WorldWideScience

Sample records for antarctic ice sheet

  1. Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke; Holm, A.

    2015-01-01

    Science) Antarctic Ice Sheet (DAIS) model (Shaffer 2014) is forced by reconstructed time series of Antarctic temperature, global sea level and ocean subsurface temperature over the last two glacial cycles. In this talk a modelling work of the Antarctic ice sheet over most of the Cenozoic era using the......The Antarctic ice sheet is a major player in the Earth’s climate system and is by far the largest depository of fresh water on the planet. Ice stored in the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) contains enough water to raise sea level by about 58 m, and ice loss from Antarctica contributed significantly to...... DAIS model will be presented. G. Shaffer (2014) Formulation, calibration and validation of the DAIS model (version 1), a simple Antarctic ice sheet model sensitive to variations of sea level and ocean subsurface temperature, Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 1803‐1818...

  2. Balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    For several decades, measurements of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet showed it to be retreating rapidly. But new data derived from satellite-borne radar sensors show the ice sheet to be growing. Changing Antarctic ice sheets remains an area of high scientific interest, particularly in light of recent global warming concerns. These new findings are significant because scientists estimate that sea level would rise 5-6 meters (16-20 feet) if the ice sheet collapsed into the sea. Do these new measurements signal the end of the ice sheet's 10,000-year retreat? Or, are these new satellite data simply much more accurate than the sparse ice core and surface measurements that produced the previous estimates? Another possibility is that the ice accumulation may simply indicate that the ice sheet naturally expands and retreats in regular cycles. Cryologists will grapple with these questions, and many others, as they examine the new data. The image above depicts the region of West Antarctica where scientists measured ice speed. The fast-moving central ice streams are shown in red. Slower tributaries feeding the ice streams are shown in blue. Green areas depict slow-moving, stable areas. Thick black lines depict the areas that collect snowfall to feed their respective ice streams. Reference: Ian Joughin and Slawek Tulaczyk Science Jan 18 2002: 476-480. Image courtesy RADARSAT Antarctic Mapping Project

  3. Changes in the West Antarctic ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The portion of the West Antarctic ice sheet that flows into the Ross Sea is thinning in some places and thickening in others. These changes are not caused by any current climatic change, but by the combination of a delayed response to the end of the last global glacial cycle and an internal instability. The near-future impact of the ice sheet on global sea level is largely due to processes internal to the movement of the ice sheet, and not so much to the threat of a possible greenhouse warming. Thus the near-term future of the ice sheet is already determined. However, too little of the ice sheet has been surveyed to predict its overall future behavior

  4. Spatial complexity of ice flow across the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Felix S. L.

    2015-11-01

    Fast-flowing ice streams carry ice from the interior of the Antarctic Ice Sheet towards the coast. Understanding how ice-stream tributaries operate and how networks of them evolve is essential for developing reliable models of the ice sheet’s response to climate change. A particular challenge is to unravel the spatial complexity of flow within and across tributary networks. Here I define a measure of planimetric flow convergence, which can be calculated from satellite measurements of the ice sheet’s surface velocity, to explore this complexity. The convergence map of Antarctica clarifies how tributaries draw ice from its interior. The map also reveals curvilinear zones of convergence along lateral shear margins of streaming, and abundant ripples associated with nonlinear ice rheology and changes in bed topography and friction. Convergence on ice-stream tributaries and their feeding zones is uneven and interspersed with divergence. For individual drainage basins, as well as the ice sheet as a whole, fast flow cannot converge or diverge as much as slow flow. I therefore deduce that flow in the ice-stream networks is subject to mechanical regulation that limits flow-orthonormal strain rates. These findings provide targets for ice-sheet simulations and motivate more research into the origin and dynamics of tributarization.

