Skip to main content

Subglacial thermal balance permits ongoing grounding-line retreat along the Siple Coast of West Antarctica

The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.

Abstract:

Changes in the discharge of West Antarctic ice streams are of potential concern with respect to global sea level. The six relatively thin, fast-flowing Ross ice streams are of interest as low-slope end-members among Antarctic ice streams. Extensive research has demonstrated that these "rivers of ice" have a history of relatively high-frequency (≤O(100) years), asynchronous discharge variations with evolving lateral boundaries. Amidst this variability, a ~1300 km grounding-line retreat has occurred since the Last Glacial Maximum. Numerical studies of Ice Stream D (Parizek and others, 2002) indicate that a proposed thermal-regulation mechanism (Clarke and Marshall, 1998; Hulbe and MacAyeal, 1999; Tulaczyk and others, 2000a,b), which could buffer the West Antarctic ice sheet against complete collapse, may be over-ridden by latent-heat transport within melt-water from beneath inland ice. Extending these studies to Ice Stream A, Whillans Ice Stream and Ice Stream C suggests that further grounding-line retreat contributing to sea-level rise is possible thermodynamically. However, the efficiency of basal water distribution may be a constraint on the system. Because local thermal deficits promote basal freeze-on (especially on topographic highs), observed short-term variability is likely to persist.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756403781816167

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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.

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

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more