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Episodic propagation of a rift on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica

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Bassis, JN and Coleman, R and Fricker, HA and Minster, JB (2005) Episodic propagation of a rift on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, 32 (6). L06502. ISSN 0094-8276

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Abstract

We investigate ice shelf rift propagation using a combination of GPS and seismic measurements near the tip of an active rift in the Amery Ice Shelf. These measurements reveal that propagation occurs in episodic bursts, which were identified based on swarms of seismicity accompanied by rapid rift widening. The bursts last approximately 4 hours and are separated by 10–24 days. In between bursts, the rift widens at a rate comparable to that of ice shelf spreading. Comparison of automatic weather station data and tidal amplitudes show that the propagation bursts are not directly triggered by winds or tides, suggesting that rift propagation is driven by the background glaciological stress in the ice shelf. We show that the ice debris that partly fills the rift may play a role in controlling the rate of propagation.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Page Range: L06502
ISSN: 0094-8276
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1029/2004GL022048
Additional Information: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. © 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2009 22:38
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:55
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/8373
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