  5. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations

    OpenAIRE

    Naish, T.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn Parade, PO Box 600, Wellington 6012, New Zealand; Powell, R.; Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA.; Levy, R.; ANDRILL Science Management Office, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, USA; Wilson, G.; University of Otago, Department of Geology, PO Box 56, Leith Street, Dunedin, Otago 9001, New Zealand; Scherer, R.; Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA.; Talarico, F.; Universita` di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze delle Terra, Via Laterina 8, I-53100 Siena, Italy; Krissek, L.; Ohio State University, Department of Geological Sciences, 275 Mendenhall Lab, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA; Niessen, F.; Alfred Wegener Institute, Department of Geosciences, Postfach 12 01 6, Am Alten Hafen 26, D-27515 Bremerhaven, Germany; Pompilio, M.; Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione Pisa, Pisa, Italia; Wilson, T.; Ohio State University, Department of Geological Sciences, 275 Mendenhall Lab, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA; Carter, L.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn Parade, PO Box 600, Wellington 6012, New Zealand; DeConto, R.; Department of Geosciences, 233 Morrell Science Centre, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003-9297, USA; Huybers, P.; Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Massachusetts 02138, USA; McKay, R.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington - New Zealand; Pollard, D.; Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, 2217 Earth-Engineering Science Bldg, University Park, PA 16802, USA

    2009-01-01

    Thirty years after oxygen isotope records frommicrofossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth’s orbital geometry control the ice ages1, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles2. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the ‘warmer-than- present’ early-Pliocene epoch (̃5–3Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possibl...

  6. Antarctic Ice Sheet and Radar Altimetry: A Review

    OpenAIRE

    Frédérique Rémy; Soazig Parouty

    2009-01-01

    International audience Altimetry is probably one of the most powerful tools for ice sheet observation. Our vision of the Antarctic ice sheet has been deeply transformed since the launch of the ERS1 satellite in 1991. With the launch of ERS2 and Envisat, the series of altimetric observations now provides 19 years of continuous and homogeneous observations that allow monitoring of the shape and volume of ice sheets. The topography deduced from altimetry is one of the relevant parameters reve...

  7. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naish, T.; Powell, R.; Levy, R.; Wilson, G.; Scherer, R.; Talarico, F.; Krissek, L.; Niessen, F.; Pompilio, M.; Wilson, T.; Carter, L.; DeConto, R.; Huybers, P.; McKay, R.; Pollard, D.; Ross, J.; Winter, D.; Barrett, P.; Browne, G.; Cody, R.; Cowan, E.; Crampton, J.; Dunbar, G.; Dunbar, N.; Florindo, F.; Gebhardt, C.; Graham, I.; Hannah, M.; Hansaraj, D.; Harwood, D.; Helling, D.; Henrys, S.; Hinnov, L.; Kuhn, G.; Kyle, P.; Laufer, A.; Maffioli, P.; Magens, D.; Mandernack, K.; McIntosh, W.; Millan, C.; Morin, R.; Ohneiser, C.; Paulsen, T.; Persico, D.; Raine, I.; Reed, J.; Riesselman, C.; Sagnotti, L.; Schmitt, D.; Sjunneskog, C.; Strong, P.; Taviani, M.; Vogel, S.; Wilch, T.; Williams, T.

    2009-01-01

    Thirty years after oxygen isotope records from microfossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth's orbital geometry control the ice ages, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the 'warmer-than-present' early-Pliocene epoch (???5-3 Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possible range of ice-sheet behaviour in the context of future global warming. Here we present a marine glacial record from the upper 600 m of the AND-1B sediment core recovered from beneath the northwest part of the Ross ice shelf by the ANDRILL programme and demonstrate well-dated, ???40-kyr cyclic variations in ice-sheet extent linked to cycles in insolation influenced by changes in the Earth's axial tilt (obliquity) during the Pliocene. Our data provide direct evidence for orbitally induced oscillations in the WAIS, which periodically collapsed, resulting in a switch from grounded ice, or ice shelves, to open waters in the Ross embayment when planetary temperatures were up to ???3??C warmer than today and atmospheric CO 2 concentration was as high as ???400 p.p.m.v. (refs 5, 6). The evidence is consistent with a new ice-sheet/ice-shelf model that simulates fluctuations in Antarctic ice volume of up to +7 m in equivalent sea level associated with the loss of the WAIS and up to +3 m in equivalent sea level from the East Antarctic ice sheet, in response to ocean-induced melting paced by obliquity. During interglacial times, diatomaceous sediments indicate high surface-water productivity, minimal summer sea ice and air temperatures above freezing, suggesting an additional influence of surface melt under conditions of elevated CO2. ??2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  8. Emplacement of Antarctic ice sheet mass affects circumpolar ocean flow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rugenstein, M.; Stocchi, P.; van der Heydt, A.; Brinkhuis, H.

