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Grounding-line basal melt rates determined using radar-derived internal stratigraphy

  • Ginny Catania (a1) (a2), Christina Hulbe (a3) and Howard Conway (a4)
  • In response to commentaries on:

Abstract

We use ice-penetrating radar data across grounding lines of Siple Dome and Roosevelt Island, Antarctica, to measure the spatial pattern, magnitude and duration of sub-ice-shelf melting at these locations. Stratigraphic layers across the grounding line show, in places, a large-amplitude downwarp at, or slightly downstream of, the grounding line due to sub-ice-shelf basal melting. Localized downwarping indicates that melting is transient; melt rates, or the grounding line position, have changed within a few hundred years in order to produce the observed stratigraphy. Elsewhere, no melt-related stratigraphic signature is preserved. In part, heterogeneity in the amount of sub-ice-shelf melt is due to regional circulation patterns in the sub-shelf cavity, but local (on the order of tens of kilometers) heterogeneity in the melt pattern may reflect small differences in the shape of the ice-shelf base at the grounding line. We find that all of the grounding lines crossed have been in place for at most ∼400 years.

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References

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