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Numerical simulations of the ice flow dynamics of George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctica

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A diagnostic, dynamic/thermodynamic ice-shelf model is applied to the George VI Ice Shelf, situated in the Bellinghausen Sea, Antarctica. The George VI Ice Shelf has a peculiar flow geometry which sets it apart from other ice shelves. Inflow occurs along the two longest, and almost parallel, sides, whereas outflow occurs on the two ice fronts that are relatively short and situated at opposite ends of the ice shelf. Two data sources were used to derive the ice thickness distribution: conventional radio-echo sounding from the British Antarctic Survey was combined with thickness inferred from surface elevation obtained by the NASA GLAS satellite system assuming hydrostatic equilibrium. We simulate the present ice flow over the ice shelf that results from the ice thickness distribution, the inflow at the grounding line and the flow rate factor. The high spatial resolution of the ice thickness distribution leads to very detailed simulations. The flow field has some extraordinary elements (e.g. the stagnation point characteristics resulting from the unusual ice-shelf geometry).

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2007

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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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