    2014-01-01

    During the Cenozoic the Antarctic continent experienced large fluctuations in ice-sheet volume. We investigate the effects of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) on Southern Ocean circulation for the first continental scale glaciation of Antarctica (~ 34 Myr) by combining solid Earth and ocean dynami

  9. How much snow falls on the Antarctic ice sheet?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Palerme

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Climate models predict Antarctic precipitation to increase during the 21st century, but their present day Antarctic precipitation differs. A fully model-independent climatology of the Antarctic precipitation characteristics, such as snowfall rates and frequency, is needed to assess the models, but was not available so far. Satellite observation of precipitation by active spaceborne sensors has been possible in the polar regions since the launch of CloudSat in 2006. Here we use CloudSat products to build the first multi-year model-independent climatology of Antarctic precipitation. The mean snowfall rate from August 2006 to April 2011 is 171 mm yr−1 over the Antarctic ice sheet north of 82° S. The ECMWF ERA Interim dataset agrees well with the new satellite climatology.

  10. Commitments to future retreat of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeConto, Robert; Pollard, David

    2016-04-01

    The agreement reached at the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change is aimed at limiting future increases in global mean temperature below 2°C. Here, we use a continental ice sheet/shelf model with new treatments of meltwater-enhanced calving (hydrofracturing) and marine terminating ice-cliffs, to explore future commitments to sea-level rise given limits of global mean warming between 1 and 3°C. In this case, ice-sheet model physics are calibrated against past ice-sheet response to temperatures warmer than today. The ice-sheet model is coupled to highly resolved atmosphere and ocean-model components, with imposed limits on future warming designed to mimic the idealized limits discussed at COP21. Both the short and long-term potential rise in global mean sea level are discussed in light of the range of allowances agreed in Paris. We also explore the sensitivity of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to plausible ranges of atmospheric versus ocean warming consistent with global mean temperatures between 1 and 3°C; and the resulting long-term commitments to sea-level rise over the coming centuries and millennia.

  11. Observationally constrained projections of Antarctic ice sheet instability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Tamsin; Ritz, Catherine; Durand, Gael; Payne, Anthony; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lie on bedrock below sea level and may be vulnerable to a positive feedback known as Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) of West Antarctica, induced by circulation of warm Circumpolar Deep Water. If this retreat is sustained the region could contribute up to 1-2 m to global mean sea level, and if triggered in other areas the potential contribution to sea level on centennial to millennial timescales could be two to three times greater. However, physically plausible projections of Antarctic MISI are challenging: numerical ice sheet models are too low in spatial resolution to resolve grounding line processes or else too computationally expensive to assess modelling uncertainties, and no dynamical models exist of the ocean-atmosphere-ice sheet system. Furthermore, previous numerical ice sheet model projections for Antarctica have not been calibrated with observations, which can reduce uncertainties. Here we estimate the probability of dynamic mass loss in the event of MISI under a medium climate scenario, assessing 16 modelling uncertainties and calibrating the projections with observed mass losses in the ASE from 1992-2011. We project losses of up to 30 cm sea level equivalent (SLE) by 2100 and 72 cm SLE by 2200 (95% credibility interval: CI). Our results are substantially lower than previous estimates. The ASE sustains substantial losses, 83% of the continental total by 2100 and 67% by 2200 (95% CI), but in other regions losses are limited by ice dynamical theory, observations, or a lack of projected triggers.

  12. Holocene accumulation and ice flow near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koutnik, Michelle R.; Fudge, T. J.; Conway, Howard; Waddington, Edwin D.; Neumann, Thomas A.; Cuffey, Kurt M.; Buizert, Christo; Taylor, Kendrick C.

