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50 years of ice-front changes between the Ade´lie and Banzare Coasts, East Antarctica

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Abstract:

Ice-front change may well be a sensitive indicator of regional climate change. We studied the coastal sector of Wilkes Land, East Antarctica, along the Adélie and Banzare Coasts, extending from Buchanan Bay (67°05' S, 144°30' E) to Porpoise Bay (67° S, 128° E). The glaciers in this area drain the northern part of Dome C (area 270 000 km2). A comparison of maps, photographs and satellite images, dated several years apart, led to an estimation of the fluctuations of 18 ice fronts over the 50 years 1947-97. The area of the floating glaciers in 1963 was 3035 km2, and in 1989, 2785 km2. The main glaciers in the area are Zélée, Astrolabe, du Français, Commandant Charcot and Pourquoi Pas for the Adélie Coast, and Dibble, May, Sandford and Frost Glaciers for the Clarie and Banzare Coasts. Most of the floating glaciers have shown cyclical behaviour without a marked trend, but a general reduction since 1947. The reduction in the area of floating glaciers since the 1950s may be linked to changes in ice-ocean interaction, as noted for the floating glaciers of the George V Coast and the Cape Adare area, and sea-ice extent. The calving behaviour of the main glacier tongues is characterized by an accumulation of icebergs projecting from the coast to form iceberg tongues, held in place by grounding and joined together by annual or perennial fast ice.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756402781817897

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

    Beginning in 2016, content will be available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology.

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