the west and is consequently usually under the influence of colder continental air. On occasion, however, air from the west can cross the barrier in the form of strong winds travelling down the eastern slopes, which are also very warm and dry due to adiabatic descent. They penetrate onto the Larsen ice shelves where they lead to above zero surface temperatures and are therefore likely to encourage surface melting. Crevasse propagation due to the weight of accumulated meltwater is currently thought to have been the major factor in causing the near total disintegration of the Larsen B ice shelf in 2002. In January 2006 the British Antarctic Survey performed an aircraft flight over the Larsen C ice shelf on the east side of the AP, which sampled a strong downslope wind event. Surface flux measurements over the ice shelf suggest that the sensible heat provided by the warm jets would be likely to be negated by latent heat losses from ice ablation. The main cause of any ice melting was likely to be due to shortwave radiation input. However, the warming from the jets is still likely to be important by acting as an on/off control for melting by keeping air temperatures above zero. In addition, the dryness of the winds is likely to prevent cloud cover and thus maximize exposure of the ice shelf to solar energy input. This case study has been modeled using the WRF mesoscale model. The model reproduces the strong downslope winds seen by the aircraft with good comparisons of wind speed and temperature profiles through the wind jets. Further comparisons to surface station data have allowed progress towards achieving the best set up of the model for this case. The modeling agrees with the results of the aircraft study in suggesting that solar radiation input is likely to provide the largest amount of energy for

  15. Preliminary ice shelf-ocean simulation results from idealized standalone-ocean and coupled model intercomparison projects (MIPs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asay-Davis, Xylar; Martin, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    The second Ice Shelf-Ocean MIP (ISOMIP+) and the first Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean MIP (MISOMIP1) prescribe a set of idealized experiments for ocean models with ice-shelf cavities and coupled ice sheet-ocean models, respectively. ISOMIP+ and MISOMIP1 were designed together with the third Marine Ice Sheet MIP (MISMIP+) with three main goals, namely that the MIPs should provide: a controlled forum for researchers to compare their model results with those from other models during model development. a path for testing components in the process of developing coupled ice sheet-ocean models. a basic setup from which a large variety of parameter and process studies can usefully be performed. The experimental design for the three MIPs is currently under review in Geoscientific Model Development (Asay-Davis et al. 2015, doi:10.5194/gmdd-8-9859-2015). We present preliminary results from ISOMIP+ and MISOMIP1 experiments using several ocean-only and coupled ice sheet-ocean models. Among ocean models, we show that differences in model behavior are significant enough that similar results can only be achieved by tuning model parameters (e.g. boundary-layer transfer coefficients, drag coefficients, vertical mixing parameterizations) for each models. This tuning is constrained by a desired mean melt rate in quasi-steady state under specified forcing conditions, akin to how models would be tuned based on observations for non-idealized simulations. We also present a number of parameter studies based the MIP experiments. Again, using several models, we show that melt rates respond sub-linearly to both changes in the square root of the drag coefficient and the heat-transfer coefficient, and that melting is relatively insensitive to horizontal-mixing coefficients (perhaps because the resolution is sufficient to permit eddies) but more sensitive to vertical-mixing coefficients. We show that the choice of the equation of state (linear or nonlinear) does not have a significant impact as long as

  16. Seismic Stratigraphy of Ice Sheet Advance-Retreat Cycles on the Sabrina Coast Continental Shelf, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frederick, B. C.; Gulick, S. P. S.; Saustrup, S.; Fernandez-Vasquez, R. A.; Domack, E. W.; Lavoie, C.; Blankenship, D. D.; Leventer, A.; Shevenell, A.

    2014-12-01

    2D multichannel seismic (MCS), multibeam and CHIRP data were collected as part of the recent R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer (NBP1402) cruise to investigate the marine record of cryosphere-ocean dynamics on the continental shelf between the Dalton Ice Tongue and Totten Glacier systems. Outlet glaciers and ice shelves along this coastline drain a catchment area extending across the Aurora Subglacial Basin (ASB) whose topography lies below sea level and contains an ice volume of approximately 6.9m of sea level rise equivalent. Analysis of over 750km of high-resolution MCS data has revealed the preservation of extensive tilted fluvial-deltaic shelf sedimentation and the first evidence of polythermal glacial advance in this region with well-preserved subglacial meltwater channels and tunnel valley systems. This expansive fluvial to glacial sedimentary section is separated by a regional unconformity from a series of irregular, localized unconformities preserved in an otherwise seismically transparent facies. We interpret these transparent facies as subglacial diamictites deposited over several glacial cycles. Detailed seismic stratigraphic analysis of the glacial sequences above the regional unconformity identified at least 4 glacial cycles illustrated by grounding zone wedge moraine deposits recorded in both MCS and multibeam bathymetric data. Distinct differences were evident in the stratigraphic architecture of polar versus polythermal glaciations including greater preservation of till deposits above the regional unconformity proximal to the exposed bedrock boundary and the present-day ice front. Sedimentary sequence preservation here appears dictated by the geometry of local ice advance and allied basement structure controls. Integration of marine geology, high resolution CHIRP and multibeam bathymetry data with MCS sequence geometry and acoustic facies mapping has led to improved constraints on rates, styles and patterns of glacial retreat. Such improvements to deformable

  17. The impact of ice shelf - iceberg coupling on the North Atlantic Ocean in a global climate model of intermediate complexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bugelmayer, M.; Roche, D. M.; Renssen, H.

    2012-04-01

    The influence of icebergs on the climate system is well known. On the one hand they act as a source of fresh water and on the other hand icebergs are a sink of latent heat. As a consequence icebergs clearly affect the ocean stratification and the formation of sea ice. The influence of icebergs on the climate system is especially important during so - called Heinrich events, which were periods with huge armadas of icebergs during the glacial climate. So far, icebergs have mostly been parameterized in global climate models as freshwater and heat fluxes. More recently, an iceberg module was used to generate bergs at specific locations. In this study a version of the Earth System Model of Intermediate Complexity, LOVECLIM, that includes a 3D dynamic - thermodynamic iceberg module (Jongma et al, 2008) is coupled to the Grenoble model for ice shelves and land ice (GRISLI, Ritz et al, 1997; 2001). Therefore, the icebergs are generated according to the amount of mass loss at the calving sites of GRISLI. The ice shelf model itself depends on the precipitation and temperature that is calculated by LOVECLIM. The calving rate of GRISLI is given back to the dynamic iceberg module in the form of an ice volume flux. The volume flux is taken to generate icebergs according to the size and mass distribution of Bigg et al. (1997). These bergs are then released at the same locations as the calving took place. In the present study we analyse the effect of moving icebergs on sea surface temperature, salinity and convection in comparison to an experiment where the ice volume that is lost by calving is given to the ocean directly as a freshwater flux at the calving site. Moreover, the influence of the start position of the icebergs on their tracks and on the ocean is investigated as we examine the differences between a model run using prescribed locations and the model run with the coupled ice shelf - iceberg model. All the experiments are done under preindustrial forcing.

  18. Long-term record of Barents Sea Ice Sheet advance to the shelf edge from a 140,000 year record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pope, Ed L.; Talling, Peter J.; Hunt, James E.; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Allin, Joshua R.; Cartigny, Matthieu J. B.; Long, David; Mozzato, Alessandro; Stanford, Jennifer D.; Tappin, David R.; Watts, Millie

    2016-10-01

    The full-glacial extent and deglacial behaviour of marine-based ice sheets, such as the Barents Sea Ice Sheet, is well documented since the Last Glacial Maximum about 20,000 years ago. However, reworking of older sea-floor sediments and landforms during repeated Quaternary advances across the shelf typically obscures their longer-term behaviour, which hampers our understanding. Here, we provide the first detailed long-term record of Barents Sea Ice Sheet advances, using the timing of debris-flows on the Bear Island Trough-Mouth Fan. Ice advanced to the shelf edge during four distinct periods over the last 140,000 years. By far the largest sediment volumes were delivered during the oldest advance more than 128,000 years ago. Later advances occurred from 68,000 to 60,000, 39,400 to 36,000 and 26,000 to 20,900 years before present. The debris-flows indicate that the dynamics of the Saalian and the Weichselian Barents Sea Ice Sheet were very different. The repeated ice advance and retreat cycles during the Weichselian were shorter lived than those seen in the Saalian. Sediment composition shows the configuration of the ice sheet was also different between the two glacial periods, implying that the ice feeding the Bear Island Ice stream came predominantly from Scandinavia during the Saalian, whilst it drained more ice from east of Svalbard during the Weichselian.

  19. The East Siberian Arctic Shelf: towards further assessment of permafrost-related methane fluxes and role of sea ice.

    PubMed

    Shakhova, Natalia; Semiletov, Igor; Sergienko, Valentin; Lobkovsky, Leopold; Yusupov, Vladimir; Salyuk, Anatoly; Salomatin, Alexander; Chernykh, Denis; Kosmach, Denis; Panteleev, Gleb; Nicolsky, Dmitry; Samarkin, Vladimir; Joye, Samantha; Charkin, Alexander; Dudarev, Oleg; Meluzov, Alexander; Gustafsson, Orjan

    2015-10-13

    Sustained release of methane (CH(4)) to the atmosphere from thawing Arctic permafrost may be a positive and significant feedback to climate warming. Atmospheric venting of CH(4) from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) was recently reported to be on par with flux from the Arctic tundra; however, the future scale of these releases remains unclear. Here, based on results of our latest observations, we show that CH(4) emissions from this shelf are likely to be determined by the state of subsea permafrost degradation. We observed CH(4) emissions from two previously understudied areas of the ESAS: the outer shelf, where subsea permafrost is predicted to be discontinuous or mostly degraded due to long submergence by seawater, and the near shore area, where deep/open taliks presumably form due to combined heating effects of seawater, river run-off, geothermal flux and pre-existing thermokarst. CH(4) emissions from these areas emerge from largely thawed sediments via strong flare-like ebullition, producing fluxes that are orders of magnitude greater than fluxes observed in background areas underlain by largely frozen sediments. We suggest that progression of subsea permafrost thawing and decrease in ice extent could result in a significant increase in CH(4) emissions from the ESAS. PMID:26347539

  20. The East Siberian Arctic Shelf: towards further assessment of permafrost-related methane fluxes and role of sea ice.

    PubMed

    Shakhova, Natalia; Semiletov, Igor; Sergienko, Valentin; Lobkovsky, Leopold; Yusupov, Vladimir; Salyuk, Anatoly; Salomatin, Alexander; Chernykh, Denis; Kosmach, Denis; Panteleev, Gleb; Nicolsky, Dmitry; Samarkin, Vladimir; Joye, Samantha; Charkin, Alexander; Dudarev, Oleg; Meluzov, Alexander; Gustafsson, Orjan

    2015-10-13

    Sustained release of methane (CH(4)) to the atmosphere from thawing Arctic permafrost may be a positive and significant feedback to climate warming. Atmospheric venting of CH(4) from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) was recently reported to be on par with flux from the Arctic tundra; however, the future scale of these releases remains unclear. Here, based on results of our latest observations, we show that CH(4) emissions from this shelf are likely to be determined by the state of subsea permafrost degradation. We observed CH(4) emissions from two previously understudied areas of the ESAS: the outer shelf, where subsea permafrost is predicted to be discontinuous or mostly degraded due to long submergence by seawater, and the near shore area, where deep/open taliks presumably form due to combined heating effects of seawater, river run-off, geothermal flux and pre-existing thermokarst. CH(4) emissions from these areas emerge from largely thawed sediments via strong flare-like ebullition, producing fluxes that are orders of magnitude greater than fluxes observed in background areas underlain by largely frozen sediments. We suggest that progression of subsea permafrost thawing and decrease in ice extent could result in a significant increase in CH(4) emissions from the ESAS.

  1. The East Siberian Arctic Shelf: towards further assessment of permafrost-related methane fluxes and role of sea ice

    PubMed Central

    Shakhova, Natalia; Semiletov, Igor; Sergienko, Valentin; Lobkovsky, Leopold; Yusupov, Vladimir; Salyuk, Anatoly; Salomatin, Alexander; Chernykh, Denis; Kosmach, Denis; Panteleev, Gleb; Nicolsky, Dmitry; Samarkin, Vladimir; Joye, Samantha; Charkin, Alexander; Dudarev, Oleg; Meluzov, Alexander; Gustafsson, Orjan

    2015-01-01

    Sustained release of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere from thawing Arctic permafrost may be a positive and significant feedback to climate warming. Atmospheric venting of CH4 from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) was recently reported to be on par with flux from the Arctic tundra; however, the future scale of these releases remains unclear. Here, based on results of our latest observations, we show that CH4 emissions from this shelf are likely to be determined by the state of subsea permafrost degradation. We observed CH4 emissions from two previously understudied areas of the ESAS: the outer shelf, where subsea permafrost is predicted to be discontinuous or mostly degraded due to long submergence by seawater, and the near shore area, where deep/open taliks presumably form due to combined heating effects of seawater, river run-off, geothermal flux and pre-existing thermokarst. CH4 emissions from these areas emerge from largely thawed sediments via strong flare-like ebullition, producing fluxes that are orders of magnitude greater than fluxes observed in background areas underlain by largely frozen sediments. We suggest that progression of subsea permafrost thawing and decrease in ice extent could result in a significant increase in CH4 emissions from the ESAS. PMID:26347539

  2. Totten Glacier, East Antarctica: How has ocean access to the ice shelf cavity shaped local elevation change patterns?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenbaum, J. S.; Young, D. A.; Roberts, J. L.; Richter, T.; Warner, R. C.; van Ommen, T. D.; Siegert, M. J.; Blankenship, D. D.

    2013-12-01

    Totten Glacier has the largest outflow of any glacier in East Antarctica and is in mass deficit despite 40 years of anomalously high snowfall. As a result, the glacier and its floating terminus have been the focus of several geophysical studies over the last decade. In particular, the international collaborative ICECAP Project has acquired over 10,000 line-kilometers of aerogeophysical data from the grounding zone over the floating terminus and onto the inner continental shelf. Several flights in 2010 and 2012 were focused on continuing the time series of surface elevation change conducted by the ICESAT mission that ended in 2009 while other flights were flown to map the subglacial context for the observed elevation change and to determine the broad scale bathymetry beneath the ice shelf and nearby sea ice using airborne gravimetry. The gravimetry experiment was expanded in 2012 with an advanced, three-axis stabilized GT-1A gravimeter which significantly improved both data coverage and quality over previous ICECAP seasons. With the new gravimeter installed, five-km spaced coast parallel survey lines were flown from the lower reaches of the cavity to about 100km seaward of the terminus to infer the presence of sills and potential warm water pathways from the continental shelf to the deep glacier cavity. Here we present updated elevation change measurements in the context of the new bathymetry information and show that ocean access to the cavity is complicated by high bedrock near the terminus of the glacier. Verification of warm water intrusion potential will require new oceanographic observations such as those planned for the collaborative US-Australian marine survey scheduled to sail on the NB Palmer in February 2014.

  3. Inland diatoms from the McMurdo Dry Valleys and James Ross Island, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Esposito, R.M.M.; Spaulding, S.A.; McKnight, Diane M.; Van De Vijver, B.; Kopalova, K.; Lubinski, D.; Hall, B.; Whittaker, T.

    2008-01-01

    Diatom taxa present in the inland streams and lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys and James Ross Island, Antarctica, are presented in this paper. A total of nine taxa are illustrated, with descriptions of four new species (Luticola austroatlantica sp. nov., Luticola dolia sp. nov., Luticola laeta sp. nov., Muelleria supra sp. nov.). In the perennially ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, diatoms are confined to benthic mats within the photic zone. In streams, diatoms are attached to benthic surfaces and within the microbial mat matrix. One species, L. austroatlantica, is found on James Ross Island, of the southern Atlantic archipelago, and the McMurdo Dry Valleys. The McMurdo Dry Valley populations are at the lower range of the size spectrum for the species. Streams flow for 6-10 weeks during the austral summer, when temperatures and solar radiation allow glacial ice to melt. The diatom flora of the region is characterized by species assemblages favored under harsh conditions, with naviculoid taxa as the dominant group and several major diatom groups conspicuously absent. ?? 2008 NRC.

  4. The examination of a downslope warming wind event over the Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica through modeling and aircraft observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosvenor, Daniel; Choularton, Thomas; King, John; Lachlan-Cope, Thomas

    2010-05-01

    During the last 50-60 years temperatures over the Antarctic Peninsula region have increased more rapidly than anywhere else in the southern hemisphere, at several times the global average rate. At one station, the near-surface warming between 1951 and 2004 was 2.94 oC compared to a global average of 0.52 oC. However, the seasonal pattern of this regional warming has varied with location, with the east side having warmed more than the west in the autumn and summer seasons. This is important since the process of surface melting on the Larsen ice shelves, which are located on the east side, predominately occurs in summer. Crevasse propagation due to the weight of accumulated melt water is currently thought to have been the major factor in causing the catastrophic near-total disintegration of the Larsen B ice shelf in 2002, representing a loss of ice of area 3200 km2. The larger and more southerly Larsen C ice shelf could also suffer a similar fate if the warming continues, with consequences for the ecology and for increased glacier flow, leading to sea level rise. The difference in warming between the east and west side in these seasons is thought to have been driven by circulation changes that have led to increases in the strength of westerly winds. The high mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula provide a climatic barrier between the warmer oceanic air of the west and the cold continental air of the east. It has been suggested that increased westerlies allow warm winds to cross to the east side more frequently. The warming of westerly flow can also be enhanced by latent heat release on the upslope side and/or adiabatic descent of air from above, on the downslope side. In January 2006 the British Antarctic Survey performed an aircraft flight over the Larsen C ice shelf on the east side of the Peninsula, which sampled a strong downslope warming wind event. Surface flux measurements over the ice shelf suggest that the sensible heat provided by the warm jets would be

  5. Episodic warming of near-bottom waters under the Arctic sea ice on the central Laptev Sea shelf: observations, explanations, and implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janout, Markus; Hölemann, Jens; Juhls, Bennet; Krumpen, Thomas; Rabe, Benjamin; Bauch, Dorothea; Wegner, Carolyn; Kassens, Heidi; Timokhov, Leonid

    2016-04-01

    A multi-year mooring record (2007-2014) and satellite imagery highlight the strong temperature variability and unique hydrographic nature of the Laptev Sea shelf. This Arctic shelf is the beginning of teh transpolar drift system and a key region for river discharge and sea ice formation and export, and includes submarine permafrost and methane deposits, which emphasizes the need to understand the thermal variability near the seafloor. Recent years were characterized by early ice retreat and a warming near-shore environment. However, warming was not observed on the deeper shelf until year-round under-ice measurements recorded unprecedented warm near-bottom waters of +0.6°C in winter 2012/2013, just after the Arctic sea ice extent featured a record minimum. In the Laptev Sea, early ice retreat in 2012 combined with Lena River heat and solar radiation produced anomalously warm summer surface waters, which were vertically mixed, trapped in the pycnocline, and subsequently transferred toward the bottom until the water column cooled when brine rejection eroded stratification. This presentation highlights the strong temperature variability and the dominant oceanographic processes in the Laptev Sea, as well as the role of the Lena River as a source for heat and bio-optical properties such as colored dissolved organic matter. Finally, we discuss how continuing changes in sea ice conditions may affect the thermal environment and hence the Laptev Sea ecosystem.

  6. Coastal-Change and Glaciological Map of the Northern Ross Ice Shelf Area, Antarctica: 1962-2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ferrigno, Jane G.; Foley, Kevin M.; Swithinbank, Charles; Williams, Richard S.

    2007-01-01

    Changes in the area and volume of polar ice sheets are intricately linked to changes in global climate, and the resulting changes in sea level could severely impact the densely populated coastal regions on Earth. Melting of the West Antarctic part alone of the Antarctic ice sheet would cause a sea-level rise of approximately 6 meters (m). The potential sea-level rise after melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet is estimated to be 65 m (Lythe and others, 2001) to 73 m (Williams and Hall, 1993). The mass balance (the net volumetric gain or loss) of the Antarctic ice sheet is highly complex, responding differently to different conditions in each region (Vaughan, 2005). In a review paper, Rignot and Thomas (2002) concluded that the West Antarctic ice sheet is probably becoming thinner overall; although it is thickening in the west, it is thinning in the north. Thomas and others (2004), on the basis of aircraft and satellite laser altimetry surveys, believe the thinning may be accelerating. Joughin and Tulaczyk (2002), on the basis of analysis of ice-flow velocities derived from synthetic aperture radar, concluded that most of the Ross ice streams (ice streams on the east side of the Ross Ice Shelf) have a positive mass balance, whereas Rignot and others (2004) infer even larger negative mass balance for glaciers flowing northward into the Amundsen Sea, a trend suggested by Swithinbank and others (2003a,b; 2004). The mass balance of the East Antarctic ice sheet is thought by Davis and others (2005) to be strongly positive on the basis of the change in satellite altimetry measurements made between 1992 and 2003. Measurement of changes in area and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet was given a very high priority in recommendations by the Polar Research Board of the National Research Council (1986), in subsequent recommendations by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) (1989, 1993), and by the National Science Foundation?s (1990) Division of Polar

  7. Abundance, Distribution and Cycling of Organic Carbon and Nitrogen in University Valley (McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica) Permafrost Soils with Differing Ground Thermal and Moisture Conditions: Analogue to C-N Cycle on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faucher, B. F.; Lacelle, D. L.; Davila, A. D.; Pollard, W. P.; McKay, C. P. M.

    2016-05-01

    High elevation McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are key Mars analogue sites. Our investigation focuses on the link between ground ice origin, distribution and cycling of organic carbon and nitrogen in University Valley, and its soil habitability.

  8. Glacial landforms on German Bank, Scotian Shelf: evidence for Late Wisconsinan ice-sheet dynamics and implications for the formation of De Geer moraines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Todd, Brian J.; Valentine, Page C.; Longva, Oddvar; Shaw, John

    2007-01-01

    The extent and behaviour of the southeast margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in Atlantic Canada is of significance in the study of Late Wisconsinan ice sheet-ocean interactions. Multibeam sonar imagery of subglacial, ice-marginal and glaciomarine landforms on German Bank, Scotian Shelf, provides evidence of the pattern of glacial-dynamic events in the eastern Gulf of Maine. Northwest-southeast trending drumlins and megaflutes dominate northern German Bank. On southern German Bank, megaflutes of thin glacial deposits create a distinct northwest-southeast grain. Lobate regional moraines (>10km long) are concave to the northwest, up-ice direction and strike southwest-northeast, normal to the direction of ice flow. Ubiquitous, overlying De Geer moraines (

  9. Sedimentology and chronology of the advance and retreat of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet on the continental shelf west of Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, Jared L.; Benetti, Sara; Dunlop, Paul; Ó Cofaigh, Colm; Moreton, Steven G.; Wheeler, Andrew J.; Clark, Christopher D.

    2016-05-01

    The last British-Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) had extensive marine-terminating margins and was drained by multiple large ice streams and is thus a useful analogue for marine-based areas of modern ice sheets. However, despite recent advances from investigating the offshore record of the BIIS, the dynamic history of its marine margins, which would have been sensitive to external forcing(s), remain inadequately understood. This study is the first reconstruction of the retreat dynamics and chronology of the western, marine-terminating, margin of the last (Late Midlandian) BIIS. Analyses of shelf geomorphology and core sedimentology and chronology enable a reconstruction of the Late Midlandian history of the BIIS west of Ireland, from initial advance to final retreat onshore. Five AMS radiocarbon dates from marine cores constrain the timing of retreat and associated readvances during deglaciation. The BIIS advanced without streaming or surging, depositing a bed of highly consolidated subglacial traction till, and reached to within ∼20 km of the shelf break by ∼24,000 Cal BP. Ice margin retreat was likely preceded by thinning, grounding zone retreat and ice shelf formation on the outer shelf by ∼22,000 Cal BP. This ice shelf persisted for ≤2500 years, while retreating at a minimum rate of ∼24 m/yr and buttressing a >150-km long, 20-km wide, bathymetrically-controlled grounding zone. A large (∼150 km long), arcuate, flat-topped grounding-zone wedge, termed here the Galway Lobe Grounding-Zone Wedge (GLGZW), was deposited below this ice shelf and records a significant stillstand in BIIS retreat. Geomorphic relationships indicate that the BIIS experienced continued thinning during its retreat across the shelf, which led to increased topographic influence on its flow dynamics following ice shelf break up and grounding zone retreat past the GLGZW. At this stage of retreat the western BIIS was comprised of several discrete, asynchronous lobes that underwent several

  10. Electric Vehicle Performance at McMurdo Station (Antarctica) and Comparison with McMurdo Station Conventional Vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Sears, T.; Lammert, M.; Colby, K.; Walter, R.

    2014-09-01

    This report examines the performance of two electric vehicles (EVs) at McMurdo, Antarctica (McMurdo). The study examined the performance of two e-ride Industries EVs initially delivered to McMurdo on February 16, 2011, and compared their performance and fuel use with that of conventional vehicles that have a duty cycle similar to that of the EVs used at McMurdo.

  11. Subglacial bathymetry and sediment distribution beneath Pine Island Glacier ice shelf modeled using aerogravity and in situ geophysical data: New results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muto, Atsuhiro; Peters, Leo E.; Gohl, Karsten; Sasgen, Ingo; Alley, Richard B.; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar; Riverman, Kiya L.