    2016-05-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Core (WDC) provided a high-resolution climate record from near the Ross-Amundsen Divide in Central West Antarctica. In addition, radar-detected internal layers in the vicinity of the WDC site have been dated directly from the ice core to provide spatial variations in the age structure of the region. Using these two data sets together, we first infer a high-resolution Holocene accumulation-rate history from 9.2 kyr of the ice-core timescale and then confirm that this climate history is consistent with internal layers upstream of the core site. Even though the WDC was drilled only 24 km from the modern ice divide, advection of ice from upstream must be taken into account. We evaluate histories of accumulation rate by using a flowband model to generate internal layers that we compare to observed layers. Results show that the centennially averaged accumulation rate was over 20% lower than modern at 9.2 kyr before present (B.P.), increased by 40% from 9.2 to 2.3 kyr B.P., and decreased by at least 10% over the past 2 kyr B.P. to the modern values; these Holocene accumulation-rate changes in Central West Antarctica are larger than changes inferred from East Antarctic ice-core records. Despite significant changes in accumulation rate, throughout the Holocene the regional accumulation pattern has likely remained similar to today, and the ice-divide position has likely remained on average within 5 km of its modern position. Continent-scale ice-sheet models used for reconstructions of West Antarctic ice volume should incorporate this accumulation history.

  13. Mass Balance Changes and Ice Dynamics of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets from Laser Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babonis, G. S.; Csatho, B.; Schenk, T.

    2016-06-01

    During the past few decades the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost ice at accelerating rates, caused by increasing surface temperature. The melting of the two big ice sheets has a big impact on global sea level rise. If the ice sheets would melt down entirely, the sea level would rise more than 60 m. Even a much smaller rise would cause dramatic damage along coastal regions. In this paper we report about a major upgrade of surface elevation changes derived from laser altimetry data, acquired by NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite mission (ICESat) and airborne laser campaigns, such as Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS). For detecting changes in ice sheet elevations we have developed the Surface Elevation Reconstruction And Change detection (SERAC) method. It computes elevation changes of small surface patches by keeping the surface shape constant and considering the absolute values as surface elevations. We report about important upgrades of earlier results, for example the inclusion of local ice caps and the temporal extension from 1993 to 2014 for the Greenland Ice Sheet and for a comprehensive reconstruction of ice thickness and mass changes for the Antarctic Ice Sheets.

  14. Antarctic ice sheet GLIMMER model test and its simplified model on 2-dimensional ice flow

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xueyuan Tang; Zhanhai Zhang; Bo Sun; Yuansheng Li; Na Li; Bangbing Wang; Xiangpei Zhang

    2008-01-01

    The 3-dimensional finite difference thermodynamic coupled model on Antarctic ice sheet, GLIMMER model, is described. An ide-alized ice sheet numerical test was conducted under the EISMINT-I benchmark, and the characteristic curves of ice sheets under steady state were obtained. Based on this, this model was simplified from a 3-dimensional one to 2-dimensional one. Improvement of the dif-ference method and coordinate system was proposed. Evolution of the 2-dimensional ice flow was simulated under coupled temperature field conditions. The results showed that the characteristic curves deriving from the conservation of the mass, momentum and energy agree with the results of ice sheet profile simulated with GLIMMER model and with the theoretical results. The application prospect of the simplified 2-dimensional ice flow model to simulate the relation of age-depth-accumulation in Dome A region was discussed.

  15. Combustion of available fossil-fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkelmann, R.; Levermann, A.; Ridgwell, A.; Caldeira, K.

    2015-12-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 meters in global sea-level rise. Here we show in simulations with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil-fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet. With cumulative fossil-fuel emissions of 10 000 GtC, Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 meters per century during the first millennium. Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions. Beyond this additional carbon release, the destabilization of ice basins in both West- and East Antarctica results in a threshold-increase in global sea level. Unabated carbon emissions thus threaten the Antarctic Ice Sheet in its entirety with associated sea-level rise that far exceeds that of all other possible sources.

