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Antarctic ice-shelf calving triggered by the Honshu (Japan) earthquake and tsunami, March 2011

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We use European Space Agency Envisat data to present the first observational evidence that a Northern Hemisphere tsunami triggered Antarctic ice-shelf calving more than 13 000 km away. The Honshu tsunami of 11 March 2011 traversed the Pacific Ocean in <18 hours where it impinged on the Sulzberger Ice Shelf, resulting in the calving of 125 km2 of ice from a shelf front that had previously been stable for >46 years. This event further illustrates the growing evidence of ocean-wave impact on Antarctic calving and emphasizes the teleconnection between the Antarctic ice sheet and events as far away as the Northern Hemisphere.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2011

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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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