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Modelling the fate of surface melt on the Larsen C Ice Shelf

Buzzard, S; Feltham, D; Flocco, D; (2018) Modelling the fate of surface melt on the Larsen C Ice Shelf. Cryosphere , 12 (11) pp. 3565-3575. 10.5194/tc-12-3565-2018. Green open access

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Abstract

Surface melt lakes lower the albedo of ice shelves, leading to additional surface melting. This can substantially alter the surface energy balance and internal temperature and density profiles of the ice shelf. Evidence suggests that melt lakes also played a pivotal role in the sudden collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in 2002. Here a recently developed, high-physical-fidelity model accounting for the development cycle of melt lakes is applied to the Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica's most northern ice shelf and one where melt lakes have been observed. We simulate current conditions on the ice shelf using weather station and reanalysis data and investigate the impacts of potential future increases in precipitation and air temperature on melt lake formation, for which concurrent increases lead to an increase in lake depth. Finally, we assess the viability in future crevasse propagation through the ice shelf due to surface meltwater accumulation.

Type: Article
Title: Modelling the fate of surface melt on the Larsen C Ice Shelf
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5194/tc-12-3565-2018
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-3565-2018
Language: English
Additional information: © Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10063476
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