    2016-01-01

    Pine Island Glacier (PIG) in the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is losing mass and contributing to global sea-level rise at an accelerating rate. Although recent observations and modeling have identified the incursion of relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) beneath the PIG ice shelf (PIGIS) as the main driver of this ice-mass loss, the lack of precise bathymetry limits furthering our understanding of the ice-ocean interactions and improving the accuracy of modeling. Here we present updated bathymetry and sediment distribution beneath the PIGIS, modeled by the inversion of aerogravity data with constraints from active-source seismic data, observations from an autonomous underwater vehicle, and the regional gravity-anomaly field derived from satellite gravity observations. Modeled bathymetry shows a submarine ridge beneath the middle of PIGIS that rises ∼350 to 400 m above the surrounding sea floor, with a minimum water-column thickness of ∼200 m above it. This submarine ridge continues across the whole width of the 45-km wide ice shelf, with no deep troughs crossing it, confirming the general features of the previously predicted sub-ice-shelf ocean circulation. However, the relatively low resolution of the aerogravity data and limitations in our inversion method leave a possibility that there is an undetected, few-kilometers-wide or narrower trough that may alter the predicted sub-ice-shelf ocean circulation. Modeled sediment distribution indicates a sedimentary basin of up to ∼800 m thick near the current grounding zone of the main PIG trunk and extending farther inland, and a region seaward of the submarine ridge where sediments are thin or absent with exposed crystalline basement that extends seaward into Pine Island Bay. Therefore, the submarine ridge marks the transition from a thick sedimentary basin providing a smooth interface over which ice could flow easily by sliding or sediment deformation, to a region with no to

  12. Coastal-Change and Glaciological Map of the Larsen Ice Shelf Area, Antarctica, 1940-2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ferrigno, Jane G.; Cook, Alison J.; Mathie, Amy M.; Williams, Richard S.; Swithinbank, Charles; Foley, Kevin M.; Fox, Adrian J.; Thomson, Janet W.; Sievers, Jorn

    2008-01-01

    Changes in the area and volume of polar ice sheets are intricately linked to changes in global climate, and the resulting changes in sea level could severely impact the densely populated coastal regions on Earth. Antarctica is Earth's largest reservoir of glacial ice. Melting of the West Antarctic part alone of the Antarctic ice sheet would cause a sea-level rise of approximately 6 meters (m), and the potential sea-level rise after melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet is estimated to be 65 m (Lythe and others, 2001) to 73 m (Williams and Hall, 1993). The mass balance (the net volumetric gain or loss) of the Antarctic ice sheet is highly complex, responding differently to different climatic and other conditions in each region (Vaughan, 2005). In a review paper, Rignot and Thomas (2002) concluded that the West Antarctic ice sheet is probably becoming thinner overall; although it is known to be thickening in the west, it is thinning in the north. The mass balance of the East Antarctic ice sheet is thought by Davis and others (2005) to be positive on the basis of the change in satellite-altimetry measurements made between 1992 and 2003. Measurement of changes in area and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet was given a very high priority in recommendations by the Polar Research Board of the National Research Council (1986), in subsequent recommendations by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) (1989, 1993), and by the National Science Foundation's (1990) Division of Polar Programs. On the basis of these recommendations, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) decided that the archive of early 1970s Landsat 1, 2, and 3 Multispectral Scanner (MSS) images of Antarctica and the subsequent repeat coverage made possible with Landsat and other satellite images provided an excellent means of documenting changes in the cryospheric coastline of Antarctica (Ferrigno and Gould, 1987). The availability of this information provided the impetus for carrying out a

  13. Abbot Ice Shelf, structure of the Amundsen Sea continental margin and the southern boundary of the Bellingshausen Plate seaward of West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, James R.; Tinto, Kirsty J.; Bell, Robin E.

    2015-05-01

    Inversion of NASA Operation IceBridge airborne gravity over the Abbot Ice Shelf in West Antarctica for subice bathymetry defines an extensional terrain made up of east-west trending rift basins formed during the early stages of Antarctica/Zealandia rifting. Extension is minor, as rifting jumped north of Thurston Island early in the rifting process. The Amundsen Sea Embayment continental shelf west of the rifted terrain is underlain by a deeper, more extensive sedimentary basin also formed during rifting between Antarctica and Zealandia. A well-defined boundary zone separates the mildly extended Abbot extensional terrain from the deeper Amundsen Embayment shelf basin. The shelf basin has an extension factor, β, of 1.5-1.7 with 80-100 km of extension occurring across an area now 250 km wide. Following this extension, rifting centered north of the present shelf edge and proceeded to continental rupture. Since then, the Amundsen Embayment continental shelf appears to have been tectonically quiescent and shaped by subsidence, sedimentation, and the advance and retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The Bellingshausen Plate was located seaward of the Amundsen Sea margin prior to incorporation into the Antarctic Plate at about 62 Ma. During the latter part of its independent existence, Bellingshausen plate motion had a clockwise rotational component relative to Antarctica producing convergence across the north-south trending Bellingshausen Gravity Anomaly structure at 94°W and compressive deformation on the continental slope between 94°W and 102°W. Farther west, the relative motion was extensional along an east-west trending zone occupied by the Marie Byrd Seamounts. The copyright line for this article was changed on 5 JUN 2015 after original online publication.

  14. Constraints on ice volume changes of the WAIS and Ross Ice Shelf since the LGM based on cosmogenic exposure ages in the Darwin-Hatherton glacial system of the Transantarctic Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fink, David; Storey, Bryan; Hood, David; Joy, Kurt; Shulmeister, James

    2010-05-01

    Quantitative assessment of the spatial and temporal scale of ice volume change of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) and Ross Ice Shelf since the last glacial maximum (LGM) ~20 ka is essential to accurately predict ice sheet response to current and future climate change. Although global sea level rose by approximately 120 metres since the LGM, the contribution of polar ice sheets is uncertain and the timing of any such contribution is controversial. Mackintosh et al (2007) suggest that sectors of the EAIS, similar to those studied at Framnes Mountains where the ice sheet slowly calves at coastal margins, have made marginal contributions to global sea-level rise between 13 and 7 ka. In contrast, Stone et al (2003) document continuing WAIS decay during the mid-late Holocene, raising the question of what was the response of the WAIS since LGM and into the Holocene. Terrestrial evidence is restricted to sparse coastal oasis and ice free mountains which archive limits of former ice advances. Mountain ranges flanking the Darwin-Hatherton glaciers exhibit well-defined moraines, weathering signatures, boulder rich plateaus and glacial tills, which preserve the evidence of advance and retreat of the ice sheet during previous glacial cycles. Previous studies suggest a WAIS at the LGM in this location to be at least 1,000 meters thicker than today. As part of the New Zealand Latitudinal Gradient Project along the Transantarctic, we collected samples for cosmogenic exposure dating at a) Lake Wellman area bordering the Hatherton Glacier, (b) Roadend Nunatak at the confluence of the Darwin and Hatherton glaciers and (c) Diamond Hill which is positioned at the intersection of the Ross Ice Shelf and Darwin Glacier outlet. While the technique of exposure dating is very successful in mid-latitude alpine glacier systems, it is more challenging in polar ice-sheet regions due to the prevalence of cold-based ice over-riding events and absence of outwash processes which removes

  15. Rift in Antarctic Glacier: a Unique Chance to Study Ice Shelf Retreat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howat, Ian M.; Jezek, Ken; Studinger, Michael; Macgregor, Joseph A.; Paden, John; Floricioiu, Dana; Russell, Rob; Linkswiler, Matt; Dominguez, Roseanne T.

    2012-01-01

    It happened again, but this time it was caught in the act. During the last week of September 2011 a large transverse rift developed across thefloating terminus of West Antarcticas PineIsland Glacier, less than 5 years after its lastlarge calving event, in 2007 (Figure 1). PineIsland Glaciers retreat has accelerated substantiallyin the past 2 decades, and it is nowlosing 50 gigatons of ice per year, or roughly 25 of Antarcticas total annual contributionto sea level rise [Rignot et al., 2008]. The glaciers recent accelerated retreat is likely triggered by ocean warming and increased submarine melting. As such, it is of significant interest to glaciologists and of heightened societal relevance.

  16. Sea-ice distribution and primary production on the East Greenland Shelf and the NW Fram Strait - a high resolution study of the last 5.2 ka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolling, Henriette Marie; Stein, Ruediger; Fahl, Kirsten

    2015-04-01

    Over the last decades, the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has changed dramatically and much more rapidly than predicted by climate models. Based on this alarming observation, the reconstruction of natural variability of past sea-ice cover and its forcing became a major focus of international scientific research. Here, we present a high-resolution biomarker approach over the last 4 ka from the East Greenland Shelf to investigate the interrelationship between sea-ice cover, meltwater/freshwater discharge and primary productivity. The phytoplankton-derived sea-ice proxy IP25 (Belt et al., 2007) points to a late Holocene cooling trend initiated around 1.5 ka which is interrupted by a period of reduced sea-ice cover centred around 1 ka. The latter might be related to the well known Medieval Warm Period. Our new results from the East Greenland Shelf will be compared with similar records from the Fram Strait area published by Müller et al., (2012). These data give information about differences and/or similarities of sea-ice variability and changes in productivity in the area influenced by the cold East Greenland Current and the warm Westspitsbergen Current, respectively. First data suggest a time lag of the Neoglacial cooling between western (Greenland side) and eastern (Westspitsbergen-side) of Fram Strait, as also proposed by Müller et al. (2012). References Belt., S.T., Massé, G., Rowland, S.J., Poulin, M., Michel, C., LeBlanc, B., 2007. A novel chemical fossil of paleo sea ice: IP25. Organic Geochemistry 38, 16-27 Müller, J., Werner, K., Stein, R., Fahl, K., Moros, M., Jansen, E., 2012. Holocene cooling culminates in sea ice oscillations in Fram Strait. Quaternay Science Reviews 47, 1-14

  17. High-Resolution Reconstruction of Late Holocene Sea-ice Distribution and Primary Production on the East Greenland Shelf and the NW Fram Strait.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, R. H.; Kolling, H. M.; Fahl, K.

    2014-12-01

    Over the last decades, the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has changed dramatically and much more rapidly than predicted by climate models. Based on this alarming observation, the reconstruction of natural variability of past sea-ice cover and its forcing became a major focus of international scientific research. Here, we present a high-resolution biomarker approach over the last 4 ka from the East Greenland Shelf to investigate the interrelationship between sea-ice cover, meltwater/freshwater discharge and primary productivity. The phytoplankton-derived sea-ice proxy IP25 (Belt et al., 2007) points to a late Holocene cooling trend initiated around 1.5 ka which is interrupted by a period of reduced sea-ice cover centred around 1 ka. The latter might be related to the well known Medieval Warm Period. Our new results from the East Greenland Shelf will be compared with similar records from the Fram Strait area published by Müller et al., (2012). These data give information about differences and/or similarities of sea-ice variability and changes in productivity in the area influenced by the cold East Greenland Current and the warm Westspitsbergen Current, respectively. First data suggest a time lag of the Neoglacial cooling between western (Greenland side) and eastern (Westspitsbergen-side) of Fram Strait, as also proposed by Müller et al. (2012). ReferencesBelt., S.T., Massé, G., Rowland, S.J., Poulin, M., Michel, C., LeBlanc, B., 2007. A novel chemical fossil of paleo sea ice: IP25. Organic Geochemistry 38, 16-27 Müller, J., Werner, K., Stein, R., Fahl, K., Moros, M., Jansen, E., 2012. Holocene cooling culminates in sea ice oscillations in Fram Strait. Quaternay Science Reviews 47, 1-14

  18. Current surges and seabed erosion near the shelf break in the Canadian Beaufort Sea: A response to wind and ice motion stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, Alexandre; Osborne, Philip D.; Curtiss, Gregory; Lowings, Malcolm G.

    2016-08-01

    Estimating the erosion potential of seabed sediments and the magnitude of the resulting suspended load in relation to current dynamics near the shelf break is a key issue for better understanding shelf-slope sediment transport. On the outer Mackenzie Shelf (Canadian Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean), a thin and discontinuous veneer of recent surficial clays overlie old glaciomarine sediments that further pinch out at the shelf edge. Gas and fluid venting is known to underlie part of sediment instability in the area, but recent mooring-based measurements also indicate that sediments near the shelf break are recurrently remobilized by strong subsurface currents. Here, we relate storms to the development of current surges that resulted in the abrupt resuspension of sediments at two locations along the shelf break. Near-bottom concentrations of suspended sediments were estimated using the acoustic backscatter of high-frequency acoustic Doppler current profilers deployed from September 2011 to September 2013 as part of the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment (BREA) program. Near-bottom currents near the shelf edge (140 to 150 m isobaths) were characterized by recurring episodes of elevated velocities (instantaneous speeds up to ~ 40-50 cm s-1) that were extensions of current surges (~ 60-80 cm s-1) occurring in the core of the shelfbreak jet located at ca. 90-120 m. Sudden peaks in suspended sediments (above 100 g m-3) corresponded closely with current surges in the near-bottom boundary layer (< 10 m) implying the local erosion of surficial sediments and the rapid advection or redeposition of the resuspended sediments. A range of apparent threshold velocities from 18 to 36 cm s-1 was calculated based on the relationship between suspended sediment concentrations and near-bottom current speeds. Two meteorological scenarios were identified to explain the current surges underlying these erosion events at the shelf edge: (1) Pacific or Arctic-born low pressure systems that

  19. Characterisation of the Nematode Community of a Low-Activity Cold Seep in the Recently Ice-Shelf Free Larsen B Area, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Hauquier, Freija; Ingels, Jeroen; Gutt, Julian; Raes, Maarten; Vanreusel, Ann

    2011-01-01

    Background Recent climate-induced ice-shelf disintegration in the Larsen A (1995) and B (2002) areas along the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula formed a unique opportunity to assess sub-ice-shelf benthic community structure and led to the discovery of unexplored habitats, including a low-activity methane seep beneath the former Larsen B ice shelf. Since both limited particle sedimentation under previously permanent ice coverage and reduced cold-seep activity are likely to influence benthic meiofauna communities, we characterised the nematode assemblage of this low-activity cold seep and compared it with other, now seasonally ice-free, Larsen A and B stations and other Antarctic shelf areas (Weddell Sea and Drake Passage), as well as cold-seep ecosystems world-wide. Principal Findings The nematode community at the Larsen B seep site differed significantly from other Antarctic sites in terms of dominant genera, diversity and abundance. Densities in the seep samples were high (>2000 individuals per 10 cm2) and showed below-surface maxima at a sediment depth of 2–3 cm in three out of four replicates. All samples were dominated by one species of the family Monhysteridae, which was identified as a Halomonhystera species that comprised between 80 and 86% of the total community. The combination of high densities, deeper density maxima and dominance of one species is shared by many cold-seep ecosystems world-wide and suggested a possible dependence upon a chemosynthetic food source. Yet stable 13C isotopic signals (ranging between −21.97±0.86‰ and −24.85±1.89‰) were indicative of a phytoplankton-derived food source. Conclusion The recent ice-shelf collapse and enhanced food input from surface phytoplankton blooms were responsible for the shift from oligotrophic pre-collapse conditions to a phytodetritus-based community with high densities and low diversity. The parthenogenetic reproduction of the highly dominant Halomonhystera species is rather unusual for marine

  20. Integrated provenance-detrital thermochronology studies in ANDRILL AND-2A drill core: first evidence of an Oligocene exhumation episode (McMurdo Sound, Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zattin, M.; Talarico, F. M.; Sandroni, S.

    2009-12-01

    An integrated investigation including provenance analysis of the gravel-fraction and detrital apatite fission-track (AFT) thermochronology on the AND-2A core provides new results to constrain the exhumation history of source regions and the reconstruction of sediment provenance models in the Ross Embayment in Late Cenozoic time. All the AFT ages, from 20 samples, evenly distributed in the uppermost 1000 m of the core, indicate that the entire succession originated from a source that exhumed in the Oligocene/Late Eocene time. In fact, most of the grains in nearly all the samples can be grouped into a youngest grain-age component (P1) in the range between 21.7 Ma and 43.4 Ma. However, most of the samples show more than one population, documenting the presence of multiple source areas in some periods of the basin history. On the other hand, the presence in some of the samples of a unique peak suggests a limited drainage system, as indicated by the petrographic data. The AFT data indicate the presence of active tectonics at the end of the Oligocene, therefore suggesting a source of sediments located along the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) south of the Dry Valleys Block, where bedrock AFT ages indicate an older (Eocene) exhumation phase. Hence, the idea of a structural segmentation of the TAM during the Cenozoic (Wilson, Glob. Plan. Change, 1999) is well supported by these data. Provenance analysis of the gravel fraction highlights significant down-core modal and compositional variations and the occurrence of two main basement clast assemblages, diagnostic of specific source regions and occurring in distinct core sections: a) including marbles, garnet micaschists and diopside schists, suggesting oscillation of "local" glaciers in the on-shore area close to the AND-2A drill site, and b) low-grade metasediments and alkaline granites, indicating oscillations of a most extensive ice sheet/shelf with a clear provenance from the Skelton-Mulock glacier area. These data agree

  1. Reconstructing Holocene conditions under ice in the Ross Sea and in the Southern Ocean using barnacles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgess, S. N.; Henderson, G. M.; Hall, B. L.

    2009-12-01

    Paleoclimate archives that capture annual and subannual resolution marine conditions outside the tropics are not common but would be highly desirable. This study demonstrates the potential of barnacles for such purposes and applies them to paleoceanographic reconstruction under the McMurdo ice shelf and in the Southern Ocean. Most of the Bathylasma samples used in this study grew in the Ross Sea and range in age between modern samples (used for calibration) and Holocene samples which were collected on the surface of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, having been entrained at the grounding line and moved through the ice by surface ablation and further basal freezing. Like other barnacles, this species secretes a robust low-Mg calcite shell with distinct growth increments on the external surface indicating growth durations of several decades. Barnacle shells were subsampled at high resolution (60 μm) for δ18O and δ13C analysis and dated by 14C. Measured δ18O values indicate that Bathylasma calcifies close to equilibrium with ambient seawater and those of old (>200kyr) samples suggest little or no diagenesis. These features make barnacles a promising archive for reconstruction of past ocean conditions. Variations in barnacle δ18O within each plate and between plates reflect changes in δ18O of the seawater, and allow some assessment of the salinity under the ice shelf. Salinities are lowered by addition of meltwaters, but the barnacle data suggest this lowering does not go below 33‰. Salinity near the grounding line shows both temporal and spatial variability. These data indicate that Bathylasma can provide valuable paleoclimate information at subannual resolution for shallow/intermediate water depths and regions such as Antarctica that play an important role in the climate system. We are now exploring this potential to investigate intermediate water conditions in the South Pacific during the last glacial using samples from seamounts on the Macquarie Ridge and south of

  2. Reconstruction of sea-ice cover and primary production on the East Greenland Shelf (73°N) during the last 5200 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolling, Henriette Marie; Stein, Rüdiger; Fahl, Kirsten; Perner, Kerstin; Moros, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    Over the last decades the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has changed dramatically and much more rapidly than predicted by climate models. Thus, high-resolution sea-ice reconstructions from pre-anthropogenic times are useful and needed in order to better understand the processes controlling the natural sea-ice variability. Here, we present the first high-resolution biomarker (IP25, sterols) approach over the last 5.2 ka from the East Greenland Shelf (for background about the biomarker approach see Belt et al., 2007; Müller et al., 2009, 2011). This area is highly sensitive to sea-ice changes, as it underlies the pathway of the East Greenland Current, the main exporter of Arctic freshwater and sea ice that affects the environmental conditions on the East Greenland Shelf and deep-water formation/ convection in the Northern North Atlantic. After rather stable sea-ice conditions in the mid-Holocene we found a strong increase in sea ice, cumulating around 1.5 ka and associated with the Neoglacial cooling. The general trend especially during the last 1ka is interrupted by several short-lived events such as the prominent Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, characterized by minimum and maximum sea-ice extent, respectively. Using a spectral analysis, we could identify several cyclicites, e.g. a 45-year cyclicity for cold events. A comparison to similar records from the eastern Fram Strait revealed a slight time lag in the onset of the Neoglacial, but also suggesting the direct link of the East Greenland Shelf area to the Arctic sea-ice/freahwater outflow. A comparison of the biomarker data with a new foraminiferal record obtained from the same site (Perner et al., 2015) suggests that IP25 and foraminifera assemblages are probably controlled by rather different processes within the oceanographic systems, such as the sea-ice conditions and, for the foraminifera, water-mass changes and nutrient supply. References: Belt. S.T., Massé, G., Rowland, S.J., Poulin, M

  3. Recurrent transitional group charnockites in the east Amery Ice Shelf coast (East Antarctica): Petrogenesis and implications on tectonic evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikhalsky, E. V.; Kamenev, I. A.

    2013-08-01

    We present new geochemical and isotopic Sm-Nd data on two transitional group charnockite generations which were emplaced within the same crustal block in the east Amery Ice Shelf coast in East Antarctica at ca. 980 Ma (Reinbolt charnockite) and ca. 500 Ma (Jennings charnockite). Thus it is the only known area in Antarctica where recurrent charnockite emplacements occurred providing a basis to trace the secular changes in charnockite composition and to put additional constraints on their nature and tectonic settings. Our data show that in spite of a prolonged time gap between the two charnockite generations their chemical and Sm-Nd isotopic compositions resemble very closely. Both generations comprise low-silica and relatively high-Fe* rocks with high TiO2, and other HFSEs. We suppose that both generations originated by partial melting of low crustal to sub-crustal mafic sources at high pressures and temperatures. However, the Cambrian Jennings charnockite has consistently higher TiO2, P2O5 and LaN/YbN arguing for their derivation from a garnet-bearing source under higher temperature conditions. The Sm-Nd data show that all charnockites irrespective of their age have very similar isotopic compositions suggestive of derivation from the same or very similar source(s), which precludes significant Sm-Nd fractionation before or during the Cambrian episode. We also present new U-Pb zircon (SHRIMP) age of ca. 980 Ma obtained for apparently undeformed charnockite from Gillock Island, which argues for essentially thermal rather than deformational nature of the subsequent (the Cambrian) episode. We conclude that at ca. 550-500 Ma this part of East Antarctica experienced thermal reworking from hypothetical mafic underplating at the base of the crust.

  4. Sedimentary processes on the NW Iberian Continental Shelf since the Little Ice Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, Virgínia; Figueira, Rubens Cesar Lopes; França, Elvis Joacir; Ferreira, Paulo Alves de Lima; Martins, Paula; Santos, José Francisco; Dias, João Alveirinho; Laut, Lazaro L. M.; Monge Soares, António M.; Silva, Eduardo Ferreira da; Rocha, Fernando

    2012-05-01

    The OMEX core CD110 W90, retrieved from the Douro Mud Patch (DMP) off the River Douro in the north of Portugal, records the period since the beginning of Little Ice Age (LIA). The core chronology is based upon the data attributes for 210Pb, 137Cs and a 14C dating from a level near the core base. Geochemical, granulometric, microfaunal (benthic foraminifera) and compositional data suggest the occurrence of precipitation changes which may have been, at least partially, influenced by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), that contributes to the regulation of the ocean-atmosphere dynamics in the North Atlantic. Southwesterly Atlantic storm track is associated with the negative phases of the NAO, when the Azores High is anomalously weak, higher oceanographic hydrodynamism, downwelling events and increased rainfall generally occurs. Prevalence of these characteristics during the LIA left a record that corresponds to phases of major floods. During these phases the DMP received a higher contribution of relatively coarse-grained terrigenous sediments, enriched in quartz particles, which diluted the contribution of other minerals, as indicated by reduced concentrations of several lithogenic chemical elements such as: Al, As, Ba, Ce, Co, Cu, Fe, K, La, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, Rb, Sc, Sn, Th, V and Y. The presence of biogenic carbonate particles also underwent dilution, as revealed by the smaller abundance of foraminifera and correlative lower concentrations of Ca and Sr. During this period, the DMP also received an increased contribution of organic matter, indicated by higher values of lignin remains and a benthic foraminifera high productivity index, or BFHP, which gave rise to early diagenetic changes with pyrite formation. Since the beginning of the 20th century this contribution diminished, probably due to several drier periods and the impact of human activities in the river basins, e.g. construction of dams, or, on the littoral areas, construction of hard

  5. Exploring Ice-Covered Waters with an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, A.; Forrest, A.; Laval, B.

    2009-12-01

    Reductions in lake- and sea-ice extent and ice-shelf collapse in both the Arctic and Antarctic are exposing underlying waters to significant increases in light and heat penetration, altering water mass properties and current dynamics. These physical changes likely drive rapid biological evolution and succession in associated marine ecosystems, influencing the biogeochemical transformation of matter and energy in previously ice-covered waters. However the unaltered, or pristine state of waters covered by thick (>3m) or moving ice is poorly understood, as these environments are largely inaccessible to investigation from the surface. Advancement of autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) technology now allows these vehicles to be utilized as platforms for polar oceanographic research, permitting exploration of previously uncharted ice-covered waters. UBC-Gavia, a 2.5 m long AUV operated out of the University of British Columbia, has been involved in several under-ice (both lake and sea) missions making it one of the few such vehicles to be successfully deployed under-ice. Results of three under-ice case studies are presented in this work: Pavilion Lake, Canada - an ice-covered temperate lake; Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland - a subarctic lake experiencing spring ice break-up; and Joliffe Bay, Lincoln Sea, Canadian High Arctic - a near shore multi- and first-year sea ice environment. The focus of each of these case studies was to examine physical processes in the water column under ice (e.g. radiatively driven convection) using a Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) profiler mounted on the front of the vehicle. In addition, various engineering lessons were acquired in order to adapt the vehicle for deployment, operation and recovery in ice-covered waters. The next phase of research will also be presented; a planned deployment of UBC-Gavia near the McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica, to map under ice structure, ice thickness and convective processes in the water column. These

  6. The McMurdo Dry Valleys: A landscape on the threshold of change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fountain, Andrew G.; Levy, Joseph S.; Gooseff, Michael N.; Van Horn, David

    2014-11-01

    Field observations of coastal and lowland regions in the McMurdo Dry Valleys suggest they are on the threshold of rapid topographic change, in contrast to the high elevation upland landscape that represents some of the lowest rates of surface change on Earth. A number of landscapes have undergone dramatic and unprecedented landscape changes over the past decade including, the Wright Lower Glacier (Wright Valley) - ablated several tens of meters, the Garwood River (Garwood Valley) has incised > 3 m into massive ice permafrost, smaller streams in Taylor Valley (Crescent, Lawson, and Lost Seal Streams) have experienced extensive down-cutting and/or bank undercutting, and Canada Glacier (Taylor Valley) has formed sheer, > 4 meter deep canyons. The commonality between all these landscape changes appears to be sediment on ice acting as a catalyst for melting, including ice-cement permafrost thaw. We attribute these changes to increasing solar radiation over the past decade despite no significant trend in summer air temperature. To infer possible future landscape changes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, due to anticipated climate warming, we map ‘at risk’ landscapes defined as those with buried massive ice in relative warm regions of the valleys. Results show that large regions of the valley bottoms are ‘at risk’. Changes in surface topography will trigger important responses in hydrology, geochemistry, and biological community structure and function.

  7. Amery Ice Shelf

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    ... funded by NASA and undertaken by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Australian Antarctic Division. The Multi-angle Imaging ... Laboratory), and Helen A. Fricker (Scripps Institution of Oceanography). Other formats available at JPL Oct 6, ...

  8. Dynamic response of Sjögren Inlet glaciers, Antarctic Peninsula, to ice shelf breakup derived from multi-mission remote sensing time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seehaus, Thorsten; Marinsek, Sebastián; Skvarca, Pedro; van Wessem, Jan Melchior; Reijmer, Carleen H.; Seco, José; Braun, Matthias

    2016-06-01

    The substantial retreat or disintegration of numerous ice shelves has been observed on the Antarctic Peninsula. The ice shelf in the Prince Gustav Channel has retreated gradually since the late 1980s and broke up in 1995. Tributary glaciers reacted with speed-up, surface lowering and increased ice discharge, consequently contributing to sea level rise. We present a detailed long-term study (1993-2014) of the dynamic response of Sjögren Inlet glaciers to the disintegration of the Prince Gustav Ice Shelf. We analyzed various remote sensing datasets to identify the reactions of the glaciers to the loss of the buttressing ice shelf. A strong increase in ice surface velocities was observed, with maximum flow speeds reaching 2.82±0.48 m d-1 in 2007 and 1.50±0.32 m d-1 in 2004 at Sjögren and Boydell glaciers respectively. Subsequently, the flow velocities decelerated, however in late 2014, we still measured approximately twice the values of our first observations in 1996. The Sjögren Inlet glaciers retreated 61.7±3.1 km² behind the former grounding line in 1996. For the glacier area below 1000 m a.s.l. and above the 2014 grounding (399 km²), a mean surface lowering of -68±10 m (-3.1 m a-1) was observed in the period 1993-2014. The lowering rate decreased to -2.2 m a-1 in the period 2012-2014. Based on the surface lowering rates, geodetic mass balances of the glaciers were derived for different time periods. A strongly negative mass change rate of -1.16±0.38 Gt a-1 was found for the area of all Sjögren Inlet glaciers (including the area above 1000 m a.s.l.) above the 2014 grounding line (559km2) for the earliest period (1993-2001). Due to the dynamic adjustments of the glaciers to the new boundary conditions the rate changed to -0.54±0.13 Gt a-1 in the period 2012-2014, resulting in an average mass change rate of -0.84±0.18 Gt a-1 (1993-2014) for the same domain. Including the retreat of the ice front and grounding line, a total mass change of -37.5±8.2 Gt

  9. Variability in drift ice export from the Arctic Ocean to the North Icelandic Shelf over the last 8000 years: A multi-proxy evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabedo-Sanz, Patricia; Belt, Simon T.; Jennings, Anne E.; Andrews, John T.; Geirsdóttir, Áslaug

    2016-08-01

    North Iceland represents a climatically sensitive region, in part, due to its location at the confluence of southward flowing and drift ice-laden polar waters from the Arctic Ocean delivered by the East Greenland Current, and the relatively warm and saline Irminger Current, a northerly flowing branch of the North Atlantic Current. Despite its pivotal location, there is a paucity of high resolution and long-term sea ice records for the region, with some disparities in certain previous investigations. Here, the identification of the biomarker IP25 as a reliable proxy for drift ice for North Iceland has been confirmed by measuring its abundance in surface sediments from the region and comparison of outcomes with documentary records of sea ice and other proxy data. By analysing IP25 in a well-dated marine sediment core from the North Icelandic Shelf (NIS) (MD99-2269), we also provide a high resolution (ca. 25 yr) record of drift sea ice for the region and complement this with a lower resolution record (ca. 100 yr) obtained from a second core site, located further east (JR51-GC35). Statistical treatment of equi-spaced time series reveals strong linear correlations between IP25 and a further drift ice proxy (quartz) in each core. Thus, linear regression analysis between both proxies gave correlation coefficients (R2) of 0.74 and 0.66 for MD99-2269 (25 yr) and JR51-GC35 (100 yr), respectively. Further, the individual proxies were well correlated between the two cores, with R = 0.91 and 0.77 for IP25 and quartz, respectively. The IP25-based sea ice record for MD99-2269, combined with other new biomarker and foraminifera data, and previously published proxy data for primary productivity and sea surface temperature, suggest that the paleoceanographic evolution for the NIS over the last 8 ka can be classified into three main intervals. The early mid Holocene (ca 8-6.2 cal ka BP) was characterized by relatively low or absent drift ice, low primary productivity and relatively

  10. Paleolimnology of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Doran, P T; Wharton, R A; Lyons, W B

    1994-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys presently contain more than 20 permanent lakes and ponds, which vary markedly in character. All, with the exception of a hypersaline pond, have a perennial ice-cover. The dry valley lakes, and lakes in other ice-free regions of continental Antarctica, are unique on this planet in that they consistently maintain a thick year-round ice cover (2.8-6.0 m) over liquid water. The persistent ice covers minimize wind-generated currents and reduce light penetration, as well as restricting sediment deposition into a lake and the exchange of atmospheric gases between the water column and the atmosphere. From a paleolimnological perspective, the dry valley lakes offer an important record of catchment and environmental changes. These lakes are also modern-day equivalents of periglacial lakes that were common during glacial periods at temperate latitudes. The present lakes are mostly remnants of larger glacial lakes that occupied the valleys in the past, perhaps up to 4.6 Ma ago. Two of the valleys contain evidence of being filled with large glacial lakes within the last 10000 years. Repeated drying and filling events since then have left a characteristic impression on the salt profiles of some lakes creating a unique paleo-indicator within the water column. These events are also marked in the sediments by the concentration and dilution of certain chemical constituents, particularly salts, and are also corroborated by carbonate speciation and oxygen isotope analysis. Stratigraphic analysis of dry valley lake sediments is made difficult by the occurrence of an 'old carbon' reservoir creating spurious radiocarbon dates, and by the high degree of spatial variability in lake sedimentation. From a biological perspective, the lakes are relatively simple, containing various taxa of planktonic and benthic microorganisms, but no higher forms of life, which is an advantage to paleolimnologists because there is no bioturbation in the sediments. Useful biological

  11. Paleolimnology of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doran, P. T.; Wharton, R. A. Jr; Lyons, W. B.; Wharton RA, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys presently contain more than 20 permanent lakes and ponds, which vary markedly in character. All, with the exception of a hypersaline pond, have a perennial ice-cover. The dry valley lakes, and lakes in other ice-free regions of continental Antarctica, are unique on this planet in that they consistently maintain a thick year-round ice cover (2.8-6.0 m) over liquid water. The persistent ice covers minimize wind-generated currents and reduce light penetration, as well as restricting sediment deposition into a lake and the exchange of atmospheric gases between the water column and the atmosphere. From a paleolimnological perspective, the dry valley lakes offer an important record of catchment and environmental changes. These lakes are also modern-day equivalents of periglacial lakes that were common during glacial periods at temperate latitudes. The present lakes are mostly remnants of larger glacial lakes that occupied the valleys in the past, perhaps up to 4.6 Ma ago. Two of the valleys contain evidence of being filled with large glacial lakes within the last 10000 years. Repeated drying and filling events since then have left a characteristic impression on the salt profiles of some lakes creating a unique paleo-indicator within the water column. These events are also marked in the sediments by the concentration and dilution of certain chemical constituents, particularly salts, and are also corroborated by carbonate speciation and oxygen isotope analysis. Stratigraphic analysis of dry valley lake sediments is made difficult by the occurrence of an 'old carbon' reservoir creating spurious radiocarbon dates, and by the high degree of spatial variability in lake sedimentation. From a biological perspective, the lakes are relatively simple, containing various taxa of planktonic and benthic microorganisms, but no higher forms of life, which is an advantage to paleolimnologists because there is no bioturbation in the sediments. Useful biological

  12. Cryosphere/ocean interactions at the margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the Younger Dryas Chron: SE Baffin Shelf, northwest Territories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, J. T.; Evans, L. W.; Williams, K. M.; Briggs, W. M.; Jull, A. J. T.; Erlenkeuser, H.; Hardy, I.

    1990-12-01

    Cores HU82-034-057 and HU84-035-008, Resolution Basin, SE Baffin Shelf, contain 200 and 450 cm, respectively, of sediment that spans the Younger Dryas chron. In both cores the interval is bracketed by 14C dates on foraminifera or molluscs. These sites were close to the margin of the late Wisconsin (Foxe) ice sheet as it flowed toward the Labrador Sea. Prior to 11 ka, both cores record moderate to high accumulations of foraminifera, relatively high del 18O values in planktonic foraminifera, and low values of detrital carbonate. The diatom and percent opal records imply occasional seasonally open water conditions. During part of the Younger Dryas chron both the diatom and opal analyses imply a shutoff of biogenic silica production, suggesting surface water conditions affected by increased sea ice and/or reduced nutrients. In addition, the Younger Dryas interval is marked by an increase in coarse sand and detrital carbonate, a decrease in total organic carbon and foraminifera, and high rates of sediment accumulation. The inferred environment during the Younger Dryas is ice-proximal. In HU82-034-057, the foraminifera and other data suggest a change in conditions during the middle part of the Younger Dryas chron.

  13. Influence of sea ice cover and icebergs on circulation and water mass formation in a numerical circulation model of the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinniman, Michael S.; Klinck, John M.; Smith, Walker O.

    2007-11-01

    Satellite imagery shows that there was substantial variability in the sea ice extent in the Ross Sea during 2001-2003. Much of this variability is thought to be due to several large icebergs that moved through the area during that period. The effects of these changes in sea ice on circulation and water mass distributions are investigated with a numerical general circulation model. It would be difficult to simulate the highly variable sea ice from 2001 to 2003 with a dynamic sea ice model since much of the variability was due to the floating icebergs. Here, sea ice concentration is specified from satellite observations. To examine the effects of changes in sea ice due to iceberg C-19, simulations were performed using either climatological ice concentrations or the observed ice for that period. The heat balance around the Ross Sea Polynya (RSP) shows that the dominant term in the surface heat budget is the net exchange with the atmosphere, but advection of oceanic warm water is also important. The area average annual basal melt rate beneath the Ross Ice Shelf is reduced by 12% in the observed sea ice simulation. The observed sea ice simulation also creates more High-Salinity Shelf Water. Another simulation was performed with observed sea ice and a fixed iceberg representing B-15A. There is reduced advection of warm surface water during summer from the RSP into McMurdo Sound due to B-15A, but a much stronger reduction is due to the late opening of the RSP in early 2003 because of C-19.

  14. Deglacial-Holocene short-term variability in sea-ice distribution on the Eurasian shelf (Arctic Ocean) - An IP25 biomarker reconstruction.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hörner, Tanja; Stein, Ruediger; Fahl, Kirsten

    2016-04-01

    Four well-dated sediment cores from the Eurasian continental shelf, i.e., the Kara Sea (Cores BP99/07 and BP00/07) and Laptev Sea (Cores PS51/154 and PS51/159), were selected for high-resolution reconstruction of past Arctic environmental conditions during the deglacial-Holocene time interval. These marginal seas are strongly affected by the post-glacial sea-level rise of about 120m. The major focus of our study was the reconstruction of the paleo-sea-ice distribution as sea-ice plays a key role within the modern and past climate system. For reconstruction of paleo-sea ice, the sea-ice proxy IP25 in combination with open-water phytoplankton biomarkers was used (for approach see Belt et al., 2007; Müller et al., 2009, 2011). In addition, specific sterols were determined to reconstruct changes in river run-off and biological production. The post-glacial sea-level rise is especially reflected in prominent decrease in terrigenous biomarkers. Deglacial variations in sea-ice cover sustained for thousand of years, mostly following climatic changes like the Bølling/Allerød (14.7-12.9 ka), Younger Dryas (12.9-11.6 ka) and Holocene warm phase (10-8 ka). Superimposed on a (Late) Holocene cooling trend, short-term fluctuations in sea-ice cover (on centennial scale) are distinctly documented in the distal/off-shore Core BP00/07 from the Kara Sea, less pronounced in the proximal/near-shore Core PS99/07 and in the Laptev Sea cores. Interestingly, this short-term variability in sea-ice cover correlates quite well to changes in Siberian river run-off (e.g., Stein et al. 2004), pointing to a direct linkage between precipitation (atmospheric circulation) and sea-ice formation. References Belt, S.T., Massé, G., Rowland, S.J., Poulin, M., Michel, C., LeBlanc, B., 2007. A novel chemical fossil of palaeo sea ice: IP25. Organic Geochemistry 38, 16-27. Müller, J., Masse, G., Stein, R., Belt, S.T., 2009. Variability of sea-ice conditions in the Fram Strait over the past 30,000 years

  15. The Sinking and Spreading of The Antarctic Deep Ice Shelf Water In The Ross Sea Studied By In Situ Observaions and Numerical Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubino, A.; Budillon, G.; Pierini, S.; Spezie, G.

    The sinking and spreading of the Deep Ice Shelf Water (DISW) in the Ross Sea are analyzed using in situ observations and the results of a nonlinear, reduced-gravity, frontal layered numerical "plume" model which is able to simulate the motion of a bottom-arrested current over realistic topography. The model is forced by prescribing the thickness of the DISW vein as well as its density structure at the southern model boundary. The ambient temperature and salinity are imposed using hydrographic data acquired by the Italian PNRA-CLIMA project. In the model water of the quiescent ambient ocean is allowed to entrain in the active deep layer due to a simple param- eterization of turbulent mixing. The importance of forcing the model with a realistic ambient density is demonstrated by carrying out a numerical simulation in which the bottom active layer is forced using an idealized ambient density. In a more realis- tic simulation the path and the density structure of the DISW vein flowing over the Challenger Basin are obtained and are found to be in good agreement with data. The evolution of the deep current beyond the continental shelf is also simulated. It provides useful information on the water flow and mixing in a region of the Ross Sea where the paucity of experimental data does not allow for a detailed description of the deep ocean dynamics.

  16. Neogene History of Antarctic Sea-ice and Development of the Sea-ice Diatom Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harwood, D. M.; Bohaty, S. M.; Whitehead, J. M.

    2002-12-01

    Sea-ice plays an important role in the modern Antarctic climate system and in this region's linkage to lower latitude regions. Today, the seasonal sea-ice cover decouples oceanic heat transfer to the atmosphere, which amplifies winter's low temperatures and shifts sources of moisture far to the north. The sea-ice zone is an important site for biological productivity and bottom water formation, through cooling and brine exclusion. The absence of the sea-ice during past and future periods of elevated temperatures would significantly impact the biology, oceanography, glaciology and meteorology of the Antarctic region. A unique diatom assemblage is adapted to life in and around the sea-ice, and serves as an increasingly useful proxy to mark the presence, extent and duration of sea-ice cover. This assemblage dominates Antarctic shelf sediments today and back through most of the Quaternary. The oldest fossil diatom flora with a similar composition and structure to that of the modern sea-ice community was identified in a late Miocene mudstone erratic MB-244C in coastal moraine from McMurdo Sound. This assemblage did not persist through to the present day, and it is absent, or significantly reduced, in numerous marine diatom-bearing strata of late Miocene, Pliocene and Quaternary age, including the upper Miocene McLeod Beds of the Battye Glacier Formation, Prince Charles Mountains, the lower Pliocene Sorsdal Formation in the Vestfold Hills, the Pliocene sediments from the DVDP and CIROS drillcores, and the lower Quaternary carbonate unit in the Cape Roberts Project drillcore CRP-1. The sea-ice diatom community likely persisted in low numbers in interior fjords and basins, adjacent to glacier margins during these times. The history of sea-ice development and fluctuation during the Neogene appears to be complex, with substantial variability in sea-ice cover. Core records are currently insufficient to document the details of this history, and variation in the diatom

  17. Comprehensive characterization report on Winter Quarters Bay, McMurdo Station, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Crockett, A.B.; White, G.J.

    1997-01-01

    Winter Quarters Bay is a small embayment located adjacent to the United States largest base in Antarctica, McMurdo Station. McMurdo Station, which is managed by the National Science Foundation`s Office of Polar Programs, was constructed in 1955, has been in constant use since that time, and has a population of about 1,000 persons during the summer and about 250 people for the winter. The bay offers shelter for ships and an ice dock is used during January and February to off load fuel and cargo. During earlier times, trash from the McMurdo Station was piled on the steep shoreline of the bay, doused with several thousand gallons of fuel and ignited. That practice has ceased and the site has been regraded to cover the waste. The bottom of the bay is littered with drums, equipment, tanks, tires, all sorts of metal objects, cables, etc., especially the southeastern side where dumping took place. The sediments are gravel in some places yet fine and fluid at other sites with coarse particles intermixed. The original benthic community is not well recorded but significant ecological changes have occurred. Sediments are contaminated with PCBs, metals, and hydrocarbon fuels. This report summarizes available information on Winter Quarters Bay and was originally intended to be used by workshop participants to become familiar with the bay prior to becoming updated with unpublished data by various Antarctic investigators. The proposed workshop was to assist the National Science Foundation in determining whether and how the bay should be remediated and to develop an integrated research plan if additional data were needed. However, plans changed, the workshop was never conducted, but the briefing report was prepared. Most of this report reviews and summarizes other published data. The only new data are those from the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory`s investigation into the distribution of organic contaminants in the bay and sediment toxicity testing.

  18. Molecular Microbial Diversity of the McMurdo Dry Valley Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foo, W.; Han, S.; Lanoil, B. D.

    2006-12-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica possess the only permanently ice-covered lakes on Earth. These highly stratified lakes experience reduced light penetration, decoupled light-dark cycles, no vertical mixing, and minimal sediment deposition. We used culture-independent methods to characterize the diversity and distribution of microorganisms in the water columns of east lobe Bonney (ELB), west lobe Bonney (WLB), and Fryxell (Fryx) lakes. No Archaea could be detected by PCR except in the bottom of Fryx. Cluster analysis of 16s rDNA DGGE indicated that while the surface layers of all three systems are related to one another, the bottom waters of all three systems are distinct, both from each other and from surface waters. RFLP analysis of 1141 non-plastid clones showed 205 unique OTUs. Fryx possessed the highest OTU richness (118 OTU), followed by WLB (83 OTU), and ELB (76 OTU). While several abundant OTUs were shared between the three systems, the majority appeared only in a single system. The Shannon Diversity Index indicated that overall diversity did not vary significantly with depth in Fryx and WLB, but diversity was significantly lower below the chemocline in ELB. This study is the first comprehensive molecular analysis of the bacterial diversity of the McMurdo Dry Valley lakes.

  19. Bromoalkane production by Antarctic ice algae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sturges, W. T.; Sullivan, C. W.; Schnell, R. C.; Heidt, L. E.; Pollock, W. H.

    1993-01-01

    Ice microalgae, collected from the underside of annual sea ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, were found to contain and release to seawater a number of brominated hydrocarbons. These included bromoform, dibromomethane, mixed bromochloromethanes, and methyl bromide. Atmospheric measurements in the McMurdo Sound vicinity revealed the presence of bromoform and methyl bromide in the lower atmosphere, with lowest concentrations inland, further indicating that biogenic activity in the Sound is a source of organic bromine gases to the Antarctic atmosphere. This may have important implications for boundary layer chemistry in Antarctica. In the Arctic, the presence of bromoform has been linked to loss of surface ozone in the spring. We report here preliminary evidence for similar surface ozone loss at McMurdo Station.

  20. Modeling Ice Table Depth, Ground Ice Content, and δD-δ18O of Ground Ice in the Cold Dry Soils of Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, D. A.; Lacelle, D.; Pollard, W.; Davila, A.; McKay, C. P.

    2016-09-01

    In the upper McMurdo Dry Valleys, ice table depths range from 0 to 80 cm. This study explores the effects of ground temperature and humidity and advective flows on water vapour flux and ice table depth using the REGO vapour-diffusion model.

  1. Quantitative mineralogy of surface sediments of the Iceland shelf, and application to down-core studies of holocene ice-rafted sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Andrews, John T.; Eberl, D.D.

    2007-01-01

    Quantitative X-ray diffraction analyses on the < 2 mm sediment fraction from the Iceland shelves are reported for subglacial diamictons, seafloor surface sediments, and the last 2000 cal yr BP from two cores. The overall goal of the paper is to characterize the spatial variability of the mineralogy of the present-day surface sediments (18 non-clay minerals and 7 clay minerals), compare that with largely in situ erosional products typified by the composition of subglacial diamictons, and finally examine the late Holocene temporal variability in mineral composition using multi-mineral compositions. The subglacial diamictons are dominated in the non-clay-mineral fraction by the plagioclase feldspars and pyroxene with 36.7 ?? 6.1 and 17.9 ?? 3.5 wt % respectively, with smectites being the dominant clay minerals. The surface seafloor sediments have similar compositions although there are substantial amounts of calcite, plus there is a distinct band of sites from NW to N-central Iceland that contain 1-6 wt% of quartz. This latter distribution mimics the modern and historic pattern of drift ice in Iceland waters. Principal component analysis of the transformed wt% (log-ratio) non-clay minerals is used to compare the subglacial, surface, and down-core mineral compositions. Fifty-eight percent of the variance is explained by the first two axes, with dolomite, microcline, and quartz being important "foreign" species. These analyses indicate that today the NW-N-central Iceland shelf is affected by the import of exotic minerals, which are transported and released from drift ice. The down-core mineralogy indicates that this is a process that has varied over the last 2000 cal yr BP. Copyright ?? 2007, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).

  2. FY 1993 environmental sampling and analysis report for wastewater discharge at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Crockett, A.B.

    1994-04-01

    Wastewater impact assessment at McMurdo has been or is being conducted by four organizations: Antarctic Support Associates (ASA), which conducts the effluent monitoring; Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, which conducts all of the benthic monitoring and most of the biological monitoring; Montana State University, which conducted water quality and water current measurements; and EG&G Idaho, which conducted water quality and sea ice monitoring. All four programs are interrelated and were needed to determine the impact of the wastewater discharge on the marine environment. This report summarizes the relevant monitoring work being conducted by Antarctic Support Associates, Moss Landing, and Montana State personnel, and specifically documents the results of EG&G Idaho`s efforts.

  3. Lake Vanda: A sentinel for climate change in the McMurdo Sound Region of Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castendyk, Devin N.; Obryk, Maciej K.; Leidman, Sasha Z.; Gooseff, Michael; Hawes, Ian

    2016-09-01

    Lake Vanda is a perennially ice-covered, meromictic, endorheic lake located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, and an exceptional sentinel of climate change within the region. Lake levels rose 15 m over the past 68 years in response to climate-driven variability in ice-cover sublimation, meltwater production, and annual discharge of the Onyx River, the main source of water to the lake. Evidence from a new bathymetric map and water balance model combined with annual growth laminations in benthic mats suggest that the most recent filling trend began abruptly 80 years ago, in the early 1930s. This change increased lake volume by > 50%, triggered the formation of a new, upper, thermohaline convection cell, and cooled the lower convection cell by at least 2 °C and the bottom-most waters by at > 4 °C. Additionally, the depth of the deep chlorophyll a maximum rose by > 2 m, and deep-growing benthic algal mats declined while shallow benthic mats colonized freshly inundated areas. We attribute changes in hydrology to regional variations in air flow related to the strength and position of the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL) pressure system which have increased the frequency of down-valley, föhn winds associated with surface air temperature warming in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. The ASL has also been implicated in the recent warming of the Antarctic Peninsula, and provides a common link for climate-related change on opposite sides of the continent. If this trend persists, Lake Vanda should continue to rise and cool over the next 200 years until a new equilibrium lake level is achieved. Most likely, future lake rise will lead to isothermal conditions not conducive to thermohaline convection, resulting in a drastically different physical, biogeochemical, and biological structure than observed today.

  4. Sediment movement and dispersal patterns on the Grand Banks continental shelf and slope were tied to the dynamics of the Laurentide ice-sheet margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rashid, H.; MacKillop, K.; Piper, D.; Vermooten, M.; Higgins, J.; Marche, B.; Langer, K.; Brockway, B.; Spicer, H. E.; Webb, M. D.; Fournier, E.

    2015-12-01

    The expansion and contraction of the late Pleistocene Laurentide ice-sheet (LIS) was the crucial determining factor for the geomorphic features and shelf and slope sediment mobility on the eastern Canadian continental margin, with abundant mass-transport deposits (MTDs) seaward of ice margins on the upper slope. Here, we report for the first time sediment failure and mass-transport deposits from the central Grand Banks slope in the Salar and Carson petroleum basins. High-resolution seismic profiles and multibeam bathymetry show numerous sediment failure scarps in 500-1600 m water depth. There is no evidence for an ice margin on the upper slope younger than MIS 6. Centimeter-scale X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF), grain size, and oxygen isotope data from piston cores constrain sediment processes over the past 46 ka. Geotechnical measurements including Atterberg limit tests, vane shear measurements and triaxial and multi-stage isotropic consolidation tests allowed us to assess the instability on the continental margin. Cores with continuous undisturbed stratigraphy in contourite silty muds show normal downcore increase in bulk density and undrained peak shear strength. Heinrich (H) layers are identifiable by a marked increase in the bulk density, high Ca (ppm), increase in iceberg-rafted debris and lighter δ18O in the polar planktonic foram Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (sinistral): with a few C-14 dates they provide a robust chronology. There is no evidence for significant supply of sediment from the Grand Banks at the last-glacial maximum. Mass-transport deposits (MTD) are marked by variability in the bulk density, undrained shear strength and little variation in bulk density or Ca (ppm) values. The MTD are older than 46 ka on the central Grand Banks slope, whereas younger MTDs are present in southern Flemish Pass. Factor of safety calculations suggest the slope is statically stable up to gradients of 10°, but more intervals of silty mud may fail during earthquake

  5. Is the Wilkins Ice Shelf a Firn Aquifer? Spaceborne Observation of Subsurface Winter Season Liquid Meltwater Storage on the Antarctic Peninsula using Multi-Frequency Active and Passive Microwave Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, J.; Scambos, T.; Forster, R. R.; Long, D. G.; Ligtenberg, S.; van den Broeke, M.; Vaughan, D. G.

