Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Ice shelf history determined from deformation styles in surface debris

  • Neil F. Glasser (a1), Tom Holt (a1), Ed Fleming (a2) and Carl Stevenson (a2)

Abstract

This paper presents InSAR-derived ice shelf velocities and observations of surface debris deformation on the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS). Ice shelf velocities show that the MIS has a low surface velocity, with debris-laden parts of the ice shelf in the area known as the ‘swirls’ averaging speeds of c. 3 m a-1 increasing to c. 16 m a-1 at the ice front. Analysis of the fold patterns within moraine ridges on the ice surface reveals a deformational history inconsistent with the present velocity measurements. Polyphase, isoclinal folding within moraine ridges at the surface are interpreted to have formed through intense deformation by past ice flow in a NNW orientation. The velocities and styles of deformation indicate that the majority of debris on the ice shelf was originally transported into the area by a large and dynamic ice sheet/ice shelf system entirely different to that of the present configuration. Although the age of this event is unknown, it is possible that this debris has been exposed on the surface of the ice shelf since the last glacial maximum.

  • 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.

      Ice shelf history determined from deformation styles in surface debris
      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.

      Ice shelf history determined from deformation styles in surface debris
      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.

      Ice shelf history determined from deformation styles in surface debris
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Albrecht, N., Vennell, R., Williams, M., Stevens, C., Langhorne, P., Leonard, G. & Haskell, T. 2006. Observation of sub-inertial internal tides in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, 10.1029/2006GL027377.
Barrand, N.E., Vaughan, D.G., Steiner, N., Tedesco, M., Munneke, P.K., van den Broeke, M.R. & Hosking, J.S. 2013. Trends in Antarctic Peninsula surface melting conditions from observations and regional climate modelling. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, 118, 315330.
Berthier, E., Scambos, T.A. & Shuman, C.A. 2012. Mass loss of Larsen B tributary glaciers (Antarctic Peninsula) unabated since 2002. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, 10.1029/2012GL051755.
Brady, H.T. 1978. Geological studies in southern Victoria Land, on Black Island, and on the McMurdo Ice Shelf. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 13, 1314.
Cook, A.J. & Vaughan, D.G. 2010. Overview of areal changes of the ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula over the past 50 years. Cryosphere, 4, 7798.
Cook, J.C. 1963. Seismic reconnaissance on an ice-covered Antarctic sea. Journal of Glaciology, 4, 559568.
Craven, M., Allison, I., Fricker, H.A. & Warner., R. 2009. Properties of a marine ice layer under the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology, 55, 717728.
De Angelis, H. & Skvarca, P. 2003. Glacier surge after ice shelf collapse. Science, 299, 15601562.
Debenham, F. 1919. A new mode of transportation by ice: the raised marine muds of south Victoria Land (Antarctica). Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 75, 5176.
Debenham, F. 1961. A fish story from the Antarctic. Geographical Magazine, 34, 360368.
Debenham, F. 1965. The genesis of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology, 5, 829832.
Dempsey, D.E., Langhorne, P.J., Robinson, N.J., Williams, M.J.M., Haskell, T.G. & Frew, R.D. 2010. Observation and modeling of platelet ice fabric in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 115, 10.1029/2008JC005264.
Denton, G.H., Bockheim, J.G., Wilson, S.C. & Stuiver, M. 1989. Late Wisconsin and early Holocene glacial history, inner Ross embayment, Antarctica. Quaternary Research, 31, 151182.
Dunbar, G.B., Bertler, N.A.N. & McKay, R.M. 2009. Sediment flux through the McMurdo Ice Shelf in Windless Bight, Antarctica. Global and Planetary Change, 69, 8793.
Fretwell, P., Pritchard, H.D., Vaughan, D.G. & 57 others . 2013. Bedmap2: improved ice bed, surface and thickness datasets for Antarctica. Cryosphere, 7, 375393.
Fitzsimons, S., Mager, S., Frew, R., Clifford, A. & Wilson, G. 2012. Formation of ice-shelf moraines by accretion of sea water and marine sediment at the southern margin of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Annals of Glaciology, 53, 211220.
