Ocean forced variability of Totten Glacier mass loss
Le Brocq, AM
van Ommen, T
Geological Society Special Publications
© 2017 The Author(s). Published by The Geological Society of London. Open Access: This article is published under the terms of the CC-BY 3.0 license.
A large volume of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet drains through the Totten Glacier (TG) and is thought to be a potential source of substantial global sea level rise over the coming centuries. We show the surface velocity and heightof the floating part of TG, which buttresses the grounded component, have varied substantially over two decades (1989–2011), with variations in surface height strongly anti-correlated with simulated basal melt rates (r=0.70, p<0.05). Coupled glacier/ice-shelf simulations confirm ice flow and thickness respond to both basal melting of the ice shelf and grounding on bed obstacles. We conclude the observed variability of TG is primarily ocean-driven. Ocean warming in this region will lead to enhanced ice-sheet dynamism and loss of upstream grounded ice.
This work was supported by, Australian Antarctic Division projects 3103, 4077, 4287 and 4346, National Computing Infrastructure grant m68, NSF grant ANT-0733025, NASA grant NNX09AR52G (Operation Ice Bridge), NERC grant NE/F016646/1, NERC fellowship NE/G012733/2, the Jackson School of Geoscience, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation. This research was also supported by the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Programme through the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre. The work is also supported under the Australian Research Councils Special Research Initiative for Antarctic Gateway Partnership SR140300001. Landsat 4 and 7 images courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey. This is UTIG contribution 2486. Thanks to Benoit Legresy for useful discussions.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the Geological Society of London via the DOI in this record.