    2015-12-01

    Near-surface liquid meltwater on ice shelves has been inferred to influence ice shelf stability if it induces hydrofracture and is linked to disintegration events on the Larsen B and the Wilkins ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula during the summer months. While the initial Wilkins disintegration event occurred in March of 2009, two smaller disintegration events followed in May and in July of that year. It has long been assumed meltwater refreezes soon after surface melt processes cease. Given this assumption, an earlier hypothesis for the two winter season disintegration events was hydrofracture via a brine infiltration layer. Two lines of evidence supported this hypothesis 1) early airborne radar surveys did not record a reflection from the bottom of the ice shelf, and 2) a shallow core drilled in 1972 on the Wilkins encountered liquid water at a depth of ~7 m. The salinity of the water and the temperature at the base of the core, however, were not described. The recent discovery of winter season liquid meltwater storage on the Greenland ice sheet has changed perceptions on meltwater longevity at depth in firn. Evidence of Greenland's firn aquifer includes liquid meltwater encountered in shallow firn cores at 5 m depth and a lack of reflections from the base of the ice sheet in airborne surveys. Thus, previous lines of evidence suggesting brine infiltration may alternatively suggest the presence of a perennial firn aquifer. We recently demonstrated the capability for observation of Greenland's firn aquifer from space using multi-frequency active and passive microwave remote sensing. This research exploits the retrieval technique developed for Greenland to provide the first spaceborne mappings of winter season liquid meltwater storage on the Wilkins. We combine L-band brightness temperature and backscatter data from the MIRAS instrument (1.4 GHz) aboard ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission and the radar (1.3 GHZ) and radiometer(1.4 GHz) aboard NASA

  6. Antarctic and Arctic land-fast sea ice growth rates: an intercomparison based on stable isotope fractionation measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, I.; Langhorne, P. J.; Gough, A. J.; Leonard, G. H.; Mahoney, A. R.; Eicken, H.; Van Hale, R.; Trodahl, H. J.; Haskell, T.

    2012-12-01

    The growth rate of sea ice (i.e., the change in sea ice thickness with time) is a critical factor affecting the thermohaline circulation because it determines the amount and timing of salt fluxes to the ocean. Studies of the colonisation of sea ice by microorganisms and the timing of ice-algal blooms, evident at depth horizons in sea ice, also require knowledge of growth rates. However, sea ice thickness and in particular growth rates of level ice are poorly known, mostly due to restrictions in remote sensing of these quantities. Direct measurements through repeated drilling, or the use of temperature probes or ultrasonic pingers (such as on ice mass balance buoys) are resource intensive, and are therefore limited to a few sites. An ideal methodology would allow retrospective reconstruction of sea ice growth rates from the analysis of ice cores taken at the end of the growth season. Previously developed methods have included salinity-based growth rate models, growth history deductions from thick section structural analysis and growth rate models based on the measurement of oxygen isotope fractionation in sea ice. In this presentation, we focus on the latter and compare measured growth rates with those derived from an existing isotope fractionation based model (Eicken, Ant. Res. Ser., 1998). In addition, comparisons are made with measured seasonal changes in δ18O values in Antarctic surface waters. The data presented have been collected for land-fast sea ice from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica and the Chukchi Sea near Barrow, Alaska. These two locations are ideally suited for this intercomparison study because both locations have a long history of sea ice and ocean observations. The Antarctic sea ice data are influenced by the appearance of waters from beneath an ice shelf. The Arctic sea ice growth rate and isotope data are from two sites, and are supported by oceanographic data, including under-ice current speeds, from a nearby mooring. Previous measurements of Arctic

  7. Evaluation of high-resolution MetUM and AMPS forecasts of near-surface meteorological variables over Larsen C ice shelf and northern Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orr, Andrew; Kirchgaessner, Amelie; King, John; Weeks, Mark; Gadian, Alan; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; van den Broeke, Michiel; Steffen, Konrad

    2016-04-01

    High-resolution weather forecasts are an important tool for understanding the detailed patterns of surface melt on the Larsen C ice shelf (LCIS), Antarctic Peninsula. We investigate the skill of UK Met Office Unified Model (MetUM) and Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) forecasts with horizontal grid spacing of 4-5 km for a 1 month period during January-February 2011 by comparing near-surface model output to automatic weather station measurements at 5 sites on the LCIS and 3 on the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Forecasts for the range 12-24 h showed a fairly homogeneous performance over the LCIS. The 2 m temperature simulated by AMPS has a correlation with observations of 0.5-0.6 and a systematic cold bias of around -1 degrees centigrade. By comparison, the MetUM had a higher correlation and was less negatively biased. The simulated surface pressure has a correlation of 0.99 and small biases in both models. AMPS yielded better results than the MetUM for 10 m wind speed, being able to capture particularly well synoptically-driven high wind speeds which the MetUM systematically underestimated. Both models struggle to simulate the 10 m wind direction when the wind conditions are highly variable. The simulation of specific humidity by both models was poor. Both models showed a general reduction in performance over the northern Antarctic Peninsula compared to the LCIS. Extending the analysis to consider the 12-36 h forecast range demonstrated a relatively weak dependence of model skill to the length of the forecast. The study focuses particularly on the representation of foehn wind events, which are an important contributor to surface melt over the LCIS, by examining additional ~1 km scale forecasts using the MetUM.

  8. ANDRILL Targets Coulman High, Ross Sea, Antarctica, to Recover Early History of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, Richard; Luyendyk, Bruce; Rack, Frank; Wilson, Doug; Sorlien, Chris; Fischbein, Steve; Harwood, David; Pyne, Alex; Falconer, Tamsin; Science Committee, Andrill

    2010-05-01

    The international Antarctic Geological Drilling (ANDRILL) Program recently recovered long (> 1000 m) rock and sediment cores from two sites in McMurdo Sound, and now aims to recover new stratigraphic sections from sites beneath the Ross Ice Shelf east of Ross Island on the structural Coulman High. ANDRILL will utilize new drilling capabilities to operate from a fast moving ice shelf platform (~700 m/year northward) and complete two deep holes. The drilling target for the Coulman High Project is a Cretaceous (?) to lower Miocene section. Recovery of these strata will allow our team to investigate: (1) the behaviour of ice sheets in West Antarctica during periods of moderate to high greenhouse gas levels; (2) the Antarctic environment in warm greenhouse periods; and (3) tectonic processes within the West Antarctic Rift System. In 2003 and 2004 a marine multichannel seismic grid was completed across Coulman High as close as 500 m from the front of the Ross Ice Shelf. The ice shelf has advanced 4 km north and now sits over several seismic lines providing a platform from which to drill into sites located on those lines. Selected drill sites target ~600 m of laterally continuous sediments underlain by a major regional unconformity and 350 - 850 m of faulted sediments and basement beneath it. Seismic correlation from Deep Sea Drilling Project Sites 272 and 273 to the Coulman High sites implies that the section proposed to be drilled predates 19 Ma. Several new operational challenges exist at the Coulman High sites and work is underway to modify existing technology and develop new approaches to address them. Access to the sea-floor requires melting through 250 meters of ice shelf using the ANDRILL hot water drill, which has previously be used to maintain an open hole through 80 meters of ice. The amount of lateral deflection that ANDRILL's sea-riser can accommodate is limited by water column thickness (630 m) and amount of ice shelf movement of ~2 m/day. These parameters

  9. Miocene Antarctic ice dynamics in the Ross Embayment (Western Ross Sea, Antarctica): Insights from provenance analyses of sedimentary clasts in the AND-2A drill core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornamusini, Gianluca; Talarico, Franco M.

    2016-11-01

    A detailed study of gravel-size sedimentary clasts in the ANDRILL-2A (AND-2A) drill core reveals distinct changes in provenance and allows reconstructions to be produced of the paleo ice flow in the McMurdo Sound region (Ross Sea) from the Early Miocene to the Holocene. The sedimentary clasts in AND-2A are divided into seven distinct petrofacies. A comparison of these with potential source rocks from the Transantarctic Mountains and the coastal Southern Victoria Land suggests that the majority of the sedimentary clasts were derived from formations within the Devonian-Triassic Beacon Supergroup. The siliciclastic-carbonate petrofacies are similar to the fossiliferous erratics found in the Quaternary Moraine in the southern McMurdo Sound and were probably sourced from Eocene strata that are currently hidden beneath the Ross Ice Shelf. Intraformational clasts were almost certainly reworked from diamictite and mudstone sequences that were originally deposited proximal to the drill site. The distribution of sedimentary gravel clasts in AND-2A suggests that sedimentary sequences in the drill core were deposited under two main glacial scenarios: 1) a highly dynamic ice sheet that did not extend beyond the coastal margin and produced abundant debris-rich icebergs from outlet glaciers in the central Transantarctic Mountains and South Victoria Land; 2) and an ice sheet that extended well beyond the coastal margin and periodically advanced across the Ross Embayment. Glacial scenario 1 dominated the early to mid-Miocene (between ca. 1000 and 225 mbsf in AND-2A) and scenario 2 the early Miocene (between ca. 1138 and 1000 mbsf) and late Neogene to Holocene (above ca. 225 mbsf). This study augments previous research on the clast provenance and highlights the added value that sedimentary clasts offer in terms of reconstructing past glacial conditions from Antarctic drill core records.

  10. Measurements of Refractory Black Carbon (rBC) Aerosols in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, A. L.; McMeeking, G. R.; Lyons, W. B.; Schwarz, J. P.; Welch, K. A.; McKnight, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    Measurements of light absorbing particles in the boundary layer of the high southern latitudes are scarce. During the 2013-2014 austral summer field season refractory black carbon (rBC) aerosols were quantified by a single particle soot photometer (SP2) in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. The dark rBC particles absorb more radiation thereby increasing atmospheric heating, as well as reducing surface albedo and enhancing hydrologic melt when deposited on highly reflective surfaces such as snow and ice. Quantifying both local and long-range atmospheric transport of rBC to this region of a remote continent mostly covered by ice and snow would be useful in understanding meltwater generation as climate changes. Although the Dry Valleys are the largest ice-free region of Antarctica, they contain many alpine glaciers, some of which are fed from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Continuous rBC measurements were collected at Lake Hoare Camp in the Taylor Valley for two months, along with shorter periods at more remote locations within the Dry Valleys. Conditions at the Lake Hoare Camp were dominated by up-valley winds from McMurdo Sound, however, winds also brought air down-valley from the EAIS polar plateau. Here we investigated periods dominated by both up and down-valley winds to explore differences in rBC concentrations, size distributions, and scattering properties. The average background rBC mass concentration was 1ng/m3, though concentrations as high as 50 ng/m3 were observed at times, likely due to local sources.

  11. Sedimentation at the permanently ice-covered Greenland continental shelf (74°57.7‧N/12°58.7‧W): significance of biogenic and lithogenic particles in particulate matter flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauerfeind, Eduard; Leipe, Thomas; Ramseier, Rene O.

    2005-05-01

    Particle flux was recorded at the Greenland continental shelf at a water depth of 245 m from July 1994 to August 1995. The annual total matter flux amounted to 51.8 g m -2. Of this total flux, 14.4 g m -2 could be ascribed to carbonate (CaCO 3) and 3.05 and 2.06 g m -2 to refractory particulate organic carbon (rPOC) and biological silica (bPSI), respectively. About the same contribution of biogenic (48%) and lithogenic (52%) matter to total flux was measured during the mooring period. However, when split up into seasons, biogenic matter predominated during the summer (May-September) (58%) and particles of lithogenic origin prevailed in winter (October-April) 73%. Within the recognizable biogenic fraction, diatoms ( Fragilaropsis sp., Chaetoceros sp.) predominated. Ice-related material certainly also contributed to vertical particle flux in July-September, as indicated by the occurrence of ice-associated algae, i.e. Melosira arctica, in the samples. The δ15N signature of the particulate matter indicated a substantial contribution of freshly produced organic matter to the sedimented particle pool during the times of elevated bPSi and diatom flux. Clay minerals dominated within the lithogenic fraction year round (66%), with illite being the most prominent mineral (50%) followed by chlorite (27%), smectite (12%) and kaolinite (7%). Significantly larger (71%) contributions of clay minerals on lithogenic matter flux were noticed during summer than in winter (53%). No clear distinction of the possible origin of the lithogenic matter (<20 μm) in the trap samples can be made as the ice-transported lithogenic matter and composition of the surface sediments at the shelf show a similar composition. However, from the concomitant increase of biogenic matter, ice-associated algae and clay minerals in the trap samples during summer, we also deduce a substantial supply of ice-released lithogenic matter during this period. We conclude that the simultaneous occurrence of biogenic

  12. Accelerated thermokarst formation in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, J. S.; Fountain, A. G.; Dickson, J. L.; Head, J. W.; Okal, M. H.; Marchant, D. R.

    2013-12-01

    Thermokarst is a land surface lowered and disrupted by melting ground ice. Thermokarst is a major consequence of climate change in the Arctic, but has been considered to be a minor process in Antarctica. Garwood Valley (78°S, 164°E) is a coastal valley in the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) of Southern Victoria Land, Antarctica and is a natural laboratory in which competing models of Antarctic thermokarst erosion can be tested. Garwood Valley is partially filled with a remnant of the Ross Sea Ice Sheet, a debris-covered ice mass that lodged in the valley during the Pleistocene. Rapid ablation of this buried ice mass via melting and block calving has recently been detected at a large retrogressive thaw feature referred to as the Garwood Valley ice cliff. Curiously, regional air temperatures in the MDV have been declining or stable on decadal timescales. Despite no increase in thawing degree days in Garwood Valley, biannual LiDAR scans show large-scale thermokarst backwasting occurring along the entire face of the ice cliff. Since ground-based data collection began in November 2010 to January, 2012, the ~400 m long ice cliff has backwasted ~1-3 m. Since airborne LiDAR data were first collected in 2001-2002 to January, 2012, backwasting along the ice cliff has ranged from 10-55 m, totaling 44,900 × 900 m3, or on average, 5,000 × 100 m3/year. From November 2010 to January 2011, 6,700 × 130 m3 of ice and capping sediment was removed from the Garwood Valley ice cliff; from January 2011 to January 2012, 11,300 × 230 m3 of material was removed. These melt and calving rates are comparable to the low end of retrogressive thaw slump erosion in Arctic and alpine environments, and suggest that some coastal MDV ground ice may no longer be stable under current climate conditions. Here, we combine this ground-based and airborne LiDAR data with with timelapse imaging and meteorological data to show that 1) thermokarst formation has accelerated in Garwood Valley; 2) the rate of

  13. Improved High-Quality Draft Genome Sequence of the Eurypsychrophile Rhodotorula sp. JG1b, Isolated from Permafrost in the Hyperarid Upper-Elevation McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Goordial, Jacqueline; Raymond-Bouchard, Isabelle; Riley, Robert; Ronholm, Jennifer; Shapiro, Nicole; Woyke, Tanja; LaButti, Kurt M; Tice, Hope; Amirebrahimi, Mojgan; Grigoriev, Igor V; Greer, Charles; Bakermans, Corien; Whyte, Lyle

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Rhodotorula sp. strain JG1b, a yeast that was isolated from ice-cemented permafrost in the upper-elevation McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. The sequenced genome size is 19.39 Mb, consisting of 156 scaffolds and containing a total of 5,625 predicted genes. This is the first known cold-adapted Rhodotorula sp. sequenced to date. PMID:26988035

  14. Improved High-Quality Draft Genome Sequence of the Eurypsychrophile Rhodotorula sp. JG1b, Isolated from Permafrost in the Hyperarid Upper-Elevation McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Goordial, Jacqueline; Raymond-Bouchard, Isabelle; Riley, Robert; Ronholm, Jennifer; Shapiro, Nicole; Woyke, Tanja; LaButti, Kurt M.; Tice, Hope; Amirebrahimi, Mojgan; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Greer, Charles; Bakermans, Corien

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Rhodotorula sp. strain JG1b, a yeast that was isolated from ice-cemented permafrost in the upper-elevation McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. The sequenced genome size is 19.39 Mb, consisting of 156 scaffolds and containing a total of 5,625 predicted genes. This is the first known cold-adapted Rhodotorula sp. sequenced to date. PMID:26988035

  15. Oceanology of the antarctic continental shelf: Volume 43

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobs, S.S.

    1985-01-01

    This book discusses the seas of the deep continental shelf, which play an important climatic role in sea ice production, deep ocean ventilation and wastage of the Antarctic ice sheet. This volume includes analyses of measurements taken from ships and satellites, and from sea ice and glacial ice. High resolution profiling equipment, long term bottom-moored instruments, continuous remote sensors, geochemical tracers and computer models have provided the basis for new insights into the continental shelf circulation. Color plates and an accompanying GEBCO Circum-Antarctic map effectively portray the continental shelf in relation to the glaciated continent, the sea ice and the surrounding Southern Ocean.

  16. Decadal Trends in Abundance, Size and Condition of Antarctic Toothfish in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, 1972-2010

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ainley, David G.; Nur, Nadav; Eastman, Joseph T.; Ballard. Grant; Parkinson, Claire L; Evans, Clive W.; DeVries, Arthur L.

    2012-01-01

    We report analyses of a dataset spanning 38 years of near-annual fishing for Antarctic toothfish Dissostichus mawsoni, using a vertical setline through the fast ice of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, 1972-2010. This constitutes one of the longest biological time series in the Southern Ocean, and certainly the longest for any fish. Fish total length, condition and catch per unit effort (CPUE) were derived from the more than 5500 fish caught. Contrary to expectation, length-frequency was dominated by fish in the upper half of the industrial catch. The discrepancy may be due to biases in the sampling capabilities of vertical (this study) versus benthic (horizontal) fishing gear (industry long lines), related to the fact that only large Antarctic toothfish (more than 100 cm TL) are neutrally buoyant and occur in the water column. Fish length and condition increased from the early 1970s to the early 1990s and then decreased, related to sea ice cover, with lags of 8 months to 5 years, and may ultimately be related to the fishery (which targets large fish) and changes in the Southern Annular Mode through effects on toothfish main prey, Antarctic silverfish Pleuragramma antarcticum. CPUE was constant through 2001 and then decreased dramatically, likely related to the industrial fishery, which began in 1996 and which concentrates effort over the Ross Sea slope, where tagged McMurdo fish have been found. Due to limited prey choices and, therefore, close coupling among mesopredators of the Ross Sea, Antarctic toothfish included, the fishery may be altering the trophic structure of the Ross Sea.

  17. The characterization and role of aeolian deposition on water quality, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deuerling, K. M.; Lyons, W. B.; Welch, S. A.; Welch, K. A.

    2014-06-01

    The connection of ecosystems by wind-driven transport of material has become a topic of increasing interest and importance. Less than 1% of dust transported worldwide is exported to the Southern Ocean and Antarctic cryosphere; however, aeolian transport on the Antarctic continent is predominantly locally derived from the abrasion of bedrock. The deposition of the aeolian material is integral to nutrient and solute dispersal in the Antarctic ecosystem. This is particularly true in the ice-free areas of Antarctica, such as the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV), where aeolian material deposited in the aquatic system is solubilized during the melt season. The material is predominantly locally-derived from the abrasion of bedrock. In this study, a two-step leaching experiment simulates the melt season and we quantify the flux of solutes and nutrients to the aquatic ecosystem. Soluble salts were removed from the aeolian material first during cold water leaching followed by an increase in carbonate and silicate dissolution during freeze-thaw. Major ion fluxes on glaciers and lakes are at least two orders of magnitude greater than nutrient fluxes. However, the fluxes derived from these experiments are less than the estimated flux from streams to lakes and probably represent minima. Aeolian redistribution of local soils is important because they are the only source of new solutes and nutrients to the aquatic ecosystem of the MDV.

  18. McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica - A Mars Phoenix Mission Analog

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Anderson, R. M.; Archer, D.; Douglas, S.; Kounaves, S. P.; McKay, C. P.; Ming, Douglas W.; Moore, Q.; Quinn, J. E.; Smith, P. H.; Stroble, S.; Zent, A. P.

    2010-01-01

    The Phoenix mission (PHX; May 25 - Nov. 2, 2008) studied the north polar region of Mars (68deg N) to understand the history of water and potential for habitability. Phoenix carried with it a wet chemistry lab (WCL) capable of determining the basic solution chemistry of the soil and the pH value, a thermal and evolved-gas analyzer capable of determining the mineralogy of the soil and detecting ice, microscopes capable of seeing soil particle shapes, sizes and colors at very high resolution, and a soil probe (TECP) capable of detecting unfrozen water in the soil. PHX coincided with an international effort to study the Earth s polar regions named the International Polar Year (IPY; 2007-2008). The best known Earth analog to the Martian high-northern plains, where Phoenix landed, are the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV), Antarctica (Fig. 1). Thus, the IPY afforded a unique opportunity to study the MDV with the same foci - history of water and habitability - as PHX. In austral summer 2007, our team took engineering models of WCL and TECP into the MDV and performed analgous measurements. We also collected sterile samples and analyzed them in our home laboratories using state-of-the-art tools. While PHX was not designed to perform biologic analyses, we were able to do so with the MDV analog samples collected.

  19. Design of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle to Calibrate the Europa Clipper Ice-Penetrating Radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, W.; Siegel, V.; Kimball, P.; Richmond, K.; Flesher, C.; Hogan, B.; Lelievre, S.

    2013-12-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa has been prioritized as the target for the Europa Clipper flyby mission. A key science objective for the mission is to remotely characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange. This objective is a critical component of the mission's overarching goal of assessing the habitability of Europa. The instrument targeted for addressing key aspects of this goal is an ice-penetrating radar (IPR). As a primary goal of our work, we will tightly couple airborne IPR studies of the Ross Ice Shelf by the Europa Clipper radar team with ground-truth data to be obtained from sub-glacial sonar and bio-geochemical mapping of the corresponding ice-water and water-rock interfaces using an advanced autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The ARTEMIS vehicle - a heavily morphed long-range, low drag variant of the highly successful 4-degree-of-freedom hovering sub-ice ENDURANCE bot -- will be deployed from a sea-ice drill hole adjacent the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) and will perform three classes of missions. The first includes original exploration and high definition mapping of both the ice-water interface and the benthic interface on a length scale (approximately 10 kilometers under-ice penetration radius) that will definitively tie it to the synchronous airborne IPR over-flights. These exploration and mapping missions will be conducted at up to 10 different locations along the MIS in order to capture varying ice thickness and seawater intrusion into the ice shelf. Following initial mapping characterization, the vehicle will conduct astrobiology-relevant proximity operations using bio-assay sensors (custom-designed UV fluorescence and machine-vision-processed optical imagery) followed by point-targeted studies at regions of interest. Sample returns from the ice-water interface will be triggered autonomously using real-time-processed instrument data and onboard decision-to-collect algorithms

  20. Turbulent heat transfer as a control of platelet ice growth in supercooled under-ice ocean boundary layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McPhee, Miles G.; Stevens, Craig L.; Smith, Inga J.; Robinson, Natalie J.

    2016-04-01

    Late winter measurements of turbulent quantities in tidally modulated flow under land-fast sea ice near the Erebus Glacier Tongue, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, identified processes that influence growth at the interface of an ice surface in contact with supercooled seawater. The data show that turbulent heat exchange at the ocean-ice boundary is characterized by the product of friction velocity and (negative) water temperature departure from freezing, analogous to similar results for moderate melting rates in seawater above freezing. Platelet ice growth appears to increase the hydraulic roughness (drag) of fast ice compared with undeformed fast ice without platelets. Platelet growth in supercooled water under thick ice appears to be rate-limited by turbulent heat transfer and that this is a significant factor to be considered in mass transfer at the underside of ice shelves and sea ice in the vicinity of ice shelves.

  1. Turbulent heat transfer as a control of platelet ice growth in supercool under-ice ocean boundary-layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McPhee, M. G.; Stevens, C. L.; Smith, I. J.; Robinson, N. J.

    2015-11-01

    Late winter measurements of turbulent quantities in tidally modulated flow under land-fast sea ice near the Erebus Glacier Tongue, McMurdo Sound, identified processes that influence growth at the interface of an ice surface in contact with supercool seawater. The data suggest that turbulent heat exchange at the ocean-ice boundary is characterized by the product of friction velocity and (negative) water temperature departure from freezing, analogous to similar results for moderate melting rates in seawater above freezing. Platelet ice growth appears to increase the hydraulic roughness (drag) of fast ice compared with undeformed fast ice without platelets. We hypothesize that platelet growth in supercool water under thick ice is rate-limited by turbulent heat transfer and that this is a significant factor to be considered in mass transfer at the under-side of ice shelves and sea ice in the vicinity of ice shelves.

  2. Dynamics of the late Plio-Pleistocene West Antarctic Ice Sheet documented in subglacial diamictites, AND-1B drill core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowan, Ellen A.; Christoffersen, Poul; Powell, Ross D.; Talarico, Franco M.

    2014-08-01

    Geologic studies of sediment deposited by glaciers can provide crucial insights into the subglacial environment. We studied muddy diamictites in the ANtarctic geological DRILLing (ANDRILL) AND-1B drill core, acquired from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf in McMurdo Sound, with the aim of identifying paleo-ice stream activity in the Plio-Pleistocene. Glacial advances were identified from glacial surfaces of erosion (GSEs) and subglacial diamictites within three complete sequences were investigated using lithofacies associations, micromorphology, and quartz sand grain microtextures. Whereas conditions in the Late Pliocene resemble the modern Greenland Ice Sheet where fast flowing glaciers lubricated by surface meltwater terminate directly in the sea (interval 201-212 mbsl) conditions in the Late Pleistocene are similar to modern West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice streams (38-49 mbsl). We identify the latter from ductile deformation and high pore-water pressure, which resulted in pervasive rotation and formation of till pellets and low relief, rounded sand grains dominated by abrasion. In the transitional period during the Mid-Pleistocene (55-68 mbsf), a slow moving inland ice sheet deposited tills with brittle deformation, producing lineations and bi-masepic and unistrial plasma fabric, along with high relief, conchoidally fractured quartz grains. Changes in the provenance of gravel to cobble-size clasts support a distant source area of Byrd Glacier for fast-flowing paleo-ice streams and a proximal area between Darwin and Skelton Glaciers for the slow-moving inland ice sheet. This difference in till provenance documents a shift in direction of glacial flow at the core site, which indirectly reflects changes in the size and thickness of the WAIS. Hence, we found that fast ice streaming motion is a consequence of a thicker WAIS pushing flow lines to the west and introducing clasts from the Byrd Glacier source area to the drill site. The detailed analysis of diamictites in

  3. Early and Middle Miocene Antarctic Ice Sheet Behavior: results from the ANDRILL SMS Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harwood, D. M.; Florindo, F.; Levy, R. H.; SMS Project Science Team http://andrill. org/projects/sms/team. html

    2011-12-01

    A 1138-meter sediment drillcore (AND-2A) recovered by the SMS Project of the ANDRILL Program from the McMurdo Sound sector of the western Ross Sea contains a near-continuous, coastal record of Antarctic climate and ice sheet variability through the early Miocene (20.2 to ~14.5 million years ago), including an interval of global warmth known as the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum (MMCO). The AND-2A drillcore was deposited in the subsiding Victoria Land Basin, during a period of relatively steady thermal subsidence, on the coastal plain and continental shelf seaward of the rising Transantarctic Mountains. Analysis of this drillcore indicates prolonged periods when the ice sheet margin remained retreated from the coastline, and other periods when the ice sheet was highly dynamic, advancing and retreating on orbital timescales. It preserves a record of the pace and scale of climate and ice sheet variation, and allows for the evaluation of climate sensitivity through data and numerical modeling integration. Stratigraphic sequences and facies interpretations reveal a cyclical history of climate changes, glacial advance and retreat cycles. Under warm, equable climate conditions recorded in a variety of climate indicators, the behavior of the early Miocene Antarctic ice sheet evident in the AND-2A core was varied, ranging between two modes: (1) persistent absence/retreat of low elevation ice sheets from coastal regions, and (2) periods of dynamic but subdued fluctuations with the ice margin of larger volume ice sheets entering across the coastal zone. The glacial regime varied from sub-polar with significant meltwater through proximal and distal high-latitude temperate glacial conditions with abundant meltwater. A well-developed chronostratigraphic framework allows for the comparison of events recognized in this drillcore with events identified in distal proxy records from deep-sea stable isotope studies. This dynamic response of Antarctic climate during times when CO2 levels

  4. Alaska marine ice atlas

    SciTech Connect

    LaBelle, J.C.; Wise, J.L.; Voelker, R.P.; Schulze, R.H.; Wohl, G.M.

    1982-01-01

    A comprehensive Atlas of Alaska marine ice is presented. It includes information on pack and landfast sea ice and calving tidewater glacier ice. It also gives information on ice and related environmental conditions collected over several years time and indicates the normal and extreme conditions that might be expected in Alaska coastal waters. Much of the information on ice conditions in Alaska coastal waters has emanated from research activities in outer continental shelf regions under assessment for oil and gas exploration and development potential. (DMC)

  5. The McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica: Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems responding to climatic events that enhance hydrologic transport acress the landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKnight, D. M.; Lyons, W. B.; Fountain, A. G.; Gooseff, M. N.; Doran, P. T.; Wall, D. H.; Virginia, R. A.; Priscu, J. C.; Adams, B.; Vesbach-Takacs, C.; Barrett, J. E.; Howkins, A.

    2014-12-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica is comprised of alpine and terminal glaciers, large expanses of patterned ground, and permanently ice-covered lakes in the valley floors, which are linked by glacial meltwater streams that flow during the austral summer. These valleys were first explored by Robert Scott and his party in 1903. In 1968 the New Zealand Antarctic Program began a gauging network on the Onyx River, a 32 km river in Wright Valley which is the longest river in Antarctica. As part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological research project our research group has monitored meteorological conditions, glacial mass balance, lake level and streamflow in the adjacent Taylor Valley. The extent of liquid water throughout the landscape is strongly controlled by summer climate, and the availability of liquid water in turn is a limitation to the microscopic life that is present in the diverse habitats in the valleys. We have studied the responses of soil, lake, stream and cryoconite ecosystems through a sustained cooling period that has been driven by atmospheric changes associated with the ozone hole. In the past decade, this cooling period appears to have ceased and summer conditions have become more variable. Three warm sunny summers have occurred since 2001/02. These conditions have created weeks long "flood events" in the valleys, causing wet areas to emerge in the soils, thermokarsting in some stream channels and increases in lake level. These flood events can be considered as pulse events that drive an increase in ecosystem connectivity, changing rates of biogeochemical processes and the distribution of biota. Collectively the ecosystems of the McMurdo Dry Valleys are highly responsive to dynamic climatic influences associated with the ozone hole and global warming.

  6. Anchor ice and benthic disturbance in shallow Antarctic waters: interspecific variation in initiation and propagation of ice crystals.

    PubMed

    Denny, Mark; Dorgan, Kelly M; Evangelista, Dennis; Hettinger, Annaliese; Leichter, James; Ruder, Warren C; Tuval, Idan

    2011-10-01

    Sea ice typically forms at the ocean's surface, but given a source of supercooled water, an unusual form of ice--anchor ice--can grow on objects in the water column or at the seafloor. For several decades, ecologists have considered anchor ice to be an important agent of disturbance in the shallow-water benthic communities of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, and potentially elsewhere in polar seas. Divers have documented anchor ice in the McMurdo communities, and its presence coincides with reduced abundance of the sponge Homaxinella balfourensis, which provides habitat for a diverse assemblage of benthic organisms. However, the mechanism of this disturbance has not been explored. Here we show interspecific differences in anchor-ice formation and propagation characteristics for Antarctic benthic organisms. The sponges H. balfourensis and Suberites caminatus show increased incidence of formation and accelerated spread of ice crystals compared to urchins and sea stars. Anchor ice also forms readily on sediments, from which it can grow and adhere to organisms. Our results are consistent with, and provide a potential first step toward, an explanation for disturbance patterns observed in shallow polar benthic communities. Interspecific differences in ice formation raise questions about how surface tissue characteristics such as surface area, rugosity, and mucus coating affect ice formation on invertebrates.

  7. Strong coupling among Antarctic ice shelves, ocean circulation and sea ice in a global sea-ice - ocean circulation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergienko, Olga

    2016-04-01

    The thermodynamic effects of Antarctic ice shelf interaction with ocean circulation are investigated using a global, high-resolution, isopycnal ocean-circulation model coupled to a sea-ice model. The model uses NASA MERRA Reanalysis from 1992 to 2011 as atmospheric forcing. The simulated long-period variability of ice-shelf melting/freezing rates differ across geographic locations. The ice shelves in Antarctic Peninsula, Amundsen and Bellingshausen sea embayments and the Amery Ice Shelf experience an increase in melting starting from 2005. This increase in melting is due to an increase in the subsurface (100-500 m) ocean heat content in the embayments of these ice shelves, which is caused by an increase in sea-ice concentration after 2005, and consequent reduction of the heat loss to the atmosphere. Our simulations provide a strong evidence for a coupling between ocean circulation, sea ice and ice shelves.

  8. Into the Deep Black Sea: The Icefin Modular AUV for Ice-Covered Ocean Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meister, M. R.; Schmidt, B. E.; West, M. E.; Walker, C. C.; Buffo, J.; Spears, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Icefin autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) was designed to enable long-range oceanographic exploration of physical and biological ocean environments in ice-covered regions. The vehicle is capable of surveying under-ice geometry, ice and ice-ocean interface properties, as well as water column conditions beneath the ice interface. It was developed with both cryospheric and planetary-analog exploration in mind. The first Icefin prototype was successfully operated in Antarctica in Austral summer 2014. The vehicle was deployed through a borehole in the McMurdo Ice Shelf near Black Island and successfully collected sonar, imaging, video and water column data down to 450 m depth. Icefin was developed using a modular design. Each module is designed to perform specific tasks, dependent on the mission objective. Vehicle control and data systems can be stably developed, and power modules added or subtracted for mission flexibility. Multiple sensor bays can be developed in parallel to serve multiple science objectives. This design enables the vehicle to have greater depth capability as well as improved operational simplicity compared to larger vehicles with equivalent capabilities. As opposed to those vehicles that require greater logistics and associated costs, Icefin can be deployed through boreholes drilled in the ice. Thus, Icefin satisfies the demands of achieving sub-ice missions while maintaining a small form factor and easy deployment necessary for repeated, low-logistical impact field programs. The current Icefin prototype is 10.5 inches in diameter by 10 feet long and weighs 240 pounds. It is comprised of two thruster modules with hovering capabilities, an oceanographic sensing module, main control module and a forward-sensing module for obstacle avoidance. The oceanographic sensing module is fitted with a side scan sonar (SSS), CT sensor, altimetry profiler and Doplar Velocity Log (DVL) with current profiling. Icefin is depth-rated to 1500 m and is equipped with

  9. The safety band of Antarctic ice shelves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fürst, Johannes Jakob; Durand, Gaël; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Tavard, Laure; Rankl, Melanie; Braun, Matthias; Gagliardini, Olivier

    2016-05-01

    The floating ice shelves along the seaboard of the Antarctic ice sheet restrain the outflow of upstream grounded ice. Removal of these ice shelves, as shown by past ice-shelf recession and break-up, accelerates the outflow, which adds to sea-level rise. A key question in predicting future outflow is to quantify the extent of calving that might precondition other dynamic consequences and lead to loss of ice-shelf restraint. Here we delineate frontal areas that we label as `passive shelf ice’ and that can be removed without major dynamic implications, with contrasting results across the continent. The ice shelves in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas have limited or almost no `passive’ portion, which implies that further retreat of current ice-shelf fronts will yield important dynamic consequences. This region is particularly vulnerable as ice shelves have been thinning at high rates for two decades and as upstream grounded ice rests on a backward sloping bed, a precondition to marine ice-sheet instability. In contrast to these ice shelves, Larsen C Ice Shelf, in the Weddell Sea, exhibits a large `passive’ frontal area, suggesting that the imminent calving of a vast tabular iceberg will be unlikely to instantly produce much dynamic change.

  10. Uncovering the glacial history of the Irish continental shelf (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunlop, P.; Benetti, S.; OCofaigh, C.

    2013-12-01

    In 1999 the Irish Government initiated a €32 million survey of its territorial waters known as the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS). The INSS is amongst the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken anywhere in the world and provides high-resolution multibeam, backscatter and seismic data of the seabed around Ireland. These data have been used to provide the first clear evidence for extensive glaciation of the continental shelf west and northwest of Ireland. Streamlined drumlins on the mid to outer shelf record former offshore-directed ice flow towards the shelf edge and show that the ice sheet was grounded in a zone of confluence where ice flowing onto the shelf from northwest Ireland merged with ice flowing across the Malin Shelf from southwest Scotland. The major glacial features on the shelf are well developed nested arcuate moraine systems that mark the position of the ice sheet margin and confirm that the former British Irish Ice Sheet was grounded as far as the shelf edge around 100 km offshore of west Donegal at the last glacial maximum. Distal to the moraines, on the outermost shelf, prominent zones of iceberg plough marks give way to the Barra/Donegal fan and a well developed system of gullies and canyons which incise the continental slope. Since 2008 several scientific cruises have retrieved cores from the shelf and slope to help build a more detailed understanding of glacial events in this region. This presentation will provide an overview of the glacial history of the Irish shelf and will discuss ongoing research programmes that are building on the initial research findings to produce a better understanding of the nature and timing of ice sheet events in this region.

  11. Rare earth elements in the water column of Lake Vanda, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Carlo, Eric Heinen; Green, William J.

    2002-04-01

    We present data on the composition of water from Lake Vanda, Antarctica. Vanda and other lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are characterized by closed basins, permanent ice covers, and deep saline waters. The meromictic lakes provide model systems for the study of trace metal cycling owing to their pristine nature and the relative simplicity of their biogeochemical systems. Lake Vanda, in the Wright Valley, is supplied by a single input, the Onyx River, and has no output. Water input to the lake is balanced by sublimation of the nearly permanent ice cap that is broken only near the shoreline during the austral summer. The water column is characterized by an inverse thermal stratification of anoxic warm hypersaline water underlying cold oxic freshwater. Water collected under trace-element clean conditions was analyzed for its dissolved and total rare earth element (REE) concentrations by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Depth profiles are characterized by low dissolved REE concentrations (La, Ce, <15 pM) in surface waters that increase slightly (La, 70 pM; Ce, 20 pM) with increasing depth to ˜55 m, the limit of the fresh oxic waters. Below this depth, a sharp increase in the concentrations of strictly trivalent REE (e.g., La, 5 nM) is observed, and a submaximum in redox sensitive Ce (2.6 nM) is found at 60- to 62-m depth. At a slightly deeper depth, a sharper Ce maximum is observed with concentrations exceeding 11 nM at a 67-m depth, immediately above the anoxic zone. The aquatic concentrations of REE reported here are ˜50-fold higher than previously reported for marine oxic/anoxic boundaries and are, to our knowledge, the highest ever observed at natural oxic/anoxic interfaces. REE maxima occur within stable and warm saline waters. All REE concentrations decrease sharply in the sulfidic bottom waters. The redox-cline in Lake Vanda is dominated by diffusional processes and vertical transport of dissolved species driven by concentration

  12. Was the exposed continental shelf a long-distance colonization route in the ice age? The Southeast Asia origin of Hainan and Taiwan partridges.

    PubMed

    Chen, De; Chang, Jiang; Li, Shou-Hsien; Liu, Yang; Liang, Wei; Zhou, Fang; Yao, Cheng-Te; Zhang, Zhengwang

    2015-02-01

    Research on island biotas has greatly contributed to the development of modern evolutionary and biogeographic theories. Until now, most studies have suggested that continental islands received their biotas directly from the adjacent mainland. However, only a few studies have indicated that species on continental islands might originate from other distantly non-adjacent regions. Here, we used the hill partridges (genus Arborophila) that are widely distributed in the southwest and southeast China mainland, Indochina, Hainan and Taiwan islands to test whether species on continental islands might originate from distant regions rather than the adjacent mainland. Based on molecular phylogenies inferred from three mitochondrial fragments and three nuclear introns, together with ancestral area reconstruction, we found that the ancestors of the endemic Hainan and Taiwan partridges (A. ardens and A. crudigularis) likely originated from Indochina, rather than the nearby southeast China mainland. The divergence time estimates demonstrate that their ancestors likely colonized Hainan and Taiwan islands using the long exposed continental shelf between Indochina, Hainan and Taiwan islands during glacial periods, which had not been demonstrated before. Thus, integrating distribution data with phylogenetic information can shed new lights on the historical biogeography of continental islands and surrounding mainland regions.

  13. Ocean current observations near McMurdo Station, Antarctica from 1991 to 1993: Relation to wastewater discharge dispersal

    SciTech Connect

    Barry, J.P.

    1994-08-01

    Analyses of ocean currents in the vicinity of McMurdo Station, Antarctica, are relevant to the transport and dispersal of wastewater from the McMurdo Station sewage outfall pipe. Observations of ocean currents during the initial phases of this study have been presented by Howington and McFeters. These studies, using coliform bacterial counts as an indicator of dispersion of the wastewater plume and current meters to measure flow patterns, indicated that dispersal of the plume by local currents does not effectively remove the plume from the vicinity of McMurdo Sound, under the present outfall pipe location. Moreover, these studies suggest that, although the flow pattern is generally consistent with transport of the plume away from McMurdo Station, episodes of current reversal are sufficient to transport the wastewater plume along the shore toward the southeast, eventually overlapping the seawater intake area near the McMurdo jetty. Several concerns included (a) impacts of wastewater inputs to nearshore benthic and pelagic habitats adjacent to McMurdo Station, (b) effects of wastewater input to the McMurdo Station fresh water intake source, and (c) reduction in human impacts on the McMurdo Sound ecosystem. These concerns motivated studies to characterize nearshore currents more extensively in relation to dispersal of the wastewater plume. This report discusses analysis results of current observations from November 1992 to November 1993.

  14. Antarctic ice rise formation, evolution, and stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favier, Lionel; Pattyn, Frank

    2015-06-01

    Antarctic ice rises originate from the contact between ice shelves and one of the numerous topographic highs emerging from the edge of the continental shelf. While investigations of the Raymond effect indicate their millennial-scale stability, little is known about their formation and their role in ice shelf stability. Here we present for the first time the simulation of an ice rise using the BISICLES model. The numerical results successfully reproduce several field-observable features, such as the substantial thinning downstream of the ice rise and the successive formation of a promontory and ice rise with stable radial ice flow center, showing that ice rises are formed during the ice sheet deglaciation. We quantify the ice rise buttressing effect, found to be mostly transient, delaying grounding line retreat significantly but resulting in comparable steady state positions. We demonstrate that ice rises are key in controlling simulations of Antarctic deglaciation.

  15. Two-stage growth of the Late Miocene Minna Bluff Volcanic Complex, Ross Embayment, Antarctica: implications for ice-sheet and volcanic histories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilch, T. I.; McIntosh, W. C.; Panter, K. S.; Dunbar, N. W.; Smellie, J.; Fargo, A. J.; Ross, J. I.; Antibus, J. V.; Scanlan, M. K.

    2011-12-01

    Minna Bluff, a 45km long, 5km wide Late Miocene alkaline volcanic peninsula that extends SE into the Ross Ice Shelf, is a major obstruction to ice flow from the south into the McMurdo Sound region. Interpretations of the abundant paleoclimate and glacial history archives, including the ANDRILL records, need to account for the effects of paleogeography on past ice-flow configurations and sediment transport. Mapping and 40Ar/39Ar dating of volcanic sequences indicate that Minna Bluff was constructed between 12 and 4 Ma. The volcanic complex first emerged as an isolated island in the Ross Sea at about 12 Ma. The edifice, here named Minna Hook Island, was constructed between 12 and 8 Ma. During this first stage of growth, regional ice was able to flow through a ~40 km gap between the island and mainland. The second stage of volcanism built the main arm of Minna Bluff, now called McIntosh Cliffs, between 8 and 4 Ma. The second stage resulted in the eruption of exclusively subaerial cinder cones and lava flows. By approximately 5 Ma the peninsula had fully emerged above sea level, fully obstructing ice flow. Evidence for volcano-ice interaction is common in Minna Hook stratigraphic sequences. Well exposed cliff sections exhibit alternations between rocks erupted in subaerial and subaqueous conditions; these sequences are interpreted to represent syneruptive interactions between lava flows and glacial ice and provide evidence for periodic glaciations between 12 and 8 Ma. The lack of coherent horizontal passage zones between subglacial and subaerial lithofacies and the alternating nature of the deposits suggest that the eruptions did not occur in a large stable ice sheet but instead occurred in a more ephemeral local ice cap or rapidly drained ice sheet. At least two widespread, undulating glacial unconformities mantled by glacial and fluvial sediments are exposed near the base of the Minna Hook sequences. These unconformities record broad scale Antarctic Ice Sheet events

  16. Application of ground-penetrating radar at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Stefano, J.E.

    1992-05-01

    Argonne National Laboratory initiated a site investigation program at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, to characterize environmental contamination. The performance and usefulness of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) was evaluated under antarctic conditions during the initial site investigation in January 1991. Preliminary surveys were successful in defining the contact between reworked pyroclastic material and in the prefill, undisturbed pyroclastics and basalts at some sites. Interference from radio traffic at McMurdo Station was not observed, but interference was a problem in work with unshielded antennas near buildings. In general, the results of this field test suggest that high-quality, high-resolution, continuous subsurface profiles can be produced with GPR over most of McMurdo Station.

  17. Application of ground-penetrating radar at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Stefano, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    Argonne National Laboratory initiated a site investigation program at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, to characterize environmental contamination. The performance and usefulness of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) was evaluated under antarctic conditions during the initial site investigation in January 1991. Preliminary surveys were successful in defining the contact between reworked pyroclastic material and in the prefill, undisturbed pyroclastics and basalts at some sites. Interference from radio traffic at McMurdo Station was not observed, but interference was a problem in work with unshielded antennas near buildings. In general, the results of this field test suggest that high-quality, high-resolution, continuous subsurface profiles can be produced with GPR over most of McMurdo Station.

  18. 'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (Stereo)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This 360-degree view, called the 'McMurdo' panorama, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. From April through October 2006, Spirit has stayed on a small hill known as 'Low Ridge.' There, the rover's solar panels are tilted toward the sun to maintain enough solar power for Spirit to keep making scientific observations throughout the winter on southern Mars. This view of the surroundings from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' is presented as a stereo anaglyph to show the scene three-dimensionally when viewed through red-blue glasses (with the red lens on the left).

    Oct. 26, 2006, marks Spirit's 1,000th sol of what was planned as a 90-sol mission. (A sol is a Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds). The rover has lived through the most challenging part of its second Martian winter. Its solar power levels are rising again. Spring in the southern hemisphere of Mars will begin in early 2007. Before that, the rover team hopes to start driving Spirit again toward scientifically interesting places in the 'Inner Basin' and 'Columbia Hills' inside Gusev crater. The McMurdo panorama is providing team members with key pieces of scientific and topographic information for choosing where to continue Spirit's exploration adventure.

    The Pancam began shooting component images of this panorama during Spirit's sol 814 (April 18, 2006) and completed the part shown here on sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006). The panorama was acquired using all 13 of the Pancam's color filters, using lossless compression for the red and blue stereo filters, and only modest levels of compression on the remaining filters. The overall panorama consists of 1,449 Pancam images and represents a raw data volume of nearly 500 megabytes. It is thus the largest, highest-fidelity view of Mars acquired from either rover. Additional photo coverage of the parts of the rover deck not shown here was completed on sol 980 (Oct. 5 , 2006). The team is completing the

  19. 'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This 360-degree view, called the 'McMurdo' panorama, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. From April through October 2006, Spirit has stayed on a small hill known as 'Low Ridge.' There, the rover's solar panels are tilted toward the sun to maintain enough solar power for Spirit to keep making scientific observations throughout the winter on southern Mars. This view of the surroundings from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' is presented in approximately true color.

    Oct. 26, 2006, marks Spirit's 1,000th sol of what was planned as a 90-sol mission. (A sol is a Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds). The rover has lived through the most challenging part of its second Martian winter. Its solar power levels are rising again. Spring in the southern hemisphere of Mars will begin in early 2007. Before that, the rover team hopes to start driving Spirit again toward scientifically interesting places in the 'Inner Basin' and 'Columbia Hills' inside Gusev crater. The McMurdo panorama is providing team members with key pieces of scientific and topographic information for choosing where to continue Spirit's exploration adventure.

    The Pancam began shooting component images of this panorama during Spirit's sol 814 (April 18, 2006) and completed the part shown here on sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006). The panorama was acquired using all 13 of the Pancam's color filters, using lossless compression for the red and blue stereo filters, and only modest levels of compression on the remaining filters. The overall panorama consists of 1,449 Pancam images and represents a raw data volume of nearly 500 megabytes. It is thus the largest, highest-fidelity view of Mars acquired from either rover. Additional photo coverage of the parts of the rover deck not shown here was completed on sol 980 (Oct. 5 , 2006). The team is completing the processing and mosaicking of those final pieces of the panorama, and that image will be released on

  20. 'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (Color Stereo)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left-eye view of a stereo pair for PIA01905

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right-eye view of a stereo pair for PIA01905

    This 360-degree view, called the 'McMurdo' panorama, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. From April through October 2006, Spirit has stayed on a small hill known as 'Low Ridge.' There, the rover's solar panels are tilted toward the sun to maintain enough solar power for Spirit to keep making scientific observations throughout the winter on southern Mars. This view of the surroundings from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' is presented as a stereo anaglyph to show the scene three-dimensionally when viewed through red-blue glasses (with the red lens on the left).

    Oct. 26, 2006, marks Spirit's 1,000th sol of what was planned as a 90-sol mission. (A sol is a Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds). The rover has lived through the most challenging part of its second Martian winter. Its solar power levels are rising again. Spring in the southern hemisphere of Mars will begin in early 2007. Before that, the rover team hopes to start driving Spirit again toward scientifically interesting places in the 'Inner Basin' and 'Columbia Hills' inside Gusev crater. The McMurdo panorama is providing team members with key pieces of scientific and topographic information for choosing where to continue Spirit's exploration adventure.

    The Pancam began shooting component images of this panorama during Spirit's sol 814 (April 18, 2006) and completed the part shown here on sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006). The panorama was acquired using all 13 of the Pancam's color filters, using lossless compression for the red and blue stereo filters, and only modest levels of compression on the remaining filters. The overall panorama consists of 1,449 Pancam images and represents a raw data volume of nearly 500 megabytes. It is thus the largest

  1. 'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (False Color)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This 360-degree view, called the 'McMurdo' panorama, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. From April through October 2006, Spirit has stayed on a small hill known as 'Low Ridge.' There, the rover's solar panels are tilted toward the sun to maintain enough solar power for Spirit to keep making scientific observations throughout the winter on southern Mars. This view of the surroundings from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' is presented in exaggerated color to enhance color differences among rocks, soils and sand.

    Oct. 26, 2006, marks Spirit's 1,000th sol of what was planned as a 90-sol mission. (A sol is a Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds). The rover has lived through the most challenging part of its second Martian winter. Its solar power levels are rising again. Spring in the southern hemisphere of Mars will begin in early 2007. Before that, the rover team hopes to start driving Spirit again toward scientifically interesting places in the 'Inner Basin' and 'Columbia Hills' inside Gusev crater. The McMurdo panorama is providing team members with key pieces of scientific and topographic information for choosing where to continue Spirit's exploration adventure.