Glasser, N.F., Goodsell, B., Copland, L. & Lawson, W. 2006. Debris characteristics and ice-shelf dynamics in the ablation region of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology, 52, 223234.
Glasser, N.F., Scambos, T.A., Bohlander, J., Truffer, M., Pettit, E. & Davies, B.J. 2011. From ice-shelf tributary to tidewater glacier: continued rapid recession, acceleration and thinning of Röhss Glacier following the 1995 collapse of the Prince Gustav Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula. Journal of Glaciology, 57, 397406.
Gough, A.J., Mahoney, A.R., Langhorne, P.J., Williams, M.J.M., Robinson, N.J. & Haskell, T.G. 2012. Signatures of supercooling: McMurdo Sound platelet ice. Journal of Glaciology, 58, 3850.
Gow, A.J. 1967. Antarctic glaciological studies. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 2, 121122.
Gow, A.J., Weeks, W.F., Hendrickson, G. & Rowland, R. 1965. New light on the mode of uplift of the fish and fossiliferous moraines of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology, 5, 813828.
Hall, B.L., Henderson, G.M., Baroni, C. & Kellogg, T.B. 2010. Constant Holocene Southern-Ocean 14C reservoir ages and ice-shelf flow rates. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 296, 115123.
Hart, C.P. 1990. Holocene megafauna in McMurdo Ice Shelf sediments – fossilization and implications for glacial processes. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 25(2), 1114.
Hawes, I., Smith, R., Howard-Williams, C. & Schwarz, A.M. 1999. Environmental conditions during freezing, and response of microbial mats in ponds of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 11, 198208.
Hayward, P.J. & Taylor, P.D. 1984. Fossil and recent Cheilostomata (Bryozoa) from the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Journal of Natural History, 18, 7194.
Hellmer, H.H. 2004. Impact of Antarctic ice shelf basal melting on sea ice and deep ocean properties. Geophysical Research Letters, 31, 10.1029/2004GL019506.
Hillenbrand, C.D., Kuhn, G., Smith, J.A., Gohl, K., Graham, A.G.C., Larter, R.D., Klages, J.P., Downey, R., Moreton, S.G., Forwick, M. & Vaughan, D.G. 2013. Grounding-line retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet from inner Pine Island Bay. Geology, 41, 3538.
Hulbe, C.L., MacAyeal, D.R., Denton, G.H., Kleman, J. & Lowell, T.V. 2004. Catastrophic ice shelf breakup as the course of Heinrich event icebergs. Paleooceanography, 19, 10.1029/2003PA000890.
Jacobs, S.S., Hellmer, H.H., Doake, C.S.M., Jenkins, A. & Frolich, R.M. 1992. Melting of ice shelves and the mass balance of Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology, 38, 375387.
Joughin, I. & Padman, L. 2003. Melting and freezing beneath Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, 30, 10.1029/2003GL016941.
Kellogg, D.E. & Kellogg, T.B. 1984. Diatoms from the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 19(5), 7677.
Kellogg, D.E. & Kellogg, T.B. 1987a. Diatoms of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica: implications for sediment and biotic reworking. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 60, 7796.
Kellogg, D.E. & Kellogg, T.B. 1987b. Reworking of biotic and sedimentary debris on the McMurdo Ice Shelf. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 22(5), 118119.
Kellogg, T.B. & Kellogg, D.E. 1988. Fish story from the Antarctic, II. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 23(5), 8284.
Kellogg, T.B., Hughes, T.J. & Kellogg, D.E. 1996. Late Pleistocene interactions of East and West Antarctic ice-flow regimes: evidence from the McMurdo Ice Shelf. Journal of Glaciology, 42, 486500.
Kellogg, T.B., Kellogg, D.E. & Stuiver, M. 1990. Late Quaternary history of the southwestern Ross Sea: evidence from debris bands on the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Antarctic Research Series, 50, 2556.
Kellogg, T.B., Stuiver, M., Kellogg, D.E. & Denton., G.H. 1977. Marine microfossils on the McMurdo Ice Shelf. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 12(4), 8283.
Kovacs, A. & Gow, A.J. 1975. Brine infiltration in the McMurdo Ice Shelf, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research, 80, 19571961.
Kovacs, A., Gow, A.J. & Cragin, J. 1982. The Brine Zone in the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Annals of Glaciology, 3, 166171.
Leonard, G.H., Langhorne, P.J., Williams, M.J.M., Vennell, R., Purdie, C.R., Dempsey, D.E., Haskell, T.G. & Frew, R.D. 2011. Evolution of supercooling under coastal Antarctic sea ice during winter. Antarctic Science, 23, 399409.
MacAyeal, D.R., Scambos, T.A., Hulbe, C.L. & Fahnestock, M.A. 2003. Catastrophic ice-shelf break-up by an ice-shelf-fragment-capsize mechanism. Journal of Glaciology, 49, 2236.
