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Dynamics and mass balance of the ice-sheet/ice-shelf regime at Nivlisen, Antarctica, as derived from a coupled three-dimensional numerical flow model

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The aim of this study is to derive basic ice dynamics for Nivlisen, a relatively small ice shelf in Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica, and its drainage area. Therefore, the adaptation of an existing three-dimensional numerical flow model (Sandhäger, 2000) was undertaken, which had been applied previously to Ekströmisen and its drainage system. Compared to that region, Nivlisen and its drainage area represent a significantly more complicated geometrical situation. This has consequently large impacts on the flow regime, i.e. several modifications are necessary and reasonable. The diagnostic modelling is carried out in order to derive the current ice dynamics. The resulting ice-flow velocities seem to be too small compared to typical values for such glaciers. Therefore, the basal temperature at some gridpoints was set to pressure-melting point to obtain more realistic results. Furthermore, the use of a spatially varying parameter to describe basal sliding is advisable. Presenting the numerical results, the focus lies on the modelled ice-velocity field. The mass-balance quantities are calculated from the simulated velocity distribution and the underlying ice-geometry models derived from different datasets. The diagnostic results will serve as the basis for future prognostic modelling studies.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2003

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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.

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