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Variability in Basal Melting Beneath Pine Island Ice Shelf on Weekly to Monthly Timescales

Brennan, PV; Davis, PED; Jenkins, A; Nicholls, KW; Abrahamsen, EP; Jacobs, SS; Heywood, KJ; ... Kim, TW; + view all (2018) Variability in Basal Melting Beneath Pine Island Ice Shelf on Weekly to Monthly Timescales. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans , 123 (11) pp. 8655-8669. 10.1029/2018JC014464. Green open access

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Abstract

Ocean-driven basal melting of Amundsen Sea ice shelves has triggered acceleration, thinning, and grounding line retreat on many West Antarctic outlet glaciers. Here we present the first year-long (2014) record of basal melt rate at sub-weekly resolution from a location on the outer Pine Island Ice Shelf. Adjustment of the upper thermocline to local wind forced variability in the vertical Ekman velocity is the dominant control on basal melting at weekly to monthly timescales. Atmosphere-ice-ocean surface heat fluxes or changes in advection of modified Circumpolar Deep Water play no discernible role at these timescales. We propose that during other years, a deepening of the thermocline in Pine Island Bay driven by longer timescale processes may have suppressed the impact of local wind forcing on high-frequency upper thermocline height variability and basal melting. This highlights the complex interplay between the different processes and their timescales that set the basal melt rate beneath Pine Island Ice Shelf.

Type: Article
Title: Variability in Basal Melting Beneath Pine Island Ice Shelf on Weekly to Monthly Timescales
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2018JC014464
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1029/2018JC014464
Language: English
Additional information: ©2018. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061589
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