    The Pancam began shooting component images of this panorama during Spirit's sol 814 (April 18, 2006) and completed the part shown here on sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006). The panorama was acquired using all 13 of the Pancam's color filters, using lossless compression for the red and blue stereo filters, and only modest levels of compression on the remaining filters. The overall panorama consists of 1,449 Pancam images and represents a raw data volume of nearly 500 megabytes. It is thus the largest, highest-fidelity view of Mars acquired from either rover. Additional photo coverage of the parts of the rover deck not shown here was completed on sol 980 (Oct. 5 , 2006). The team is completing the processing and mosaicking of those final pieces of

  2. 'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (Color Stereo)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left-eye view of a stereo pair for PIA01905

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right-eye view of a stereo pair for PIA01905

    This 360-degree view, called the 'McMurdo' panorama, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. From April through October 2006, Spirit has stayed on a small hill known as 'Low Ridge.' There, the rover's solar panels are tilted toward the sun to maintain enough solar power for Spirit to keep making scientific observations throughout the winter on southern Mars. This view of the surroundings from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' is presented as a stereo anaglyph to show the scene three-dimensionally when viewed through red-blue glasses (with the red lens on the left).

    Oct. 26, 2006, marks Spirit's 1,000th sol of what was planned as a 90-sol mission. (A sol is a Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds). The rover has lived through the most challenging part of its second Martian winter. Its solar power levels are rising again. Spring in the southern hemisphere of Mars will begin in early 2007. Before that, the rover team hopes to start driving Spirit again toward scientifically interesting places in the 'Inner Basin' and 'Columbia Hills' inside Gusev crater. The McMurdo panorama is providing team members with key pieces of scientific and topographic information for choosing where to continue Spirit's exploration adventure.

    The Pancam began shooting component images of this panorama during Spirit's sol 814 (April 18, 2006) and completed the part shown here on sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006). The panorama was acquired using all 13 of the Pancam's color filters, using lossless compression for the red and blue stereo filters, and only modest levels of compression on the remaining filters. The overall panorama consists of 1,449 Pancam images and represents a raw data volume of nearly 500 megabytes. It is thus the largest

  3. 'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (Stereo)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This 360-degree view, called the 'McMurdo' panorama, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. From April through October 2006, Spirit has stayed on a small hill known as 'Low Ridge.' There, the rover's solar panels are tilted toward the sun to maintain enough solar power for Spirit to keep making scientific observations throughout the winter on southern Mars. This view of the surroundings from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' is presented as a stereo anaglyph to show the scene three-dimensionally when viewed through red-blue glasses (with the red lens on the left).

    Oct. 26, 2006, marks Spirit's 1,000th sol of what was planned as a 90-sol mission. (A sol is a Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds). The rover has lived through the most challenging part of its second Martian winter. Its solar power levels are rising again. Spring in the southern hemisphere of Mars will begin in early 2007. Before that, the rover team hopes to start driving Spirit again toward scientifically interesting places in the 'Inner Basin' and 'Columbia Hills' inside Gusev crater. The McMurdo panorama is providing team members with key pieces of scientific and topographic information for choosing where to continue Spirit's exploration adventure.

    The Pancam began shooting component images of this panorama during Spirit's sol 814 (April 18, 2006) and completed the part shown here on sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006). The panorama was acquired using all 13 of the Pancam's color filters, using lossless compression for the red and blue stereo filters, and only modest levels of compression on the remaining filters. The overall panorama consists of 1,449 Pancam images and represents a raw data volume of nearly 500 megabytes. It is thus the largest, highest-fidelity view of Mars acquired from either rover. Additional photo coverage of the parts of the rover deck not shown here was completed on sol 980 (Oct. 5 , 2006). The team is completing the

  4. 'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (False Color)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This 360-degree view, called the 'McMurdo' panorama, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. From April through October 2006, Spirit has stayed on a small hill known as 'Low Ridge.' There, the rover's solar panels are tilted toward the sun to maintain enough solar power for Spirit to keep making scientific observations throughout the winter on southern Mars. This view of the surroundings from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' is presented in exaggerated color to enhance color differences among rocks, soils and sand.

    Oct. 26, 2006, marks Spirit's 1,000th sol of what was planned as a 90-sol mission. (A sol is a Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds). The rover has lived through the most challenging part of its second Martian winter. Its solar power levels are rising again. Spring in the southern hemisphere of Mars will begin in early 2007. Before that, the rover team hopes to start driving Spirit again toward scientifically interesting places in the 'Inner Basin' and 'Columbia Hills' inside Gusev crater. The McMurdo panorama is providing team members with key pieces of scientific and topographic information for choosing where to continue Spirit's exploration adventure.

    The Pancam began shooting component images of this panorama during Spirit's sol 814 (April 18, 2006) and completed the part shown here on sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006). The panorama was acquired using all 13 of the Pancam's color filters, using lossless compression for the red and blue stereo filters, and only modest levels of compression on the remaining filters. The overall panorama consists of 1,449 Pancam images and represents a raw data volume of nearly 500 megabytes. It is thus the largest, highest-fidelity view of Mars acquired from either rover. Additional photo coverage of the parts of the rover deck not shown here was completed on sol 980 (Oct. 5 , 2006). The team is completing the processing and mosaicking of those final pieces of

  5. 'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This 360-degree view, called the 'McMurdo' panorama, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. From April through October 2006, Spirit has stayed on a small hill known as 'Low Ridge.' There, the rover's solar panels are tilted toward the sun to maintain enough solar power for Spirit to keep making scientific observations throughout the winter on southern Mars. This view of the surroundings from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' is presented in approximately true color.

    Oct. 26, 2006, marks Spirit's 1,000th sol of what was planned as a 90-sol mission. (A sol is a Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds). The rover has lived through the most challenging part of its second Martian winter. Its solar power levels are rising again. Spring in the southern hemisphere of Mars will begin in early 2007. Before that, the rover team hopes to start driving Spirit again toward scientifically interesting places in the 'Inner Basin' and 'Columbia Hills' inside Gusev crater. The McMurdo panorama is providing team members with key pieces of scientific and topographic information for choosing where to continue Spirit's exploration adventure.

    The Pancam began shooting component images of this panorama during Spirit's sol 814 (April 18, 2006) and completed the part shown here on sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006). The panorama was acquired using all 13 of the Pancam's color filters, using lossless compression for the red and blue stereo filters, and only modest levels of compression on the remaining filters. The overall panorama consists of 1,449 Pancam images and represents a raw data volume of nearly 500 megabytes. It is thus the largest, highest-fidelity view of Mars acquired from either rover. Additional photo coverage of the parts of the rover deck not shown here was completed on sol 980 (Oct. 5 , 2006). The team is completing the processing and mosaicking of those final pieces of the panorama, and that image will be released on

  6. Photoadaptations of photosynthesis and carbon metabolism by phytoplankton from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. I. Species-specific and community responses to reduced irradiances

    SciTech Connect

    Rivkin, R.B.; Voytek, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    Irradiance-dependent rates of photosynthesis and photosynthate labeling patterns were measured for phytoplankton in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Species-specific and traditional whole-water techniques were used to compare the physiological responses of algae collected in a high light environment at the ice edge and from a low light environment under the annual sea ice. There were differences among species within the same sample, for the same species isolated from high and low light environments, and when species-specific responses were compared with that of the natural assemblage. For algae collected beneath the sea ice, photosynthesis generally saturated at a lower irradiance, and the light-limited region of the P vs. I relationship had a steeper slope than for the same species collected at the ice edge. Low-light-adapted algae incorporated significantly less /sup 14/C into proteins and more into low molecular weight compounds and lipids than the same species isolated from a high light environment. Under conditions where reduced rates of protein synthesis were coupled with high rates of carbon uptake, the measurement of photosynthesis may not accurately reflect the physiological condition of the phytoplankton.

  7. A Sr-Nd-Hf isotope characterization of dust source areas in Victoria Land and the McMurdo Sound sector of Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blakowski, Molly A.; Aciego, Sarah M.; Delmonte, Barbara; Baroni, Carlo; Salvatore, Maria Cristina; Sims, Kenneth W. W.

    2016-06-01

    Determining the geographical provenance of dust provides crucial insight into the global dust cycle. For the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), the importance of Southern hemisphere potential dust sources has been thoroughly investigated using radiogenic isotopes, whereas proximal dust source areas located on the periphery of the ice sheet remain poorly documented from a geochemical standpoint. In this work, we expand the existing isotopic (Srsbnd Nd) catalogue of dust and sand-sized sediments from Victoria Land and the McMurdo Sound sector, and incorporate Hf isotopic data to place additional constraints on dust source identification. The isotopic field for materials considered in this study is characterized by 87Sr/86Sr ratios ranging from 0.703 to 0.783, εNd between -12.01 and 6.36, and εHf from -16.77 to 6.89. As reported in previous works, the data reveal close relationships between Antarctic sediments and distinct parent lithologies; in addition, our findings emphasize the background presence of very fine dusts originating from dominant global sources and regional volcanic activity as barriers to direct source-to-sink comparison of isotopic signatures. Thus, geochemical characterizations of dust sources to the Antarctic ice sheet involving multiple size fractions, including coarser-grained particles more susceptible to short-range transport, can help us to rule out global sources of dust when examining local sediment cores and ice cores.

  8. The "Golden Shale": An indicator of coastal stability for Marble Point, McMurdo Sound, over the last four million years

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Claridge, G.G.C.; Campbell, I.B.

    2007-01-01

    A small sedimentary deposit near Gneiss Point on the western side of McMurdo Sound, previously identified as shale, is described. The deposit is phillipsite, a zeolite that is believed to have formed from the deposition and alteration of volcanic ash in a small ice-marginal saline lake. Other previously recorded occurrences of phillipsite in the dry valleys are believed to be several million years old. A similar age for this deposit is suggested for the Gneiss Point deposit. This is consistent with other weathering and landscape features found in the immediate area, including traces of halloysite in soils. The deposit is very close to sea level but could not have formed if the site had been below sea level, indicating that there has been very little uplift following that which caused the sea to retreat from the Wright Fiord.

  9. JPSS CGS C3S McMurdo Multimission Communications System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higgins, C.; Urbano, J.; Jamilkowski, M. L.

    2011-12-01

    NOAA's next-generation civilian environmental satellite system, the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) developed by NASA, will supply the afternoon orbit & ground system of the restructured NPOESS program. JPSS will replace NOAA's current POES system and ground processing part of both POES & DoD's Defense Weather Satellite System (DWSS). JPSS sensors will collect meteorological, oceanographic, climatological & solar-geophysical data. The command & data distribution part of the JPSS Common Ground System (CGS) is the Command, Control & Communications Segment (C3S), developed by Raytheon Intelligence & Information Systems. C3S manages the overall JPSS & DWSS missions from control & status of the space & ground assets to ensuring timely delivery of high-quality data to the Interface Data Processing Segment (IDPS). Key to C3S' data delivery system are 15 globally-distributed ground receptors developed by Raytheon Company which will collect up to 5 times the environmental data about 4 times faster than current polar-orbiting weather satellites. Then these data will be rapidly forwarded to weather centrals via the global fiber optic network for processing/production of data records for use in environmental prediction models. McMurdo Station, Antarctica is a major receptor site due to its high latitude. With the NSF, C3S completed the upgrade & expansion of their existing off-continent satellite communications (SATCOM) link with 60 Mbps of bandwidth outbound and 20 Mbps inbound to missions using McMurdo. C3S completed the 1st big milestone in 2008 increasjng bandwidth of 3 Mbps to/from Antarctica to 10 Mbps both ways. Raytheon's C3S also upgraded network infrastructure at McMurdo Station & Belrose Earth Station, Australia SATCOM sites. This provides routing support for several missions, plus expansion capabilities to support future missions at McMurdo. The upgrade completed in Dec 2010 to prepare for use of McMurdo Station to support new downlink capabilities, called the

  10. Controls on circulation, cross-shelf exchange, and dense water formation in an Antarctic polynya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snow, K.; Sloyan, B. M.; Rintoul, S. R.; Hogg, A. McC.; Downes, S. M.

    2016-07-01

    Circulation on the Antarctic continental shelf influences cross-shelf exchange, Antarctic Bottom Water formation, and ocean heat flux to floating ice shelves. The physical processes driving the shelf circulation and its seasonal and interannual variability remain poorly understood. We use a unique time series of repeat hydrographic observations from the Adélie Land continental shelf and a box inverse model to explore the relationship between surface forcing, shelf circulation, cross-shelf exchange, and dense water formation. A wind-driven northwestward coastal current, set up by onshore Ekman transport, dominates the summer circulation. During winter, strong buoyancy loss creates dense shelf water. This dense water flows off the shelf, with a compensating on-shelf flow that is an order of magnitude larger in winter than in summer. The results demonstrate the importance of winter buoyancy loss in driving the shelf circulation and cross-shelf exchange, as well as dense water mass formation.

  11. Ice Shelves and Landfast Ice on the Antarctic Perimeter: Revised Scope of Work

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scambos, Ted

    2002-01-01

    Ice shelves respond quickly and profoundly to a warming climate. Within a decade after mean summertime temperature reaches approx. O C and persistent melt pending is observed, a rapid retreat and disintegration occurs. This link was documented for ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula region (the Larsen 'A', 'B' and Wilkins Ice shelves) by the results of a previous grant under ADRO-1. Modeling of ice flow and the effects of meltwater indicated that melt pending accelerates shelf breakup by increasing fracture penetration. SAR data supplemented an AVHRR- and SSM/I-based image analysis of extent and surface characteristic changes. This funded grant is a revised, scaled-down version of an earlier proposal under the ADRO-2 NRA. The overall objective remains the same: we propose to build on the previous study by examining other ice shelves of the Antarctic and incorporate an examination of the climate-related characteristics of landfast ice. The study now considers just a few shelf and fast ice areas for study, and is funded for two years. The study regions are the northeastern Ross Ice Shelf, the Larsen 'B' and 'C' shelves, fast ice and floating shelf ice in the Pine Island Glacier area, and fast ice along the Wilkes Land coast. Further, rather than investigating a host of shelf and fast ice processes, we will home in on developing a series of characteristics associated with climate change over shelf and fast ice areas. Melt pending and break-up are the end stages of a response to a warming climate that may begin with increased melt event frequency (which changes both albedo and emissivity temporarily), changing firn backscatter (due to percolation features), and possibly increased rifting of the shelf surface. Fast ice may show some of these same processes on a seasonal timescale, providing insight into shelf evolution.

  12. Ciliate diversity, community structure, and novel taxa in lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yuan; Vick-Majors, Trista; Morgan-Kiss, Rachael; Priscu, John C; Amaral-Zettler, Linda

    2014-10-01

    We report an in-depth survey of next-generation DNA sequencing of ciliate diversity and community structure in two permanently ice-covered McMurdo Dry Valley lakes during the austral summer and autumn (November 2007 and March 2008). We tested hypotheses on the relationship between species richness and environmental conditions including environmental extremes, nutrient status, and day length. On the basis of the unique environment that exists in these high-latitude lakes, we expected that novel taxa would be present. Alpha diversity analyses showed that extreme conditions-that is, high salinity, low oxygen, and extreme changes in day length-did not impact ciliate richness; however, ciliate richness was 30% higher in samples with higher dissolved organic matter. Beta diversity analyses revealed that ciliate communities clustered by dissolved oxygen, depth, and salinity, but not by season (i.e., day length). The permutational analysis of variance test indicated that depth, dissolved oxygen, and salinity had significant influences on the ciliate community for the abundance matrices of resampled data, while lake and season were not significant. This result suggests that the vertical trends in dissolved oxygen concentration and salinity may play a critical role in structuring ciliate communities. A PCR-based strategy capitalizing on divergent eukaryotic V9 hypervariable region ribosomal RNA gene targets unveiled two new genera in these lakes. A novel taxon belonging to an unknown class most closely related to Cryptocaryon irritans was also inferred from separate gene phylogenies.

  13. Ciliate diversity, community structure, and novel taxa in lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yuan; Vick-Majors, Trista; Morgan-Kiss, Rachael; Priscu, John C; Amaral-Zettler, Linda

    2014-10-01

    We report an in-depth survey of next-generation DNA sequencing of ciliate diversity and community structure in two permanently ice-covered McMurdo Dry Valley lakes during the austral summer and autumn (November 2007 and March 2008). We tested hypotheses on the relationship between species richness and environmental conditions including environmental extremes, nutrient status, and day length. On the basis of the unique environment that exists in these high-latitude lakes, we expected that novel taxa would be present. Alpha diversity analyses showed that extreme conditions-that is, high salinity, low oxygen, and extreme changes in day length-did not impact ciliate richness; however, ciliate richness was 30% higher in samples with higher dissolved organic matter. Beta diversity analyses revealed that ciliate communities clustered by dissolved oxygen, depth, and salinity, but not by season (i.e., day length). The permutational analysis of variance test indicated that depth, dissolved oxygen, and salinity had significant influences on the ciliate community for the abundance matrices of resampled data, while lake and season were not significant. This result suggests that the vertical trends in dissolved oxygen concentration and salinity may play a critical role in structuring ciliate communities. A PCR-based strategy capitalizing on divergent eukaryotic V9 hypervariable region ribosomal RNA gene targets unveiled two new genera in these lakes. A novel taxon belonging to an unknown class most closely related to Cryptocaryon irritans was also inferred from separate gene phylogenies. PMID:25411375

  14. Meteoric Be-10 from Sirius Group suggests high elevation McMurdo Dry Valleys permanently frozen since 6 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickinson, Warren W.; Schiller, Martin; Ditchburn, Bob G.; Graham, Ian J.; Zondervan, Albert

    2012-11-01

    A long-standing debate concerning Neogene Antarctic climate in the McMurdo Dry Valleys relies largely on evidence from landscape evolution, glacial modeling and stratigraphy. We provide new evidence from meteoric 10Be for the onset of frozen, hyper-arid conditions on a high elevation (1840 m) interfluve at Table Mountain. A simple decay model for the co-occurrence of meteoric 10Be and illuviated clay in cores of ice-cemented glacial sediments indicates that the clays were actively migrating down from the surface in a warm climate until the system froze between 6 and 9 Ma. Although this age range may be sensitive to possible interference by in situ produced 10Be, the implied minimum age of 6 Ma for the Sirius Group indicates that the Dry Valleys were permanently frozen down to this elevation at this time. The model also suggests denudation rates of 1-6 cm Myr-1 since freezing. These data provide an independent test of glacial-stratigraphic evidence used to determine Antarctic paleoclimate.

  15. Detrital dating on drill-core records from McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea (Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zattin, M.; Andreucci, B.; Balestrieri, M.; Olivetti, V.; Pace, D.; Reiners, P. W.; Rossetti, F.; Talarico, F.; Thomson, S. N.

    2012-12-01

    The influence of Antarctic ice sheets on the global climate system during the Cenozoic has been intensely investigated in the last years, especially after the successful drilling projects off-shore the western Ross Sea. While the role of the Western Ice Sheet (WAIS) during the Miocene it is not clear, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) has been suggested to be more or less stable and cold for the last 14 Ma. Records from drilling projects in syn-tectonic basins located on the continental shelf along the western margin of the West Antarctica Rift System (DSDP, CIROS, CRP and ANDRILL projects) may provide crucial information on the tectonic and paleo-climatic evolution of that region during Cenozoic. The drilled sedimentary records have been therefore investigated by detrital geochronology which, integrated by sandstone and gravel petrography, can provide valuable information on the dynamics of the ice sheets as provenance data are sensitive to variations in the ice-flow patterns. Apatite fission-track (AFT) data from ANDRILL and CRP records show multiple peaks in most of the samples. In the AND-2A well, whose stratigraphic record spans the last 20 Ma, the grain-age distributions are dominated by grains between 20 and 40 Ma. A young peak with a comparable age has been also episodically detected in CRP wells where conversely the most relevant population is made by grain ages between 45 and 70 Ma. Samples from Late Miocene-Pleistocene sediments of AND-1B well show a completely different AFT age distribution as a single peak is usually detected and ages are younger than 20 Ma. The AFT age range is well represented in bedrock data along the entire Transantarctic Mountains (TAM). The main denudation phase in the TAM began at 55-50 Ma but the occurrence of a young peak in the detrital data at ca. 35 Ma indicates the presence of an Oligocene pulse, as testified also by the small gap between AFT and some (U-Th-Sm)/He ages that have been detected on AND-2A samples. Such

  16. Simulated melt rates for the Totten and Dalton ice shelves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwyther, D. E.; Galton-Fenzi, B. K.; Hunter, J. R.; Roberts, J. L.

    2014-05-01

    The Totten Glacier is rapidly losing mass. It has been suggested that this mass loss is driven by changes in oceanic forcing; however, the details of the ice-ocean interaction are unknown. Here we present results from an ice shelf-ocean model of the region that includes the Totten, Dalton and Moscow University ice shelves, based on the Regional Oceanic Modeling System for the period 1992-2007. Simulated area-averaged basal melt rates (net basal mass loss) for the Totten and Dalton ice shelves are 9.1 m ice yr-1 (44.5 Gt ice yr-1) and 10.1 m ice yr-1 (46.6 Gt ice yr-1), respectively. The melting of the ice shelves varies strongly on seasonal and interannual timescales. Basal melting (mass loss) from the Totten ice shelf spans a range of 5.7 m ice yr-1 (28 Gt ice yr-1) on interannual timescales and 3.4 m ice yr-1 (17 Gt ice yr-1) on seasonal timescales. This study links basal melt of the Totten and Dalton ice shelves to warm water intrusions across the continental shelf break and atmosphere-ocean heat exchange. Totten ice shelf melting is high when the nearby Dalton polynya interannual strength is below average, and vice versa. Melting of the Dalton ice shelf is primarily controlled by the strength of warm water intrusions across the Dalton rise and into the ice shelf cavity. During periods of strong westward coastal current flow, Dalton melt water flows directly under the Totten ice shelf further reducing melting. This is the first such modelling study of this region to provide a valuable framework for directing future observational and modelling efforts.

  17. Provenance of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains from U Pb and Hf analysis of detrital zircons in Cretaceous to Quaternary sediments in Prydz Bay and beneath the Amery Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veevers, J. J.; Saeed, A.; O'Brien, P. E.

    2008-11-01

    In central Antarctica, drainage today and earlier back to the Paleozoic radiates from the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains (GSM). Proximal to the GSM past the Permian-Triassic fluvial sandstones in the Prince Charles Mountains (PCM) are Cretaceous, Eocene, and Pleistocene sediment in Prydz Bay (ODP741, 1166, and 1167) and pre-Holocene sediment in AM04 beneath the Amery Ice Shelf. We analysed detrital zircons for U-Pb ages, Hf-isotope compositions, and trace elements to determine the age, rock type, source of the host magma, and "crustal" model age ( TDMC). These samples, together with others downslope from the GSM and the Vostok Subglacial Highlands (VSH), define major clusters of detrital zircons interpreted as coming from (1) 700 to 460 Ma mafic granitoids and alkaline rock, ɛHf 9 to - 28, signifying derivation 2.5 to 1.3 Ga from fertile and recycled crust, and (2) 1200-900 Ma mafic granitoids and alkaline rock, ɛHf 11 to - 28, signifying derivation 1.8 to 1.3 Ga from fertile and recycled crust. Minor clusters extend to 3350 Ma. Similar detrital zircons in Permian-Triassic, Ordovician, Cambrian, and Neoproterozoic sandstones located along the PaleoPacific margin of East Antarctica and southeast Australia further downslope from central Antarctica reflect the upslope GSM-VSH nucleus of the central Antarctic provenance as a complex of 1200-900 Ma (Grenville) mafic granitoids and alkaline rocks and older rocks embedded in 700-460 Ma (Pan-Gondwanaland) fold belts. The wider central Antarctic provenance (CAP) is tentatively divided into a central sector with negative ɛHf in its 1200-900 Ma rocks bounded on either side by positive ɛHf. The high ground of the GSM-VSH in the Permian and later to the present day is attributed to crustal shortening by far-field stress during the 320 Ma mid-Carboniferous collision of Gondwanaland and Laurussia. Earlier uplifts in the ˜ 500 Ma Cambrian possibly followed the 700-500 Ma assembly of Gondwanaland, and in the Neoproterozoic

  18. Volume loss from Antarctic ice shelves is accelerating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paolo, Fernando S.; Fricker, Helen A.; Padman, Laurie

    2015-04-01

    The floating ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic Ice Sheet restrain the grounded ice-sheet flow. Thinning of an ice shelf reduces this effect, leading to an increase in ice discharge to the ocean. Using 18 years of continuous satellite radar altimeter observations, we have computed decadal-scale changes in ice-shelf thickness around the Antarctic continent. Overall, average ice-shelf volume change accelerated from negligible loss at 25 ± 64 cubic kilometers per year for 1994-2003 to rapid loss of 310 ± 74 cubic kilometers per year for 2003-2012. West Antarctic losses increased by ~70% in the past decade, and earlier volume gain by East Antarctic ice shelves ceased. In the Amundsen and Bellingshausen regions, some ice shelves have lost up to 18% of their thickness in less than two decades.

  19. SEA-ICE INFLUENCE ON ARCTIC COASTAL RETREAT.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reimnitz, Erk; Barnes, P.W.

    1987-01-01

    Recent studies document the effectiveness of sea ice in reshaping the seafloor of the inner shelf into sharp-relief features, including ice gouges with jagged flanking ridges, ice-wallow relief, and 2- to 6-m-deep strudel-scour craters. These ice-related relief forms are in disequilibrium with classic open-water hydraulic processes and thus are smoothed over by waves and currents in one to two years. Such alternate reworking of the shelf by ice and currents - two diverse types of processes, which in the case of ice wallow act in unison-contributes to sediment mobility and, thus, to sediment loss from the coast and inner shelf. The bulldozing action by ice results in coast-parallel sediment displacement. Additionally, suspension of sediment by frazil and anchor ice, followed by ice rafting, can move large amounts of bottom-derived materials. Our understanding of all these processes is insufficient to model Arctic coastal processes.

  20. Feasibility report: Operation of light air cushion vehicle at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dibbern, J. S.

    1987-02-01

    This report explores the viability of the use of an air cushion vehicle (ACV) or hovercraft to perform logistic and scientific support in the area of McMurdo Station, Antarctica. After a review of personnel assets and facilities at McMurdo Station to support the ACV plus a reconnaissance of the five major routes selected, it appears that an air cushion vehicle in the 1 to 1 1/2 ton payload class would be of significant value to support operations. It would reduce transit times for surface vehicle traverses on the routes selected and reduce requirements for expenditure of helicopter flight time in others. Of major significance is the ability to handle passenger/shuttle requirements between the Scott Base transition and Williams Field Skiway. Use of the ACV for high frequency passenger operations would help preserve the snow road for cargo operations during periods of road deterioration.

