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Significant marine-ice accumulation in the ablation zone beneath an Antarctic ice shelf

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High-resolution crystallographic, salinity and isotopic analyses of a 45m ice core reveal the presence of a thick layer of marine ice near the grounding line of the Nansen Ice Shelf, Antarctica. The anomalous formation of marine ice in a zone assumed to be the site of active basal melting leads us to propose the hypothesis of large basal crevasses as a favorable environment for important marine-ice accretion. This hitherto unexplored possibility is supported by the overall field configuration and by the discrepancy in some ice properties between this core and the marine-ice sections of previous drilling projects. These findings could have important implications for the general stability of ice shelves and their disintegration processes. The specific properties of this core reveal that marine ice is post-genetically deformed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756501781832160

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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