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Ocean forced variability of Totten Glacier mass loss

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Roberts, J, Galton-Fenzi, BK, Paolo, FS, Donnelly, C, Gwyther, DE ORCID: 0000-0002-7218-2785, Padman, L, Young, D, Warner, R ORCID: 0000-0002-9778-3544, Greenbaum, J, Fricker, HA, Payne, AJ, Cornford, S, Le Brocq, A, van Ommen, T ORCID: 0000-0002-2463-1718, Blankenship, D and Siegert, MJ 2017 , 'Ocean forced variability of Totten Glacier mass loss' , Geological Society Special Publication, vol. 461 , pp. 175-186 , doi: 10.1144/SP461.6.

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Abstract

A large volume of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet drains through the Totten Glacier (TG) and is thought to be a potential source of substantial global sea-level rise over the coming centuries. We show that the surface velocity and height of the floating part of the TG, which buttresses the grounded component, have varied substantially over two decades (1989–2011), with variations in surface height strongly anti-correlated with simulated basal melt rates (r = 0.70, p < 0.05). Coupled glacier–ice shelf simulations confirm that ice flow and thickness respond to both basal melting of the ice shelf and grounding on bed obstacles. We conclude the observed variability of the TG is primarily ocean-driven. Ocean warming in this region will lead to enhanced ice-sheet dynamism and loss of upstream grounded ice.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Roberts, J and Galton-Fenzi, BK and Paolo, FS and Donnelly, C and Gwyther, DE and Padman, L and Young, D and Warner, R and Greenbaum, J and Fricker, HA and Payne, AJ and Cornford, S and Le Brocq, A and van Ommen, T and Blankenship, D and Siegert, MJ
Keywords: Antarctica, melting, Totten Glacier, pinning, glaciology, ice shelf
Journal or Publication Title: Geological Society Special Publication
Publisher: Geological Society Publishing House
ISSN: 0305-8719
DOI / ID Number: 10.1144/SP461.6
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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