Surface and airborne radar sounding data were used to identify and map fields of bottom crevasses on the Ross Ice Shelf. Two major concentrations of crevasses were found, one along the grid-eastern grounding line and another, made up of eight smaller sites, grid-west of Crary Ice Rise.
Based upon an analysis of bottom crevasse heights and locations, and of the strength of radar waves diffracted from the apex and bottom corners of the gridcrevasses, we conclude that the crevasses are formed at discrete locations on the ice shelf. By comparing the locations of crevasse formation with ice thickness and bottom topography, we conclude that most of the crevasse sites are associated with grounding. Hence we have postulated that six grounded areas, in addition to Crary Ice Rise and Roosevelt Island, exist in the grid-western sector of the ice shelf. These pinning points may be important for interpreting the dynamics of the West Antarctic ice sheet.