  16. Climate Model Dependency and Understanding the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Warm Late Pliocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolan, Aisling; de Boer, Bas; Bernales, Jorge; Hunter, Stephen; Haywood, Alan

    2016-04-01

    In the context of future climate change, understanding the nature and behaviour of ice sheets during warm intervals of Earth history is fundamentally important. A warm period in the Late Pliocene (3.264 to 3.025 million years before present) can serve as a potential analogue for projected future climates. Although Pliocene ice locations and extents are still poorly constrained, a significant contribution to sea-level rise should be expected from both the Greenland ice sheet and the West and East Antarctic ice sheets based on palaeo sea-level reconstructions and geological evidence. Following a five year international project PLISMIP (Pliocene Ice Sheet Modeling Intercomparison Project) we present the final set of results which quantify uncertainty in climate model-based predictions of the Antarctic ice sheet. In this study we use an ensemble of climate model forcings within a multi-ice sheet model framework to assess the climate (model) dependency of large scale features of the Antarctic ice sheet. Seven coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models are used to derive surface temperature, precipitation and oceanic forcing that drive three ice sheet models (over the grounded and floating domain). Similar to results presented over Greenland, we show that the reconstruction of the Antarctic ice sheet is sensitive to which climate model is used to provide the forcing field. Key areas of uncertainty include West Antarctica, the large subglacial basins of East Antarctica and the overall thickness of the continental interior of East Antarctica. We relate the results back to geological proxy data, such as those relating to exposure rates which provide information on potential ice sheet thickness. Finally we discuss as to whether the choice of modelling framework (i.e. climate model and ice sheet model used) or the choice of boundary conditions causes the greatest uncertainty in ice sheet reconstructions of the warm Pliocene.

  17. Polythermal modelling of steady states of the Antarctic ice sheet in comparison with the real world

    OpenAIRE

    Hansen, I.; Greve, Ralf

    1996-01-01

    An approach to simulate the present Antarctic ice sheet with respect to its thermomechanical behaviour and the resulting features is made with the three-dimensional polythermal ice-sheet model designed by Greve and Hutter. It treats zones of cold and temperate ice as different materials with their own properties and dynamics. This is important becausc an underlying layer of temperate ice can influence the ice sheet as a whole, e.g. the cold ice may slide upon the less viscous binary ice-water...

  18. Learning from the past: Antarctic Eemian ice sheet dynamics as an analogy for future warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, Johannes; Thoma, Malte; Grosfeld, Klaus; Gierz, Paul; Lohmann, Gerrit

    2015-04-01

    Facing considerable warming during this century the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is under increasing scrutiny. Recent observations suggest that the marine ice sheet instability of the WAIS has already started . We investigate the dynamic evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last interglacial, forcing a state of the art 3D ice sheet model with Eemian boundary conditions. We elucidate the role of ocean warming and surface mass balance on the coupled ice sheet/shelf and grounding line dynamics. Special focus lies on an ice sheet modeling assessment of Antarctica's potential contribution to global sea level rise during the Eemian. The transient model runs are forced by time slice experiments of a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean global circulation model, as well as different sets of sea level and bedrock reconstructions. The model result show strong evidences for a severe ice-sheet retreat in West Antartica, leading to substantical contribution to global sea level from the Southern Hemisphere. Additionally we compare future warming scenarios of West Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics to our paleo ice sheet modeling studies.

  19. Future Antarctic bed topography and its implications for ice sheet dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Adhikari

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Antarctic bedrock is evolving as the solid Earth responds to the past and ongoing evolution of the ice sheet. A~recently improved ice loading history suggests that the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS is generally losing its mass since the last glacial maximum (LGM. In a sustained warming climate, the AIS is predicted to retreat at a greater pace primarily via melting beneath the ice shelves. We employ the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA capability of the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM to combine these past and future ice loadings and provide the new solid Earth computations for the AIS. We find that the past loading is relatively less important than future loading on the evolution of the future bed topography. Our computations predict that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS may uplift by a few meters and a few tens of meters at years 2100 and 2500 AD, respectively, and that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS is likely to remain unchanged or subside minimally except around the Amery Ice Shelf. The Amundsen Sea Sector in particular is predicted to rise at the greatest rate; one hundred years of ice evolution in this region, for example, predicts that the coastline of Pine Island Bay approaches roughly 45 mm yr−1 in viscoelastic vertical motion. Of particular importance, we systematically demonstrate that the effect of a pervasive and large GIA uplift in the WAIS is associated with the flattening of reverse bed, reduction of local sea depth, and thus the extension of grounding line (GL towards the continental shelf. Using the 3-D higher-order ice flow capability of ISSM, such a migration of GL is shown to inhibit the ice flow. This negative feedback between the ice sheet and the solid Earth may promote the stability to marine portions of the ice sheet in future.