  1. Record low ozone measured at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, during the austral spring of 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, B.J.; Deshler, T.

    1994-12-31

    The annual springtime ozone hole over Antarctica has been studied extensively since it was first reported. The University of Wyoming has participated in monitoring the development of the ozone hole over Antarctica since 1986 using balloonborne instruments to measure vertical profiles of ozone and particles at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. During austral spring 1993, record minimums in total column ozone were observed along with a record low within the main ozone layer at 12-20 kilometers (km). 6 refs., 2 figs.

  2. Identification of subsurface brines in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, via an airborne EM resistivity survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foley, N.; Tulaczyk, S. M.; Auken, E.; Schamper, C.; Dugan, H. A.; Mikucki, J.; Virginia, R. A.; Doran, P. T.

    2015-12-01

    We used a helicopter-borne time domain electromagnetic resistivity survey to detect and map hypersaline brines beneath glaciers and permafrost in the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV). In the MDV, a substantially ice-free region of coastal Antarctica, liquid water is present at the surface only in summer streams, ice-covered lakes with brackish to hypersaline bottom waters, and at Blood Falls, a hypersaline discharge from Taylor Glacier. Beneath the surface, however, water can remain liquid at temperatures below 0 °C (and therefore at unexpectedly shallow depths) as a hypersaline brine. These brines, which are measured as zones of low resistivity in an otherwise high resistivity environment, are widespread in Taylor Valley, where they may connect lakes, subglacial waters, and the ocean. By using surface landscape characteristics - such as the presence of lakes, glaciers, or bare ground - we are able to compare changes in resistivity with depth. We find that in areas of surface permafrost (most of the MDV) there is a marked shift to low resistivity material around 200 m below the surface. At lakes, the stratified nature of their waters is detectable and sufficiently large lakes create taliks (unfrozen 'holes' in permafrost) that penetrate to the low resistivity zone around 200 m depth, suggesting connectivity through a regional aquifer. Underneath Taylor Glacier, we detect similar brines, which are the probable source for Blood Falls. These subglacial brines extend from the snout of Taylor Glacier (where they appear to connect to the hypersaline waters of West Lake Bonney) to the limit of our detection ability several kilometers up glacier where the ice became too thick for measurements. Our measurements are consistent with limited drilling done in the MDV during the 1970s and radar measurements taken more recently on Taylor Glacier. The transition to low resistivity at ~200 m depth occurs over a temperature range measured in boreholes of about -10 to -5 °C, which is

  3. Examination of upstream flow dynamics in response to the front retreat of ice shelves with different geometric configurations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, S.; Liu, H.

    2015-12-01

    Ice shelves fringe ~75% of Antarctica's coastline, nourished by numerous terrestrial glacier systems. The ice-shelf disintegrations in recent decades and the observed thinning trends have revealed their susceptibility to the atmospheric and oceanic changes in the climate warming context. The buttressing effect of an ice shelf constrains the ice discharge of its upstream land ice, thus regulating the contribution to sea level of the terrestrial glaciers. The important role of ice shelves in stabilizing the upstream glacier flow dynamics is emphasized by the rapid accelerations and thinning of the tributary glaciers in response to the collapses of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctic Peninsula. However, this buttressing effect is determined by the stress balance conditions of an ice shelf, which is further affected by the ice-shelf geometric configurations. The ice shelves confined by fjords, islands, promontories or seabed topographic highs exert greater buttressing effects than those less confined by the lateral or basal shear stresses. This research aims to assess the influences of different ice-shelf configurations on upstream flow dynamics in response to large ice-shelf retreat events. By using remotely sensed imagery acquired by multiple satellite missions, we derived the time series surface velocity records for the Larsen B glacier-ice shelf system in Antarctic Peninsula during 1995 - 2015 and for the Mertz glacier-ice shelf system in East Antarctica during 1997 - 2015, respectively. The former was well confined in the embayment, while the latter is unconfined by lateral margins. We compared the different temporal variation patterns in flow dynamics between these two sites before and after their large retreating events, i.e. the collapse event of Larsen B Ice Shelf in 2002 and the large calving event of Mertz Ice Shelf in 2010. The surface velocity profiles reveal the less sensitivity of upstream responses to the front retreat for the Mertz Ice Shelf.

  4. Microbiota within the perennial ice cover of Lake Vida, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Mosier, Annika C; Murray, Alison E; Fritsen, Christian H

    2007-02-01

    Lake Vida, located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, is an 'ice-sealed' lake with approximately 19 m of ice covering a highly saline water column (approximately 245 ppt). The lower portions of the ice cover and the lake beneath have been isolated from the atmosphere and land for circa 2800 years. Analysis of microbial assemblages within the perennial ice cover of the lake revealed a diverse array of bacteria and eukarya. Bacterial and eukaryal denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis phylotype profile similarities were low (<59%) between all of the depths compared (five depths spanning 11 m of the ice cover), with the greatest differences occurring between surface and deep ice. The majority of bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences in the surface ice were related to Actinobacteria (42%) while Gammaproteobacteria (52%) dominated the deep ice community. Comparisons of assemblage composition suggest differences in ice habitability and organismal origin in the upper and lower portions of ice cover. Specifically, the upper ice cover microbiota likely reflect the modern day transport and colonization of biota from the terrestrial landscape, whereas assemblages in the deeper ice are more likely to be persistent remnant biota that originated from the ancient liquid water column of the lake that froze.

  5. Distribution, properties and origin of viscous-flow features in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bockheim, James G.

    2014-01-01

    Satellite images and high resolution air photos, coupled with field examinations, were used to examine 24 rock glaciers/debris-covered glaciers and 25 gelifluction sheets, collectively referred to as viscous-flow features, in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Debris-covered glaciers are the dominant form and are longer (mean length = 2.5 km), wider (mean width = 0.8 km), and less steep (mean slope = 12°) than similar features reported in most arctic and alpine environments. The catchment areas tend to be large, averaging over 9 km2. Most of the debris-covered glaciers are tongue-shaped, and where excavation was possible, the ice core was readily observable. Gelifluction sheets primarily occur at the base of valley sidewalls below talus on slopes ranging from 5 to 30° (average = 13°) and contain a very thin active layer (normal range 20 to 40 cm). Both viscous-flow forms occur on the north- and south-facing slopes of the east-west trending valleys and are concentrated in the inland mixed zone and stable upland microclimatic zone; these lobes were not found in the coastal thaw zone. Gelifluction sheets result from the melting of snow high on the valley walls, subsurface flow of meltwater on top of the permafrost, and slow movement downslope. They are readily observable from nonsorted polygons that are stretched into rectangles that are perpendicular to the slope and contain raised polygon rims upslope. The movement of gelifluction sheets can be detected from upturned stones containing carbonate coatings. Rates of horizontal surface flow of the viscous-flow features are comparable to those reported elsewhere in Antarctica and in the alpine and arctic regions of the world. Some of the viscous-flow features appear to be inactive, possibly reflecting the recession of alpine glaciers in high elevation cirques.

  6. The occurrence of lysogenic bacteria and microbial aggregates in the lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lisle, J.T.; Priscu, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica form the coldest and driest ecosystem on Earth. Within this region there are a number of perennially ice-covered (3-6 m thick) lakes that support active microbial assemblages and have a paucity of metazoans. These lakes receive limited allochthonous input of carbon and nutrients, and primary productivity is limited to only 6 months per year owing to an absence of sunlight during the austral winters. In an effort to establish the role that bacteria and their associated viruses play in carbon and nutrient cycling in these lakes, indigenous bacteria, free bacteriophage, and lysogen abundances were determined. Total bacterial abundances (TDC) ranged from 3.80 ?? 104 to 2.58 ?? 107 cells mL-1 and virus-like particle (VLP) abundances ranged from 2.26 ?? 105 to 5.56 ?? 107 VLP mL-1. VLP abundances were significantly correlated (P < 0.05) with TDC, bacterial productivity (TdR), chlorophyll a (Chl a), and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP). Lysogenic bacteria, determined by induction with mitomycin C, made up between 2.0% and 62.5% of the total population of bacteria when using significant decreases and increases in TDC and VLP abundances, respectively, and 89.5% when using increases in VLP abundances as the sole criterion for a successful induction event. The contribution of viruses released from induced lysogens contributed <0.015% to the total viral production rate. Carbohydrate and protein based organic aggregates were abundant within the water column of the lakes and were heavily colonized by bacteria and VLPs. Alkaline phosphatase activity was detected within the matrix of the aggregates, implying phosphorus deficiency and consortial nutrient exchanges among microorganisms.

  7. On the difficulty of modeling Circumpolar Deep Water intrusions onto the Amundsen Sea continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakayama, Y.; Timmermann, R.; Schröder, M.; Hellmer, H. H.

    2014-12-01

    In the Amundsen Sea, warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) intrudes onto the continental shelf and flows into the ice shelf cavities of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, resulting in high basal melt rates. However, none of the high resolution global models resolving all the small ice shelves around Antarctica can reproduce a realistic CDW flow onto the Amundsen Sea continental shelf, and previous studies show simulated bottom potential temperature at the Pine Island Ice Shelf front of about -1.8 °C. In this study, using the Finite-Element Sea ice-ice shelf-Ocean Model (FESOM), we reproduce warm CDW intrusions onto the Amundsen Sea continental shelf and realistic melt rates of the ice shelves in West Antarctica. To investigate the importance of horizontal resolution, forcing, horizontal diffusivity, and the effect of grounded icebergs, eight sensitivity experiments are conducted. To simulate the CDW intrusion realistically, a horizontal resolution of about 5 km or smaller is required. The choice of forcing is also important and the cold bias in the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis over the eastern Amundsen Sea prevents warm CDW from intruding onto the continental shelf. On the other hand, the CDW intrusion is not highly sensitive to the strength of horizontal diffusion. The effect of grounded icebergs located off Bear Peninsula is minor, but may act as a buffer to an anomalously cold year.

  8. Perennial Antarctic lake ice: an oasis for life in a polar desert

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Priscu, J. C.; Fritsen, C. H.; Adams, E. E.; Giovannoni, S. J.; Paerl, H. W.; McKay, C. P.; Doran, P. T.; Gordon, D. A.; Lanoil, B. D.; Pinckney, J. L.

    1998-01-01

    The permanent ice covers of Antarctic lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys develop liquid water inclusions in response to solar heating of internal aeolian-derived sediments. The ice sediment particles serve as nutrient (inorganic and organic)-enriched microzones for the establishment of a physiologically and ecologically complex microbial consortium capable of contemporaneous photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, and decomposition. The consortium is capable of physically and chemically establishing and modifying a relatively nutrient- and organic matter-enriched microbial "oasis" embedded in the lake ice cover.

  9. Climate Relevant Processes On The Barents Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatten, K.; Schrum, C.; Harms, I.

    The Artic Shelf, and especially the Barents Shelf , are key regions in the North At- lantic climate system. Climatic relevant processes on the shelf are on the one hand the water mass transformation and on the other hand the strong air/sea exchange. Air/sea interaction and resulting sea ice development cause water mass transformation and de- velopment of cold and salty deep water on the shelf region. The outflow of this dense water mass into the Arctic Ocean is responsible for the stabilization of the permanent halocline in the Arctic Ocean and therefore for the isolation of the cold and fresh arctic surface water from the saltier and warmer Atlantic deep water in the Arctic Ocean, and thus for preservation of the Arctic Ocean sea ice. The second climatic relevant process, the direct air/sea exchange, i.e. the annual mean heat release to the atmosphere, plays a key role as energy source for the atmosphere. Both processes are subject to strong inter-annual variability and influenced by mesoscale structures in the ice field, and thus can be assumed to be less good described by the large scale atmospheric and oceanic models. This was the background of the development of a regional eddy resolving model of the Barents Sea. Results of a multi-year model simulation will be presented and related to flux estimates from global atmospheric re-analysis, to highlight the in- fluence of mesoscale variability in the sea ice coverage on the air sea exchange and on the water mass transformation.

  10. Changes in ice dynamics and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet.

    PubMed

    Rignot, Eric

    2006-07-15

    The concept that the Antarctic ice sheet changes with eternal slowness has been challenged by recent observations from satellites. Pronounced regional warming in the Antarctic Peninsula triggered ice shelf collapse, which led to a 10-fold increase in glacier flow and rapid ice sheet retreat. This chain of events illustrated the vulnerability of ice shelves to climate warming and their buffering role on the mass balance of Antarctica. In West Antarctica, the Pine Island Bay sector is draining far more ice into the ocean than is stored upstream from snow accumulation. This sector could raise sea level by 1m and trigger widespread retreat of ice in West Antarctica. Pine Island Glacier accelerated 38% since 1975, and most of the speed up took place over the last decade. Its neighbour Thwaites Glacier is widening up and may double its width when its weakened eastern ice shelf breaks up. Widespread acceleration in this sector may be caused by glacier ungrounding from ice shelf melting by an ocean that has recently warmed by 0.3 degrees C. In contrast, glaciers buffered from oceanic change by large ice shelves have only small contributions to sea level. In East Antarctica, many glaciers are close to a state of mass balance, but sectors grounded well below sea level, such as Cook Ice Shelf, Ninnis/Mertz, Frost and Totten glaciers, are thinning and losing mass. Hence, East Antarctica is not immune to changes.

  11. Triggers for the Collapse of Ice Shelves in Antarctica: Investigating Compressive Arch Failure with Numerical Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huth, A.; Smith, B. E.

    2015-12-01

    Antarctic ice shelves restrain, or buttress, grounded ice from flowing freely into the ocean by redistributing the force of the ice flow to pinning points (ice rises) at the ice front and shear margins at adjacent bay walls. This buttressing process typically defines a 'compressive arch' in the strain rate-field of the ice shelf, where the smallest principal component transitions from compressive inland of the arch to extensive seaward of the arch. If the compressive arch is breached due to iceberg calving at the ice front or thinning at the shear margins, the ice shelf will retreat irreversibly to a new stable configuration or collapse entirely. This retreat can compromise ice shelf buttressing, resulting in sea-level rise and ocean freshening as grounded ice flows unrestricted into the ocean. Here, we investigate the dynamics of compressive arch failure using Larsen C ice shelf as a test case for a larger study that will include several other ice shelves and projections for sea-level rise. We use satellite observations to develop a steady state model of Larsen C in Elmer/ICE, a finite element ice sheet/ice flow software package. We run calving and thinning simulations to determine the conditions needed to trigger ice shelf retreat via compressive arch failure and discuss the likelihood of these scenarios occurring in relation to extrapolations of current melt profiles and calving trends.

  12. Seafloor Control on Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Clemente-Colon, P.; Rigor, I. G.; Hall, D. K.; Neumann, G.

    2011-01-01

    The seafloor has a profound role in Arctic sea ice formation and seasonal evolution. Ocean bathymetry controls the distribution and mixing of warm and cold waters, which may originate from different sources, thereby dictating the pattern of sea ice on the ocean surface. Sea ice dynamics, forced by surface winds, are also guided by seafloor features in preferential directions. Here, satellite mapping of sea ice together with buoy measurements are used to reveal the bathymetric control on sea ice growth and dynamics. Bathymetric effects on sea ice formation are clearly observed in the conformation between sea ice patterns and bathymetric characteristics in the peripheral seas. Beyond local features, bathymetric control appears over extensive ice-prone regions across the Arctic Ocean. The large-scale conformation between bathymetry and patterns of different synoptic sea ice classes, including seasonal and perennial sea ice, is identified. An implication of the bathymetric influence is that the maximum extent of the total sea ice cover is relatively stable, as observed by scatterometer data in the decade of the 2000s, while the minimum ice extent has decreased drastically. Because of the geologic control, the sea ice cover can expand only as far as it reaches the seashore, the continental shelf break, or other pronounced bathymetric features in the peripheral seas. Since the seafloor does not change significantly for decades or centuries, sea ice patterns can be recurrent around certain bathymetric features, which, once identified, may help improve short-term forecast and seasonal outlook of the sea ice cover. Moreover, the seafloor can indirectly influence cloud cover by its control on sea ice distribution, which differentially modulates the latent heat flux through ice covered and open water areas.

  13. The ultraviolet radiation environment of Antarctica - McMurdo Station during September-October 1987

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lubin, Dan; Frederick, John E.; Krueger, Arlin J.

    1989-01-01

    Daily data from the Nimbus-7 TOMS were combined with a model of atmospheric radiative transfer to compute the time evolution of ultraviolet irradiance, at wavelengths from 290 to 350 nm, incident on McMurdo Station during September-October 1987. Large changes in column ozone occur as the polar vortex moves over the site. This is accompanied by correspondingly large variations in UV radiation at the earth's surface. At a wavelength near 305 nm, the irradiance in early October exceeds values appropriate to an unperturbed ozone layer by a factor of 5-6. As December 21 approaches, the noontime UV irradiance increases, irrespective of changes in ozone.

  14. Thermostabilized Shelf Life Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perchonok, Michele H.; Catauro, Patricia M.

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this project is to determine the shelf life end-point of various food items by means of actual measurement or mathematical projection. The primary goal of the Advanced Food Technology Project in these long duration exploratory missions is to provide the crew with a palatable, nutritious and safe food system while minimizing volume, mass, and waste. The Mars missions could be as long as 2.5 years with the potential of the food being positioned prior to the crew arrival. Therefore, it is anticipated that foods that are used during the Mars missions will require a 5 year shelf life. Shelf life criteria are safety, nutrition, and acceptability. Any of these criteria can be the limiting factor in determining the food's shelf life. Due to the heat sterilization process used for the thermostabilized food items, safety will be preserved as long as the integrity of the package is maintained. Nutrition and acceptability will change over time. Since the food can be the sole source of nutrition to the crew, a significant loss in nutrition may determine when the shelf life endpoint has occurred. Shelf life can be defined when the food item is no longer acceptable. Acceptability can be defined in terms of appearance, flavor, texture, or aroma. Results from shelf life studies of the thermostabilized food items suggest that the shelf life of the foods range from 0 months to 8 years, depending on formulation.

  15. Thermostable Shelf Life Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perchonok, M. H.; Antonini, D. K.

    2008-01-01

    The objective of this project is to determine the shelf life end-point of various food items by means of actual measurement or mathematical projection. The primary goal of the Advanced Food Technology Project in these long duration exploratory missions is to provide the crew with a palatable, nutritious and safe food system while minimizing volume, mass, and waste. The Mars missions could be as long as 2.5 years with the potential of the food being positioned prior to the crew arrival. Therefore, it is anticipated that foods that are used during the Mars missions will require a 5 year shelf life. Shelf life criteria are safety, nutrition, and acceptability. Any of these criteria can be the limiting factor in determining the food's shelf life. Due to the heat sterilization process used for the thermostabilized food items, safety will be preserved as long as the integrity of the package is maintained. Nutrition and acceptability will change over time. Since the food can be the sole source of nutrition to the crew, a significant loss in nutrition may determine when the shelf life endpoint has occurred. Shelf life can be defined when the food item is no longer acceptable. Acceptability can be defined in terms of appearance, flavor, texture, or aroma. Results from shelf life studies of the thermostabilized food items suggest that the shelf life of the foods range from 0 months to 8 years, depending on formulation.

  16. The Influence of the Zonal Wave Three on Antarctic Sea Ice during Ice Advance Season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, H. M.; Raphael, M. N.

    2015-12-01

    Previous works have looked at the influence of key atmospheric circulation patterns on sea ice in the Antarctic in terms of the atmosphere's seasonal cycle. This study examines the influence of one of these atmospheric patterns, the zonal wave three (ZW3), in terms of the sea ice's seasons from 1979-2009 in order to better understand the response of the sea ice. An index to represent the amplitude of the ZW3 was calculated using zonal anomalies of 850 hPa geopotential heights taken from the ERA-Interim data set. Sea ice concentrations (SIC), taken from the Hadley Center sea ice and sea surface temperature data set, were found to be significantly positively correlated with the ZW3 index during the ice advance season (March to August) in the Ross and Weddell Seas and off the Amery ice shelf. These regions align with where cold, southerly flow associated with the ZW3 are found. In the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas region, SIC was found to be negatively correlated with the ZW3 index, which coincides with where the warm, northerly flow of the wave is found in this region. Regression analysis showed SIC to be significantly dependent upon the ZW3 in parts of the Ross Sea, the ice edge in the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas and off the Amery ice shelf during ice advance season. The results suggest that the ZW3 plays a role in the occurrence of the observed sea ice trends in the Ross Sea, Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas, Weddell Sea and off the Amery ice shelf regions during the ice advance season, the critical period for sea ice growth. The results also demonstrate that re-examining the influence of relevant atmospheric patterns on sea ice in terms of the ice's seasonal cycles could allow firmer connections to be established between sea ice trends and atmospheric patterns.

  17. Cross-Shelf Exchange.

    PubMed

    Brink, K H

    2016-01-01

    Cross-shelf exchange dominates the pathways and rates by which nutrients, biota, and materials on the continental shelf are delivered and removed. This follows because cross-shelf gradients of most properties are usually far greater than those in the alongshore direction. The resulting transports are limited by Earth's rotation, which inhibits flow from crossing isobaths. Thus, cross-shelf flows are generally weak compared with alongshore flows, and this leads to interesting observational issues. Cross-shelf flows are enabled by turbulent mixing processes, nonlinear processes (such as momentum advection), and time dependence. Thus, there is a wide range of possible effects that can allow these critical transports, and different natural settings are often governed by different combinations of processes. This review discusses examples of representative transport mechanisms and explores possible observational and theoretical paths to future progress.

  18. Cross-Shelf Exchange.

    PubMed

    Brink, K H

    2016-01-01

    Cross-shelf exchange dominates the pathways and rates by which nutrients, biota, and materials on the continental shelf are delivered and removed. This follows because cross-shelf gradients of most properties are usually far greater than those in the alongshore direction. The resulting transports are limited by Earth's rotation, which inhibits flow from crossing isobaths. Thus, cross-shelf flows are generally weak compared with alongshore flows, and this leads to interesting observational issues. Cross-shelf flows are enabled by turbulent mixing processes, nonlinear processes (such as momentum advection), and time dependence. Thus, there is a wide range of possible effects that can allow these critical transports, and different natural settings are often governed by different combinations of processes. This review discusses examples of representative transport mechanisms and explores possible observational and theoretical paths to future progress. PMID:26747520

  19. Microbial Community Responses to Increased Water and Organic Matter in the Arid Soils of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Buelow, Heather N; Winter, Ara S; Van Horn, David J; Barrett, John E; Gooseff, Michael N; Schwartz, Egbert; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina D

    2016-01-01

    The soils of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica are an extreme polar desert, inhabited exclusively by microscopic taxa. This region is on the threshold of anticipated climate change, with glacial melt, permafrost thaw, and the melting of massive buried ice increasing liquid water availability and mobilizing soil nutrients. Experimental water and organic matter (OM) amendments were applied to investigate how these climate change effects may impact the soil communities. To identify active taxa and their functions, total community RNA transcripts were sequenced and annotated, and amended soils were compared with unamended control soils using differential abundance and expression analyses. Overall, taxonomic diversity declined with amendments of water and OM. The domain Bacteria increased with both amendments while Eukaryota declined from 38% of all taxa in control soils to 8 and 11% in water and OM amended soils, respectively. Among bacterial phyla, Actinobacteria (59%) dominated water-amended soils and Firmicutes (45%) dominated OM amended soils. Three bacterial phyla (Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Firmicutes) were primarily responsible for the observed positive functional responses, while eukaryotic taxa experienced the majority (27 of 34) of significant transcript losses. These results indicated that as climate changes in this region, a replacement of endemic taxa adapted to dry, oligotrophic conditions by generalist, copiotrophic taxa is likely. PMID:27486436

  20. Microbial Community Responses to Increased Water and Organic Matter in the Arid Soils of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Buelow, Heather N.; Winter, Ara S.; Van Horn, David J.; Barrett, John E.; Gooseff, Michael N.; Schwartz, Egbert; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina D.

    2016-01-01

    The soils of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica are an extreme polar desert, inhabited exclusively by microscopic taxa. This region is on the threshold of anticipated climate change, with glacial melt, permafrost thaw, and the melting of massive buried ice increasing liquid water availability and mobilizing soil nutrients. Experimental water and organic matter (OM) amendments were applied to investigate how these climate change effects may impact the soil communities. To identify active taxa and their functions, total community RNA transcripts were sequenced and annotated, and amended soils were compared with unamended control soils using differential abundance and expression analyses. Overall, taxonomic diversity declined with amendments of water and OM. The domain Bacteria increased with both amendments while Eukaryota declined from 38% of all taxa in control soils to 8 and 11% in water and OM amended soils, respectively. Among bacterial phyla, Actinobacteria (59%) dominated water-amended soils and Firmicutes (45%) dominated OM amended soils. Three bacterial phyla (Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Firmicutes) were primarily responsible for the observed positive functional responses, while eukaryotic taxa experienced the majority (27 of 34) of significant transcript losses. These results indicated that as climate changes in this region, a replacement of endemic taxa adapted to dry, oligotrophic conditions by generalist, copiotrophic taxa is likely. PMID:27486436

  1. An integrated study of photochemical function and expression of a key photochemical gene (psbA) in photosynthetic communities of Lake Bonney (McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica).

    PubMed

    Kong, Weidong; Li, Wei; Romancova, Ingrid; Prášil, Ondřej; Morgan-Kiss, Rachael M

    2014-08-01

    Lake Bonney is one of several permanently ice-covered lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, which maintain the only year-round biological activity on the Antarctic continent. Vertically stratified populations of autotrophic microorganisms occupying the water columns are adapted to numerous extreme conditions, including very low light, hypersalinity, ultra-oligotrophy and low temperatures. In this study, we integrated molecular biology, microscopy, flow cytometry, and functional photochemical analyses of the photosynthetic communities residing in the east and west basins of dry valley Lake Bonney. Diversity and abundance of the psbA gene encoding a major protein of the photosystem II reaction center were monitored during the seasonal transition between Antarctic summer (24-h daylight) to winter (24-h darkness). Vertical trends through the photic zone in psbA abundance (DNA and mRNA) closely matched that of primary production in both lobes. Seasonal trends in psbA transcripts differed between the two lobes, with psbA expression in the west basin exhibiting a transient rise in early Fall. Last, using spectroscopic and flow cytometric analyses, we provide the first evidence that the Lake Bonney photosynthetic community is dominated by picophytoplankton that possess photosynthetic apparatus adapted to extreme shade.

