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Northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica: further retreat after collapse

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Changes of Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica, and the surrounding glaciers after its collapse in 1995 were investigated using satellite radar imagery, with emphasis on changes in the glaciers which previously nourished the ice shelf north of Seal Nunataks and now calve directly into the sea. The large glaciers retreated several kilometres inland of the previous grounding line. The velocity field of Drygalski Glacier, the largest glacier in this area, was mapped by means of interferograms derived from pairs of European Remote-sensing Satellite synthetic aperture radar images from 1995 and 1999. The main part of the glacier showed a significant acceleration of flow over these 4 years, with an increase of velocity up to three-fold at the terminus. Similar accelerations were observed by means of interferometry on several other grounded glaciers, suggesting that the removal of ice shelves could lead to an effect on eustatic sea level. For Larsen B, the northernmost surviving part of Larsen Ice Shelf, the retreat of the ice front to October 2000 is documented.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • 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.

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