Basal Melting, Roughness and Structural Integrity of Ice Shelves

  title={Basal Melting, Roughness and Structural Integrity of Ice Shelves},
  author={Robert D. Larter},
  journal={Geophysical Research Letters},
  • R. Larter
  • Published 2022
  • Environmental Science, Geology
  • Geophysical Research Letters
Ice shelves restrict outflow from many of the largest glaciers in Antarctica, thus limiting the Antarctic contribution to sea‐level rise. However, past ice‐shelf collapse events show they are highly vulnerable to surface and basal melting. Collapse of ice shelves in front of glaciers flowing on retrograde slopes could initiate runaway retreat processes. Difficulty in projecting how quickly these could play out makes dynamic ice loss from Antarctica the largest uncertainty in predicting future… 
Atmospheric Triggers of the Brunt Ice Shelf Calving in February 2021
The calving of Antarctic ice shelves remains unpredictable to date due to a lack of understanding of the role of the different climatic components in such events. In this study, the role of


Roughness of Ice Shelves Is Correlated With Basal Melt Rates
Ice shelf collapse could trigger widespread retreat of marine‐based portions of the Antarctic ice sheet. However, little is known about the processes that control the stability of ice shelves. Recent
Antarctic ice-sheet loss driven by basal melting of ice shelves
Satellite laser altimetry and modelling of the surface firn layer are used to reveal the circum-Antarctic pattern of ice-shelf thinning through increased basal melt, which implies that climate forcing through changing winds influences Antarctic ice-sheet mass balance, and hence global sea level, on annual to decadal timescales.
Transition to marine ice cliff instability controlled by ice thickness gradients and velocity
A model that resolves flow and failure of ice is used to show that dynamic thinning can slow or stabilize cliff retreat, but when ice thickness increases rapidly upstream from the ice cliff, there is a transition to catastrophic collapse.
The link between climate warming and break-up of ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula
Abstract A review of in situ and remote-sensing data covering the ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula provides a series of characteristics closely associated with rapid shelf retreat: deeply
Interannual variations in meltwater input to the Southern Ocean from Antarctic ice shelves
For the four largest ‘cold-water’ ice shelves, meltwater fluxes are partitioned into deep and shallow sources to reveal distinct signatures of temporal variability, providing insights into climate forcing of basal melting and the impact of this melting on the Southern Ocean.
Subglacial melt channels and fracture in the floating part of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica
[1] A dense grid of ice-penetrating radar sections acquired over Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica has revealed a network of sinuous subglacial channels, typically 500 m to 3 km wide, and up to
Damage accelerates ice shelf instability and mass loss in Amundsen Sea Embayment
Satellite imagery and modeling results suggest that damage feedback processes are key to future ice shelf stability, grounding line retreat, and sea level contributions from Antarctica and underline the need for incorporating these feedback processes in models to improve sea level rise projections.
Evidence of marine ice-cliff instability in Pine Island Bay from iceberg-keel plough marks
Observational evidence that rapid deglacial ice-sheet retreat into Pine Island Bay proceeded in a similar manner to that simulated in a recent modelling study, driven by MICI is presented.
Pathways and modification of warm water flowing beneath Thwaites Ice Shelf, West Antarctica
The first oceanographic observations underneath Thwaites Ice Shelf front show previously unknown pathways for warm currents, and warm water impinging from all sides on pinning points critical to ice-shelf stability may lead to unpinning and retreat.
Marine ice-cliff instability modeling shows mixed-mode ice-cliff failure and yields calving rate parameterization
A suite of high-fidelity glacier models are used to improve understanding of the modes through which ice cliffs can structurally fail and derive a conservative ice-cliff failure retreat rate parameterization for ice-sheet models, highlighting the respective roles of viscous deformation, shear-band formation, and brittle-tensile failure within marine ice-Cliff instability.