  20. Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance from Satellite Altimetry 1992 to 2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Cornejo, Helen; Giovinetto, Mario; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2003-01-01

    A major uncertainty in understanding the causes of the current rate of sea level rise is the potential contributions from mass imbalances of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Estimates of the current mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet are derived from surface- elevation changes obtained from 9 years of ERS - 1 & 2 radar altimeter data. Elevation time-series are created from altimeter crossovers among 90-day data periods on a 50 km grid to 81.5 S. The time series are fit with a multivariate linear/sinusoidal function to give the average rate of elevation change (dH/dt). On the major Rome-Filchner, Ross, and Amery ice shelves, the W d t are small or near zero. In contrast, the ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula and along the West Antarctic coast appear to be thinning significantly, with a 23 +/- 3 cm per year surface elevation decrease on the Larsen ice shelf and a 65 +/- 4 cm per year decrease on the Dotson ice shelf. On the grounded ice, significant elevation decreases are obtained over most of the drainage basins of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in West Antarctica and inland of Law Dome in East Antarctica. Significant elevation increases are observed within about 200 km of the coast around much of the rest of the ice sheet. Farther inland, the changes are a mixed pattern of increases and decreases with increases of a few centimeters per year at the highest elevations of the East Antarctic plateau. The derived elevation changes are combined with estimates of the bedrock uplift from several models to provide maps of ice thickness change. The ice thickness changes enable estimates of the ice mass balances for the major drainage basins, the overall mass balance, and the current contribution of the ice sheet to global sea level change.

  1. An improved Antarctic dataset for high resolution numerical ice sheet models (ALBMAP v1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Le Brocq

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The dataset described in this paper (ALBMAP has been created for the purposes of high-resolution numerical ice sheet modelling of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. It brings together data on the ice sheet configuration (e.g. ice surface and ice thickness and boundary conditions, such as the surface air temperature, accumulation and geothermal heat flux. The ice thickness and basal topography is based on the BEDMAP dataset (Lythe et al., 2001, however, there are a number of inconsistencies within BEDMAP and, since its release, more data has become available. The dataset described here addresses these inconsistencies, including some novel interpolation schemes for sub ice-shelf cavities, and incorporates some major new datasets. The inclusion of new datasets is not exhaustive, this considerable task is left for the next release of BEDMAP, however, the data and procedure documented here provides another step forward and demonstrates the issues that need addressing in a continental scale dataset useful for high resolution ice sheet modelling. The dataset provides an initial condition that is as close as possible to present-day ice sheet configuration, aiding modelling of the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to various forcings, which are, at present, not fully understood.