Mager, S.M., Smith, I.J., Kempema, E.W., Thomson, B.J. & Leonard, G.H. 2013. Anchor ice in polar oceans. Progress in Physical Geography, 37, 468483.
Mahoney, A.R., Gough, A.J., Langhorne, P.J., Robinson, N.J., Stevens, C.L., Williams, M.M.J. & Haskell, T.G. 2011. The seasonal appearance of ice shelf water in coastal Antarctica and its effect on sea ice growth. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, 10.1029/2011JC007060.
McCrae, I.R. 1984. A summary of glaciological measurements made between 1960 and 1984 on the McMurdo Ice Shelf Antarctica. Report No. 360. Auckland: Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 93 pp.
Meredith, M.P. & King, J.C. 2005. Rapid climate change in the ocean to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula during the second half of the 20th century. Geophysical Research Letters, 32, 10.1029/2005GL024042.
Pridmore, R.D., Vant, W.N. & Cummings, V.J. 1995. Factors affecting the water clarity of ponds on the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 7, 145148.
Pritchard, H.D., Ligtenberg, S.R.M., Fricker, H.A., Vaughan, D.G., van den Broeke, M.R. & Padman, L. 2012. Antarctic ice-sheet loss driven by basal melting of ice shelves. Nature, 484, 502505.
Purdie, C.R., Langhorne, P.J., Leonard, G.H. & Haskell, T.G. 2006. Growth of first-year land fast Antarctic sea ice determined from winter temperature measurements. Annals of Glaciology, 44, 170176.
Rack, W. & Rott, H. 2004. Pattern of retreat and disintegration of the Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula. Annals of Glaciology, 39, 505510.
Rack, W., Haas, C. & Langhorne, P.J. 2013. Airborne thickness and freeboard measurements over the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica, and implications for ice density. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 118, 58995907.
Ramsay, J.G. & Huber, M.I. 1987. The techniques of modern structural geology. Volume 2: Folds and fractures. London: Academic Press, 391 pp.
Ramsay, J.G. 1967. Folding and fracturing of rocks. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 568 pp.
Rignot, E., Casassa, G., Gogineni, P., Krabill, W., Rivera, A. & Thomas, R. 2004. Accelerated ice discharge from the Antarctic Peninsula following the collapse of Larsen B ice shelf. Geophysical Research Letters, 31, 10.1029/2004GL020697.
Rignot, E., Mouginot, J. & Scheuchl, B. 2011. MEaSUREs InSAR-Based Antarctica Velocity Map. RADARSAT-2 data. Boulder, CO: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.5067/MEASURES/CRYOSPHERE/nsidc-0484.001.
Rignot, E., Jacobs, S., Mouginot, J. & Scheuchl, B. 2013. Ice-shelf melting around Antarctica. Science, 341, 266270.
Robinson, N.J., Williams, M.J.M., Barrett, P.J. & Pyne, A.R. 2010. Observations of flow and ice-ocean interaction beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 115, 10.1029/2008JC005255.
Scambos, T.A., Bohlander, J.A., Shuman, C.A. & Skvarca, P. 2004. Glacier acceleration and thinning after ice shelf collapse in the Larsen B embayment, Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, 31, 10.1029/2004GL020670.
Speden, I.G. 1962. Fossiliferous Quaternary marine deposits in the McMurdo Sound region, Antarctica. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 5, 746777.
Stammerjohn, S.E., Martinson, D.G., Smith, R.C., Yuan, X. & Rind, D. 2008. Trends in Antarctic annual sea ice retreat and advance and their relation to El Niño–Southern Oscillation and Southern Annular Mode variability. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 113, 10.1029/2007JC004269.
Stern, A.A., Dinniman, M.S., Zagorodnov, V., Tyler, S.W. & Holland, D.M. 2013. Intrusion of warm surface water beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 118, 70367048.
Swithinbank, C.W., Darby, D.G. & Wohlschlag, D.E. 1961. Faunal remains on an Antarctic ice shelf. Science, 133, 764766.
Swithinbank, C.W. 1970. Ice movement in the McMurdo Sound area of Antarctica. IASH & SCAR Publication, 86, 472487.
Vaughan, D.G. & Doake, C.S.M. 1996. Recent atmospheric warming and retreat of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula. Nature, 379, 328331.
Vaughan, D.G., Marshall, G.J., Connolley, W.M., Parkinson, C., Mulvaney, R., Hodgson, D.A., King, J.C., Pudsey, C.J. & Turner, J. 2003. Recent rapid regional climate warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. Climate Change, 60, 243274.
Wilson, G.S. 2000. Glacial geology and origin of fossiliferouserratic-bearing moraines, southern McMurdo Sound, Antarctica – an alternative ice sheet hypothesis. Antarctic Research Series, 76, 1937.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

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