Rapid dynamic activation of a marine-based Arctic ice cap

McMillan, Malcolm and Shepherd, Andrew and Gourmelen, Noel and Dehecq, Amaury and Leeson, Amber and Ridout, Andrew and Flament, Thomas and Hogg, Anna and Gilbert, Lin and Benham, Toby and Van Den Broeke, Michiel and Dowdeswell, Julian A. and Fettweis, Xavier and Noël, Brice and Strozzi, Tazio (2015) Rapid dynamic activation of a marine-based Arctic ice cap. Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (24). pp. 8902-8909. ISSN 0094-8276

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We use satellite observations to document rapid acceleration and ice loss from a formerly slow-flowing, marine-based sector of Austfonna, the largest ice cap in the Eurasian Arctic. During the past two decades, the sector ice discharge has increased 45-fold, the velocity regime has switched from predominantly slow (~ 101 m/yr) to fast (~ 103 m/yr) flow, and rates of ice thinning have exceeded 25 m/yr. At the time of widespread dynamic activation, parts of the terminus may have been near floatation. Subsequently, the imbalance has propagated 50 km inland to within 8 km of the ice cap summit. Our observations demonstrate the ability of slow-flowing ice to mobilize and quickly transmit the dynamic imbalance inland; a process that we show has initiated rapid ice loss to the ocean and redistribution of ice mass to locations more susceptible to melt, yet which remains poorly understood. Key Points Recent dynamic activation of a formerly slow-flowing marine Arctic ice capImbalance has spread 50 km inland to within 8 km of the ice cap summitIce discharge has increased 45-fold, and thinning rates have exceeded 25 m/yr

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
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© 2016 American Geophysical Union
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? altimetryaustfonnadynamic instabilityice capinsarmass balancegeneral earth and planetary sciencesgeophysicsearth and planetary sciences(all) ??
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Deposited On:
11 Apr 2016 10:52
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 09:50