  2. Extreme Values Analysis of McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research (LTER)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, R.; Gooseff, M. N.

    2012-12-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica is often referred to as an extreme environment because of cold mean annual temperatures (-20 degrees C), and very dry conditions (<10 cm water equivalent precipitation annually). However, the long-term database of the McMurdo Long Term Ecological Research project (>20 years in some cases) has not yet formally been analyzed to determine if statistically extreme events occur in this otherwise "extreme" ecosystem. We analyzed limnology, stream, and meteorology datasets with the extRemes R software package. For each time series read, the extRemes package produced a Probability Plot, a Quantile Plot, a Return Level Plot, and a Density Plot of Generalized Extreme Value (GEV) Distribution. The four plots indicate the extent to which the observed distribution fits the GEV distribution. We found that, in particular, the conductivity of Delta Stream and Lost Seal Stream has all of daily means, daily maximums and daily minimums well fitted in GEV. The relative humidity of Commonwealth Glacier, Howard Glacier and Taylor Glacier is only well fitted in daily means and daily minimums, but daily maximums. On the contrary, radiation levels and soil temperatures never fit the GEV distribution. The other time series are fitted only in one or none of daily means, daily maximums and daily minimums.; ;

  3. Ice island detection and characterization with airborne synthetic aperture radar

    SciTech Connect

    Jeffries, M.O.; Sackinger, W.M. )

    1990-04-15

    A 1:300,000 scale airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image of an area of the Arctic Ocean adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canadian High Arctic, is examined to determine the number and characteristics of ice islands in the image and to assess the capability of airborne and satellite SAR to detect ice islands. Twelve ice islands have been identified, and their dimensions range from as large as 5.7 km by 8.7 km to as small as 0.15 km by 0.25 km. A significant SAR characteristic of the shelf ice portions of ice islands is a return with a ribbed texture of alternating lighter and darker grey tones resulting from the indulating shelf ice surfaces of the ice islands. The appearance of the ribbed texture varies according to the ice islands' orientation relative to the illumination direction and consequently the incidence angle. Some ice islands also include extensive areas of textureless dark tone attached to the shelf ice. The weak returns correspond to (1) multiyear landfast sea ice that was attached to the front of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf at the time of calving and which has remained attached since then and (2) multiyear pack ice that has become attached and consolidated since the calving, indicating that ice islands can increase their area and mass significantly as they drift. Ice islands are easily discernible in SAR images and for the future SAR represents a promising technique to obtain a census of ice islands in the Arctic Ocean. However, any SAR-based census probably will be conservative because ice islands smaller than 300-400 m across are likely to remain undetected, particularly in areas of heavy ice ridging which produces strong SAR clutter.

  4. The geomorphology of a glaciated continental shelf, Western Scotland, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howe, John; Dove, Dayton; Bradwell, Tom

    2013-04-01

    We present recently collected swath bathymetry and legacy seismic data from two regions of the north-west UK continental shelf: the Sea of the Hebrides; and the Firth of Lorn, western Scotland. Both regions have experienced extensive Pleistocene ice sheet glaciation and both provide abundant geomorphological evidence of subglacial and postglacial processes. The Sea of the Hebrides bathymetry data cover 2200 km2 and provide new geomorphological evidence for an ice stream flowing from western Scotland and the Inner Hebrides focusing towards a trough-mouth fan (the Barra Fan) at the continental shelf break during the height of the last glaciation. Notably, bedrock structures provide a control on the location and orientation of glacially overdeepened basins and troughs on the inner shelf. Whilst around the Islands of Canna and Rum, convergent seabed glacial lineations and other subglacially streamlined features eroded in bedrock preserve the direction of ice sheet movement - indicating ice streaming in a south-westerly direction across the continental shelf. We propose that this fast-flow zone formed part of a larger convergent ice stream system draining much of western Scotland and the north of Ireland. The Firth of Lorn bathymetry acquisition comprises 553km2 of data, collected as part of the INIS Hydro program (Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland Hydrographic Survey). This region of nearshore continental shelf is revealed as predominantly bedrock-dominated seabed, characterised by a series of narrow, strongly fault-controlled troughs, part of the Great Glen Fault Zone complex. Evidence for glaciation is widespread and well preserved in the Firth of Lorn and surrounding seabed with moraines, bedrock lineations (?megagrooves?) and overdeepened basins common across the area. Initial mapping shows that our understanding of the configuration and style of deglaciation in these sectors of the former British-Irish Ice Sheet can be greatly improved by the collection of

  5. Astrobiology of Antarctic ice Covered Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doran, P. T.; Fritsen, C. H.

    2005-12-01

    Antarctica contains a number of permanently ice-covered lakes which have often been used as analogs of purported lakes on Mars in the past. Antarctic subglacial lakes, such as Lake Vostok, have also been viewed as excellent analogs for an ice covered ocean on the Jovian moon Europa, and to a lesser extend on Mars. Lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of East Antarctica have ice covers that range from 3 to 20 meters thick. Water salinities range from fresh to hypersaline. The thinner ice-covered lakes have a well-documented ecology that relies on the limited available nutrients and the small amount of light energy that penetrates the ice covers. The thickest ice-covered lake (Lake Vida in Victoria Valley) has a brine beneath 20 m of ice that is 7 times sea water and maintains a temperature below -10 degrees Celsius. This lake is vastly different from the thinner ice-covered lakes in that there is no communication with the atmosphere. The permanent ice cover is so thick, that summer melt waters can not access the sub-ice brine and so the ice grows from the top up, as well as from the bottom down. Brine trapped beneath the ice is believed to be ancient, stranded thousands of years ago when the ice grew thick enough to isolate it from the surface. We view Lake Vida as an excellent analog for the last aquatic ecosystem to have existed on Mars under a planetary cooling. If, as evidence is now increasingly supporting, standing bodies of water existed on Mars in the past, their fate under a cooling would be to go through a stage of permanent ice cover establishment, followed by a thickening of that ice cover until the final stage just prior to a cold extinction would be a Lake Vida-like lake. If dust storms or mass movements covered these ancient lakes, remnants may well be in existence in the subsurface today. A NASA Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) project will drill the Lake Vida ice cover and access the brine and sediments beneath in

  6. Note On The Ross Sea Shelf Water Downflow Processes (antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergamasco, A.; Defendi, V.; Spezie, G.; Budillon, G.; Carniel, S.

    In the framework of the CLIMA Project of the Italian National Program for Research in Antarctica, three different experimental data sets were acquired along the continental shelf break; two of them (in 1997 and 2001) close to Cape Adare, the 1998 one in the middle of the Ross Sea (i.e. 75 S, 177 W). The investigations were chosen in order to explore the downslope flow of the bottom waters produced in the Ross Sea, namely the High Salinity Shelf Water (HSSW, the densest water mass of the southern ocean coming from its formation site in the polynya region in Terra Nova bay), and the Ice Shelf Water (ISW, originated below the Ross Ice Shelf and outflowing northward). Both bottom waters spill over the shelf edge and mix with the Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) contributing to the formation of the Antarctic Bottom Waters (AABW). Interpreting temperature, salinity and density maps in terms of cascading processes, both HSSW and ISW overflows are evidenced during, respectively, 1997 and 1998. During the 2001 acquisition there is no presence of HSSW along the shelf break, nevertheless distribution captures the evidence of a downslope flow process.

  7. Photophysiology and cellular composition of sea ice algae

    SciTech Connect

    Lizotte, M.P.

    1989-01-01

    The productivity of sea ice algae depends on their physiological capabilities and the environmental conditions within various microhabitats. Pack ice is the dominant form of sea ice, but the photosynthetic activity of associated algae has rarely been studied. Biomass and photosynthetic rates of ice algae of the Weddell-Scotia Sea were investigated during autumn and winter, the period when ice cover grows from its minimum to maximum. Biomass-specific photosynthetic rates typically ranged from 0.3 to 3.0 {mu}g C {center dot} {mu}g chl{sup {minus}1} {center dot} h{sup {minus}1} higher than land-fast ice algae but similar to Antarctic phytoplankton. Primary production in the pack ice during winter may be minor compared to annual phytoplankton production, but could represent a vital seasonal contribution to the Antarctic ecosystem. Nutrient supply may limit the productivity of ice algae. In McMurdo Sound, congelation ice algae appeared to be more nutrient deficient than underlying platelet ice algae based on: lower nitrogen:carbon, chlorophyll:carbon, and protein:carbohydrate; and {sup 14}C-photosynthate distribution to proteins and phospholipids was lower, while distribution to polysaccharides and neutral lipids was higher. Depletion of nitrate led to decreased nitrogen:carbon, chlorophyll:carbon, protein:carbohydrate, and {sup 14}C-photosynthate to proteins. Studied were conducted during the spring bloom; therefore, nutrient limitation may only apply to dense ice algal communities. Growth limiting conditions may be alleviated when algae are released into seawater during the seasonal recession of the ice cover. To continue growth, algae must adapt to the variable light field encountered in a mixed water column. Photoadaptation was studied in surface ice communities and in bottom ice communities.

  8. New Discoveries Resulted from Lidar Investigation of Middle and Upper Atmosphere Temperature, Composition, Chemistry and Dynamics at McMurdo, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, X.; Yu, Z.; Fong, W.; Chen, C.; Huang, W.; Lu, X.; Gardner, C. S.; McDonald, A.; Fuller-Rowell, T. J.; Vadas, S.

    2013-12-01

    discoveries may have opened the new door to observing the neutral thermosphere with ground-based instruments. Extreme Fe events in summer were observed and understood as the interesting interactions among the meteoric metal atoms, sub-visible ice particles and energetic particles during aurora precipitation. Furthermore, the McMurdo middle and upper atmosphere is found to be very dynamical, especially in winter when inertia-gravity waves and eastward propagating planetary waves are predominant in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere and in the stratosphere, respectively. Despite small amplitudes below 100 km, the diurnal and semidiurnal tidal amplitudes exhibit fast growth from 100 to 110 km depending on the geomagnetic activities. These observations pose great challenges to our understanding of the Earth's upper atmosphere but also provide excellent opportunities to exploring how the electrodynamics and neutral dynamics work together at this high southern latitude to produce many intriguing geophysical phenomena.

  9. Reconstructing Habitable Environments on a Late Noachian Icy Mars: Causes, Frequencies and Durations of Melting, Fate of Meltwater, and Biological Insights from the McMurdo Dry Valleys. James W. Head, Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912 USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, J. W., III

    2014-12-01

    Recent global climate models for Late Noachian Mars have underlined the difficulty of producing and sustaining a "warm and wet" early Mars, suggesting instead a cold and icy late Noachian climate dominated by stable ice sheets in the highlands and a horizontally stratified hydrological system. If Late Noachian Mars was "cold and icy", how can one explain the origin and distribution of the extensive valley networks and abundant open basin lakes? Could periodic or catastrophic melting of highland ice sheets produce the observed features? Are there areas where the horizontally stratified hydrological system is breached to enable communication with the groundwater system below? Would such scenarios lead to habitable environments? Analogs of aqueous environments and biological settings from the McMurdo Dry Valleys are combined with assessment of several top-down and bottom-up melting mechanisms for the Late Noachian Icy Highlands to outline predictions for the location and duration of potential habitable environments. Explored are 1) the volumes of ice available and the possibility that ice distribution and thickness are "supply-limited", 2) the areal distribution of available ice, 3) the total amount of meltwater necessary to account for the observed features, 4) the predicted duration of aqueous production and longevity of aqueous environments under different melting scenarios, 5) the predicted geomorphic features formed by these mechanisms, and 6) similarities of these predicted features to the distribution and morphologic/morphometric characteristics of observed valley networks and open-basin lakes. The results are interpreted in the context of known habitable environments in the Mars-like hyperarid, hypothermal McMurdo Dry Valleys, comparing and assessing the locations of meltwater production and biological activity, the stratification of the hydrological system, and communication with the groundwater system below. Predictions are made for remote sensing signatures

  10. Biological Diversity Comprising Microbial Structures of Antarctic Ice Covered Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matys, E. D.

    2015-12-01

    Analysis of microbial membrane lipids is a rapid and non-selective method for evaluating the composition of microbial communities. To fully realise the diagnostic potential of these lipids, we must first understand their structural diversity, biological sources, physiological functions, and pathways of preservation. Particular environmental conditions likely prompt the production of different membrane lipid structures. Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys host numerous ice-covered lakes with sharp chemical gradients that vary in illumination, geochemical structure, and benthic mat morphologies that are structured by nutrient availability and water chemistry. The lipid contents of these benthic mats have not received extensive study nor have the communities yet been thoroughly characterized. Accordingly, a combination of lipid biomarker and nucleic acid sequence data provides the means of assessing species diversity and environmental controls on the composition and diversity of membrane lipid assemblages. We investigated the richness and diversity of benthic microbial communities and accumulated organic matter in Lake Vanda of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. We have identified diverse glycolipids, aminolipids, and phospholipids in addition to many unknown compounds that may be specific to these particular environments. Light levels fluctuate seasonally, favoring low-light-tolerant cyanobacteria and specific lipid assemblages. Adaptations to nutrient limitations are reflected in contrasting intact polar lipid assemblages. For example, under P-limiting conditions, phospholipids are subsidiary to membrane-forming lipids that do not contain P (i.e. ornithine, betaine, and sulfolipids). The bacteriohopanepolyol (BHP) composition is dominated by bacteriohopanetetrol (BHT), a ubiquitous BHP, and 2-methylhopanoids. The relative abundance of 2-methylhopanoids is unprecedented and may reflect the unusual seasonal light regime of this polar environment. By establishing correlations

  11. NPOESS C3S Expandability: SafetyNet(TM) and McMurdo Improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paciaroni, J.; Jamilkowski, M. L.

    2009-12-01

    The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Defense (DoD), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are jointly acquiring the next-generation weather and environmental satellite system; the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). NPOESS replaces the current Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) managed by NOAA and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) managed by the DoD. The NPOESS satellites carry a suite of sensors that collect meteorological, oceanographic, climatological, and solar-geophysical observations of the earth, atmosphere, and space. The command and telemetry portion of NPOESS is the Command, Control and Communications Segment (C3S), developed by Raytheon Intelligence & Information Systems. C3S is responsible for managing the overall NPOESS mission from control and status of the space and ground assets to ensuring delivery of timely, high quality data from the Space Segment (SS) to the Interface Data Processing Segment (IDPS) for processing. In addition, the C3S provides the globally distributed ground assets necessary to collect and transport mission, telemetry, and command data between the satellites and the processing locations. The C3S provides all functions required for day-to-day commanding and state-of-health monitoring of the NPP and NPOESS satellites, and delivery of Stored Mission Data (SMD) to each U.S. Weather Central Interface Data Processor (IDP) for data products development and transfer to System subscribers. The C3S also monitors and reports system-wide health and status and data communications with external systems and between the NPOESS segments. Two crucial elements of NPOESS C3S expandability are SafetyNet(TM) and communications improvements to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. ‘SafetyNet(TM)’ is a key feature of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), vital element of the C3S

  12. NPOESS C3S Expandability: SafetyNetTM and McMurdo Improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamilkowski, M. L.; Paciaroni, J.; Pela, F.

    2010-12-01

    The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Defense (DoD), and National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) are jointly acquiring the next-generation weather & environmental satellite system; the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). NPOESS replaces the current NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) and Dod's Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). The NPOESS satellites carry a suite of sensors that collect meteorological, oceanographic, climatological, and solar-geophysical observations of the earth, atmosphere, and space. The command & telemetry portion of NPOESS is the Command, Control and Communications Segment (C3S), developed by Raytheon Intelligence & Information Systems. C3S is responsible for managing the overall NPOESS mission from control and status of the space and ground assets to ensuring delivery of timely, high quality data from the Space Segment (SS) to the Interface Data Processing Segment (IDPS) for processing. In addition, the C3S provides the globally distributed ground assets necessary to collect and transport mission, telemetry, and command data between the satellites and the processing locations. The C3S provides all functions required for day-to-day commanding & state-of-health monitoring of the NPP & NPOESS satellites, and delivery of Stored Mission Data (SMD) to each US Weather Central Interface Data Processor (IDP) for data products development and transfer to System subscribers. The C3S also monitors and reports system-wide health and status & data communications with external systems and between NPOESS segments. Two crucial elements of NPOESS C3S expandability are SafetyNetTM and communications improvements to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. SafetyNetTM is a key feature of NPOESS and a vital element of the C3S and Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems patented data collection architecture. The centerpiece of SafetyNetTM is the system of

  13. Taylor Glacier basal ice, Antarctica; a biogeochemical hot-spot in a glacial environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skidmore, M.; Christner, B.; Samyn, D.; Lorrain, R.

    2005-12-01

    Increasing evidence points to a significant role for microbes in mediating the dissolution and oxidation of minerals in sediments beneath ice masses (i.e., subglacial weathering). Subglacial microbial ecosystems are local hotspots of microbial activity relative to the glacial ice overlying them due to the presence of liquid water and finely comminuted rock debris, providing nutrients and chemical energy sources. Eight different ice units from a 4 m basal ice sequence (ice temperature, -17°C) at the Taylor Glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, were identified and sampled for microbiological and geochemical analysis. The vertical profile of cell and gas concentration in basal ice from Taylor Glacier indicates that the debris-rich ice layers have higher CO2 and cell concentrations relative to the glacier ice, but are depleted in O2 relative to atmospheric values. Acetate mineralization experiments were undertaken on a subset of glacial and basal ice samples with varying debris content, CO2 concentration, and cell biomass to assess heterotrophic activity at 2°C. Our results show that 14C-acetate was respired to CO2 in all the melted debris-rich ice samples analyzed, but little activity was observed in glacial ice samples of meteoric origin. Together, these data suggest that microorganisms entrapped within the debris-rich basal ice may be metabolically active in situ.

  14. Exchange across the shelf break at high southern latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinck, J. M.; Dinniman, M. S.

    2010-05-01

    Exchange of water across the Antarctic shelf break has considerable scientific and societal importance due to its effects on circulation and biology of the region, conversion of water masses as part of the global overturning circulation and basal melt of glacial ice and the consequent effect on sea level rise. The focus in this paper is the onshore transport of warm, oceanic Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW); export of dense water from these shelves is equally important, but has been the focus of other recent papers and will not be considered here. A variety of physical mechanisms are described which could play a role in this onshore flux. The relative importance of some processes are evaluated by simple calculations. A numerical model for the Ross Sea continental shelf is used as an example of a more comprehensive evaluation of the details of cross-shelf break exchange. In order for an ocean circulation model to simulate these processes at high southern latitudes, it needs to have high spatial resolution, realistic geometry and bathymetry. Grid spacing smaller than the first baroclinic radius of deformation (a few km) is required to adequately represent the circulation. Because of flow-topography interactions, bathymetry needs to be represented at these same small scales. Atmospheric conditions used to force these circulation models also need to be known at a similar small spatial resolution (a few km) in order to represent orographically controlled winds (coastal jets) and katabatic winds. Significantly, time variability of surface winds strongly influences the structure of the mixed layer. Daily, if not more frequent, surface fluxes must be imposed for a realistic surface mixed layer. Sea ice and ice shelves are important components of the coastal circulation. Ice isolates the ocean from exchange with the atmosphere, especially in the winter. Melting and freezing of both sea ice and glacial ice influence salinity and thereby the character of shelf water. These water

  15. Exchange across the shelf break at high southern latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinck, J. M.; Dinniman, M. S.

    2010-01-01

    Exchange of water across the Antarctic shelf break has considerable scientific and societal importance due to its effects on circulation and biology of the region, conversion of water masses as part of the global overturning circulation and basal melt of glacial ice and the consequent effect on sea level rise. The focus in this paper is the onshore transport of warm, oceanic Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW); export of dense water from these shelves is equally important, but has been the focus of other recent papers and will not be considered here. A variety of physical mechanisms are described which could play a role in this onshore flux. The relative importance of some processes are evaluated by simple calculations. A numerical model for the Ross Sea continental shelf is used as an example of a more comprehensive evaluation of the details of cross-shelf break exchange. In order for an ocean circulation model simulate these processes at high southern latitudes, it needs to have high spatial resolution, realistic geometry and bathymetry. Grid spacing smaller than the first baroclinic radius deformation (a few km) is required to adequately represent the circulation. Because of flow-topography interactions, bathymetry needs to be represented at these same small scales. Atmospheric conditions used to force these circulation models also need to be known at a similar small spatial resolution (a few km) in order to represent orographically controlled winds (coastal jets) and katabatic winds. Significantly, time variability of surface winds strongly influences the structure of the mixed layer. Daily, if not more frequent, surface fluxes must be imposed for a realistic surface mixed layer. Sea ice and ice shelves are important components of the coastal circulation. Ice isolates the ocean from exchange with the atmosphere, especially in the winter. Melting and freezing of both sea ice and glacial ice influence salinity and thereby the character of shelf water. These water mass

  16. Ice-Borehole Probe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behar, Alberto; Carsey, Frank; Lane, Arthur; Engelhardt, Herman

    2006-01-01

    An instrumentation system has been developed for studying interactions between a glacier or ice sheet and the underlying rock and/or soil. Prior borehole imaging systems have been used in well-drilling and mineral-exploration applications and for studying relatively thin valley glaciers, but have not been used for studying thick ice sheets like those of Antarctica. The system includes a cylindrical imaging probe that is lowered into a hole that has been bored through the ice to the ice/bedrock interface by use of an established hot-water-jet technique. The images acquired by the cameras yield information on the movement of the ice relative to the bedrock and on visible features of the lower structure of the ice sheet, including ice layers formed at different times, bubbles, and mineralogical inclusions. At the time of reporting the information for this article, the system was just deployed in two boreholes on the Amery ice shelf in East Antarctica and after successful 2000 2001 deployments in 4 boreholes at Ice Stream C, West Antarctica, and in 2002 at Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska. The probe is designed to operate at temperatures from 40 to +40 C and to withstand the cold, wet, high-pressure [130-atm (13.20-MPa)] environment at the bottom of a water-filled borehole in ice as deep as 1.6 km. A current version is being outfitted to service 2.4-km-deep boreholes at the Rutford Ice Stream in West Antarctica. The probe (see figure) contains a sidelooking charge-coupled-device (CCD) camera that generates both a real-time analog video signal and a sequence of still-image data, and contains a digital videotape recorder. The probe also contains a downward-looking CCD analog video camera, plus halogen lamps to illuminate the fields of view of both cameras. The analog video outputs of the cameras are converted to optical signals that are transmitted to a surface station via optical fibers in a cable. Electric power is supplied to the probe through wires in the cable at a

  17. Fragilariopsis diatom evolution in Pliocene and Pleistocene Antarctic shelf sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sjunneskog, Charlotte; Riesselman, Christina; Winter, Diane; Scherer, Reed

    2012-01-01

    The late Pliocene – early Pleistocene sediment record in the AND-1B core from the McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica, displays a rich diversity and high abundance of diatoms, including several new morphologies within the genus Fragilariopsis. These new morphologies exhibit similarities to the extinct late Miocene/early Pliocene species Fragilariopsis aurica Gersonde and Fragilariopsis praecurta Gersonde, as well as to the modern sea ice-associated species Fragilariopsis ritscheri Hustedt and Fragilariopsis obliquecostata van Heurck. From the diverse morphologies present, we use light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to identify and describe the characteristics of three new taxa, Fragilariopsis laqueata Riesselman, Fragilariopsis bohatyi Sjunneskog et Riesselman, and Fragilariopsis robusta Sjunneskog, which are common in the diatom-bearing intervals from ~3.2 to 1.95 Ma. Comparisons with extant and extinct species are made to assess possible environmental affinities, evolutionary relationships, and potential for future biostratigraphic utility. This complex of newmorphologies diversified as conditions cooled during the Pliocene, then went into decline as heavy sea ice conditions of the Pleistocene were established. Only the lineage of F. robusta appears to continue into the late Pleistocene, where it is interpreted to have evolved into F. obliquecostata.

  18. New observations on relative sea-level change since the late Glacial from the British and Irish continental shelf and their implications for understanding earth-ice-ocean interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, J. A.; Long, A. J.; Plets, R. M.; Callard, L.; Kelley, J. T.; Belknap, D. F.; Quinn, R.; Edwards, R.; Jackson, D.; Long, D.; Monteys, X.; Milne, G. A.

    2013-12-01

    The pattern of relative sea-level (RSL) change around the British Isles shows marked spatial variability in response to ice sheet history and crustal response to loading/offloading. The area thus offers an ideal natural laboratory for the investigation of such interactions and has formed the basis of several models of earth-ice-ocean interaction. Data with which to test models is, however, largely restricted to the late Holocene for which period many RSL curves have been derived from salt marsh studies. There is a paucity of data from much lower than present sea levels and this is reflected in large (tens of metres) discrepancies between different modelled RSL curves for the late-glacial early Holocene period, despite close agreement of the models for the mid-late Holocene. Few data currently exist that can resolve these discrepancies. We have just completed two years intensive fieldwork on six sites around the Irish Sea (at Bantry Bay, Waterford, Cardigan Bay, offshore Louth, Isle of Man, and Belfast Lough) on a north-south gradient. These were selected to target lower than present sea-level indicators from ice-proximal to ice-distal locations. The detailed results from two sites are presented in separate posters. The initial investigation using multibeam bathymetry and shallow seismic profiling identified several sea-level indicators including wave-cut platforms and associated cliffs in bedrock, planation surfaces on drumlins, incised valley termini and terraces and the depth of the transgressive unconformity (and in some cases its seaward terminus). Subsequent coring of seabed targets yielded over 450m of core from 150 sites. The most consistently identified RSL indicator at all sites was the transgressive unconformity. It was penetrated in cores at most sites and has yielded age-dateable material. Palaeoenvironmental interpretation and ra