Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Climatic conditions, mass balance and dynamics of Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, prior to collapse

  • Pedro Skvarca (a1), Hernán De Angelis (a1) and Andrés F. Zakrajsek (a1)

Abstract

Following the collapse of Larsen A in 1995, about 3200 km2 of Larsen B ice shelf disintegrated in early 2002 during the warmest summer recorded on the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula. Immediately prior to disintegration the last field campaign was carried out on Larsen B. Measurements included surface net mass balance, velocity and strain rate on a longitudinal transect along Crane Glacier flowline and over a remnant section confined within Seal Nunataks that survived the collapse. In addition, an automatic weather station located nearby allowed derivation of melt days relevant to the formation and extent of surface meltwater. Repeated surveys allowed us to detect a significant acceleration in ice-flow velocity and associated increasing strain rates along the longitudinal transect. It may be possible to use this acceleration as a predictor of imminent ice-shelf collapse, applicable to ice shelves subject to similar climatic conditions. Additional information on recent ongoing changes was provided by a visible satellite image acquired in early 2003.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Climatic conditions, mass balance and dynamics of Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, prior to collapse
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Climatic conditions, mass balance and dynamics of Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, prior to collapse
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Climatic conditions, mass balance and dynamics of Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, prior to collapse
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Bindschadler, R.A., Fahnestock, M.A., Skvarca, P. and Scambos, T.A. (1994) Surface-velocity field of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctic. Ann. Glaciol., 2(0), 0319
De Angelis, H. and Skvarca, P. 2003. Glacier surge after ice shelf collapse. Science, 299(5612), 15601562.
Doake, C.S. M. and Vaughan, D.G. 1991. Rapid disintegration of the Wordie Ice Shelf in response to atmospheric warming. Nature, 350(6316), 328330.
Doake, C. S. M., Corr, H.F.J., Rott, H., Skvarca, P. and Young, N.W. 1998. Breakup and conditions for stability of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Nature, 391(6669), 778780.
Hoffmann, J. A. J., Nuñez, S. E. and Vargas, W.M. 1997. Temperature, humidity and precipitation variations in Argentina and the adjacent sub-Antarctic region during the present century. Meteorol. Z. 6(1), N.F., 311.
Hughes, T. 1973. Is the West Antarctic ice sheet disintegrating. J. Geophys. Res., 78(33), 78847910.
King, J.C. 1994. Recent climate variability in the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula. Int. J. Climatol., 14(4), 357369.
Lucchitta, B.K. and Rosanova, C.E. (1998) Retreat of northern margins of George VI and Wilkins Ice Shelves, Antarctic Peninsul. Ann. Glaciol., 2(7), 741
Mayo, L.R., Meier, M.F. and Tangborn, W.V. 1972. A system to combine stratigraphic and annual mass-balance systems: a contribution to the International Hydrological Decade. J. Glaciol., 11(61), 314.
Mercer, J.H. 1978. West Antarctic ice sheet and CO2 greenhouse effect: a threat of disaster. Nature, 271(5643), 321325.
Rack, W. 2000. Dynamic behaviour and disintegration of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula. (PhD thesis, University of Innsbruck).
Rack, W., Rott, H., Siegel, A. and Skvarca, P. (1999) The motion field of northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, derived from satellite imager. Ann. Glaciol., 2(9), 9261
Rignot, E. and Jacobs, S.S. 2002. Rapid bottom melting widespread near Antarctic ice sheet grounding lines. Science, 296(5575), 20202023.
Rignot, E. and Thomas, R.H. 2002. Mass balance of polar ice sheets. Science, 297(5586), 15021506.
Rott, H., Skvarca, P. and Nagler, T. 1996. Rapid collapse of northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Science, 271(5250), 788792.
Rott, H., Rack, W., Nagler, T. and Skvarca, P. (1998) Climatically induced retreat and collapse of northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsul. Ann. Glaciol., 2(7), 786
Rott, H., Rack, W., Skvarca, P. and de Angelis, H. (2002) Northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica: further retreat after collaps. Ann. Glaciol., 3(4), 4277
Scambos, T.A., Hulbe, C., Fahnestock, M. and Bohlander, J. 2000. The link between climate warming and break-up of ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula. J. Glaciol., 46(154), 516530.
Scambos, T., Hulbe, C. and Fahnestock, M. 2003. Climate-induced ice shelf disintegration in the Antarctic Peninsula. In Domack, E.W., Burnett, A., Leventer, A., Conley, P., Kirby, M. and Bindschadler, R., eds. Antarctic Peninsula climate variability: a historical and paleoenvironmental perspective. Washington, DC, American Geophysical Union, 7992. (Antarctic Research Series 79.)
Skvarca, P. (1994) Changes and surface features of the Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica, derived from Landsat and Kosmos mosaic. Ann. Glaciol., 2(0), 06
Skvarca, P. and De Angelis, H. 2003. Impact assessment of regional climate warming on glaciers and ice shelves of the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula. In Domack, E.W., Burnett, A., Leventer, A., Conley, P., Kirby, M. and Bindschadler, R., eds. Antarctic Peninsula climate variability: a historical and paleoenvironmental perspective. Washington, DC, American Geophysical Union, 6978. (Antarctic Research Series 79.)
Skvarca, P., Rack, W., Rott, H. and Ibarzábal, T. Donángelo, y. (1998) Evidence of recent climatic warming on the eastern Antarctic Peninsul. Ann. Glaciol., 2(7), 7628
Skvarca, P., Rack, W. and Rott, H. 1999a. (3) year satellite time series to monitor characteristics, extent and dynamics of Larsen B Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsul. Ann. Glaciol., 2(9), 9255
Skvarca, P., Rack, W., Rott, H. and Ibarzábal, T. Donángelo, y. 1999b. Climatic trend and the retreat and disintegration of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula: an overview. Polar Res. 18(2), 151157.
Vaughan, D.G. and Doake, C.S.M. 1996. Recent atmospheric warming and retreat of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula. Nature, 379(6563), 328331.
Weertman, J. 1973. Can a water-filled crevasse reach the bottom surface of a glacier? International Association of Scientific Hydrology Publication 95 (Symposium at Cambridge 1969 – Hydrology of Glaciers), 139–145.

Climatic conditions, mass balance and dynamics of Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, prior to collapse

  • Pedro Skvarca (a1), Hernán De Angelis (a1) and Andrés F. Zakrajsek (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed