Ice-shelf stability

Ice-shelf stability

Released

02/08/2017 1:40 pm

Copyright

Reproduced from Hogg & Gudmundsson (Nature Climate Change, 7, 540–542, (2017) doi:10.1038/nclimate3359

Description

Iceberg calving, resulting in loss of contact with pinning points, causes a reduction in ice-shelf buttressing. As a consequence, ice velocities and the rate of horizontal spreading around the grounding line increases. With time this can lead to ice-shelf thinning and grounding-line retreat. Melt ponds form on the ice-shelf surface in response to warm air temperatures, and warm ocean water melts the ice shelf at its base.

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