Ice shelf "crime scene" investigation at the Antarctic Peninsula
The Wordie Ice Shelf–Fleming Glacier system in the southern Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a long-term retreat and disintegration of its ice shelf in the past 50 years. What is responsibe for this massive loss of ice? The work - consisting of two articles - presented here uses Elmer/Ice to investigate the dynamics of the retreat of the glacier front during the period from 2008 until 2015. From inversions based on a multi-cycle spin-up scheme to reduce the influence of the initial approximated englacial temperatures (detailed in part 1 of this paper series), part 2 shows that the grounding line of the fully grounded Fleming glacier in 2008, which was the main tributary to the shelf, has retreated by about 9 km land inward until 2015. This position virtually coincides with the last known grounding line position in 2014 . How strong the influence on this retreat was split between the acting Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI), ocean forcing or an increase in the observed drastic change in bed lubrication further upstream the Fleming glacier remains to be subject of further investigations.
Zhao, C., R. M. Gladstone, R. C. Warner, M. A. King, T. Zwinger, and M. Morlighem, 2018. Basal friction of Fleming Glacier, Antarctica – Part 1: Sensitivity of inversion to temperature and bedrock uncertainty, The Cryosphere 12, 2637-2652, doi:10.5194/tc-12-2637-2018.
Zhao, C., R. M. Gladstone, R. C. Warner, M. A. King, T. Zwinger, and M. Morlighem, 2018. Basal friction of Fleming Glacier, Antarctica – Part 2: Evolution from 2008 to 2015, The Cryosphere 12, 2653-2666, doi:10.5194/tc-12-2653-2018.