Initial borehole results from the Amery Ice Shelf hot-water drilling project
Abstract:The Amery Ice Shelf Ocean Research (AMISOR) project aims to examine and quantify processes involved in the interaction between the ice shelf, the interior grounded ice and the oceanic water masses that circulate beneath it. Two boreholes were melted through the shelf, within 100 km of the calving front, to access the ocean cavity. One (AM02) was at a site where it was believed that basal melt was occurring, and the other (AM01) was in a region with accreted marine ice. At both sites the summertime ocean structure revealed meltwater-modified boundary layers up to 100 m thick immediately beneath the shelf. Salinity and temperature data in the upper cavity at AM02 showed a strong seasonal cycle as a result of a combination of ice-shelf basal melt, and the intrusion of ocean water masses modified by sea-ice processes in Prydz Bay. At AM01, a 200 m thick layer of marine ice underlay the meteoric ice, and showed an increase in salinity and decrease in stable-isotope fractionation with depth. The lowest 100 m of marine ice was highly permeable, with a rectangular banded textural facies. Other preliminary results from this study are also reported.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2004
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