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Subglacial topography and thickness of ice caps on the Argentine Islands

  • Jānis Karušs (a1), Kristaps Lamsters (a1), Anatolii Chernov (a2) (a3), Māris Krievāns (a1) and Jurijs Ješkins (a1)...

Abstract

This study presents the first subglacial topography and ice thickness models of the largest ice caps of the Argentine Islands, Wilhelm Archipelago, West Antarctica. During this study, ground-penetrating radar was used to map the thickness and inner structure of the ice caps. Digital surface models of all studied islands were created from aerial images obtained with a small-sized unmanned aerial vehicle and used for the construction of subglacial topography models. Ice caps of the Argentine Islands cover ~50% of the land surface of the islands on average. The maximum thickness of only two islands (Galindez and Skua) exceeds 30 m, while the average thickness of all islands is only ~5 m. The maximum ice thickness reaches 35.3 m on Galindez Island. The ice thickness and glacier distribution are mainly governed by prevailing wind direction from the north. This has created the prominent narrow ice ridges on Uruguay and Irizar islands, which are not supported by topographic obstacles, as well as the elongated shape of other ice caps. The subglacial topography of the ice caps is undulated and mainly dependent on the geological structure and composition of magmatic rocks.

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Keywords

Subglacial topography and thickness of ice caps on the Argentine Islands

  • Jānis Karušs (a1), Kristaps Lamsters (a1), Anatolii Chernov (a2) (a3), Māris Krievāns (a1) and Jurijs Ješkins (a1)...

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