The retreat of Jones Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

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In recent decades, several ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula have diminished in size as a result of climate warming. Using aerial photographic, satellite and survey data we document a similar retreat of Jones Ice Shelf, which was another small ice shelf on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. This ice shelf was roughly stable between 1947 and 1969, but in the early 1970s it began to retreat and had completely disappeared by early 2003. Jones Ice Shelf has two ice fronts only a few kilometres apart and its retreat provides a unique opportunity to examine how different ice fronts retreat when subjected to similar climate forcing. We mapped the retreat of both the east and west ice fronts of Jones Ice Shelf and found that, although individual episodes of retreat may be related to particularly warm summers, the overall progress of retreat of the two ice fronts has been rather different. This suggests that in this case the course of retreat is controlled by the geometry of the embayment and location of pinning points as well as climatic events.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2005

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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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