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Modelling of Kealey Ice Rise, Antarctica, reveals stable ice-flow conditions in East Ellsworth Land over millennia

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Flow at ice divides, their shape, size and internal structure depend not only on local conditions, but also on the flow regimes and past histories of the surrounding ice masses. Here we use field data from Kealey Ice Rise, Ellsworth Land, West Antarctica, in combination with flow modelling to investigate any possible signs of transients in the flow of the surrounding ice masses. Kealey Ice Rise shows linear surface features running parallel to its ridge in satellite imagery and a conspicuous layering in the ground-penetrating radar data known as double-peaked Raymond bumps. Through numerical modelling, by using an anisotropic full-Stokes thermomechanical flow solver, we analyse the evolution of Kealey Ice Rise and the timescales involved. We conclude that the features observed in the stratigraphy of Kealey Ice Rise require at least 3 ka of near-stationary flow conditions. However, we cannot exclude the possibility of a recent flow reorganization in the last century. We stress that the signs of stationary flow in radar stratigraphy observed in Kealey Ice Rise have been observed in other ice divides in the East Ellsworth Land area, suggesting stationary flow conditions over a millennial timescale in the region.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2014

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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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