  2. Rapid Access Ice Drill: A New Tool for Exploration of the Deep Antarctic Ice Sheets and Subglacial Geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodge, J. W.; Severinghaus, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    The Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) will penetrate the Antarctic ice sheets in order to core through deep ice, the glacial bed, and into bedrock below. This new technology will provide a critical first look at the interface between major ice caps and their subglacial geology. Currently in construction, RAID is a mobile drilling system capable of making several long boreholes in a single field season in Antarctica. RAID is interdisciplinary and will allow access to polar paleoclimate records in ice >1 Ma, direct observation at the base of the ice sheets, and recovery of rock cores from the ice-covered East Antarctic craton. RAID uses a diamond rock-coring system as in mineral exploration. Threaded drill-pipe with hardened metal bits will cut through ice using reverse circulation of Estisol for pressure-compensation, maintenance of temperature, and removal of ice cuttings. Near the bottom of the ice sheet, a wireline bottom-hole assembly will enable diamond coring of ice, the glacial bed, and bedrock below. Once complete, boreholes will be kept open with fluid, capped, and made available for future down-hole measurement of thermal gradient, heat flow, ice chronology, and ice deformation. RAID will also sample for extremophile microorganisms. RAID is designed to penetrate up to 3,300 meters of ice and take sample cores in less than 200 hours. This rapid performance will allow completion of a borehole in about 10 days before moving to the next drilling site. RAID is unique because it can provide fast borehole access through thick ice; take short ice cores for paleoclimate study; sample the glacial bed to determine ice-flow conditions; take cores of subglacial bedrock for age dating and crustal history; and create boreholes for use as an observatory in the ice sheets. Together, the rapid drilling capability and mobility of the drilling system, along with ice-penetrating imaging methods, will provide a unique 3D picture of the interior Antarctic ice sheets.

  3. A Maturing Tephra Record in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, N. W.; Kurbatov, A.; McIntosh, W. C.

    2011-12-01

    Tephra layers found in many Antarctic ice cores range from sub-centimeter thick, visible layers to cryptotephra consisting of sparse, fine-grained (Takahe, tephra from which have also been recognized in the marine record (Hillenbrand et al., 1988). A well-defined ash layer is found at a depth of between 190.37-190.39 m depth in the WAIS Divide core, containing 20 um ash shards that are chemically correlated to the the Pleaides volcanoes, in northern Victoria Land. This tephra layer correlates to one found in a Siple Dome (B) ice core (97.2 to 97.7 m depth) and in the Taylor Dome ice core (79.2 m depth). Deeper parts of the WAIS Divide ice core correspond to a time interval of abundant regional volcanism, represented by the large number of visible dust bands and cloudy layers in the core (A. Orsi, pers. comm., 2010). A distinct "visible brown layer" at a depth of 1586.363 m. (8.279 Ky BP preliminary age) is very likely to be from a major eruption of the West Antarctic volcano Mt. Takahe (8.2±5.4 , Wilch et al., 1999). This layer is found at a depth of 503.58-503.87 m in the Siple Dome A core (SMDA) corresponding to 8.167-8.181 Ky before 1950, and almost certainly to a visible layer identified and analyzed in the Byrd ice core at 788 m (Palais et al., 1988). A visible double layer at 1741.246 m (9.57 KyBP preliminary age) may correspond to a very distinct tephra layer in the SDMA core at a depth of around 550 m (corresponding to an age of around 9.7 Ky before 1950). This layer is derived from the West Antarctic stratovolcano, Mt. Berlin. In the segment of WAIS Divide ice core between 2251 and 2557 m depth (15.2 to 20.6 preliminary age), numerous dust bands and cloudy layers are reported in the ice. This corresponds to the age of ice in the Byrd Core that contained many volcanic layers (Gow and Williamson, 1971), and also an interval in the SDMA where numerous distinct tephra layers associated with highly explosive eruptions of Mt. Berlin were found. Detailed

  4. Projecting Antarctic ice discharge using response functions from SeaRISE ice-sheet models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Levermann

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The largest uncertainty in projections of future sea-level change still results from the potentially changing dynamical ice discharge from Antarctica. While ice discharge can alter through a number of processes, basal ice-shelf melting induced by a warming ocean has been identified as a major if not the major cause for possible additional ice flow across the grounding line. Here we derive dynamic ice-sheet response functions for basal ice-shelf melting using experiments carried out within the Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE intercomparison project with five different Antarctic ice-sheet models. As used here these response functions provide separate contributions for four different Antarctic drainage regions. Under the assumptions of linear-response theory we project future ice-discharge for each model, each region and each of the four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP using oceanic temperatures from 19 comprehensive climate models of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, CMIP-5, and two ocean models from the EU-project Ice2Sea. Uncertainty in the climatic forcing, the oceanic response and the ice-model differences is combined into an uncertainty range of future Antarctic ice-discharge induced from basal ice-shelf melt. The additional ice-loss (Table 6 is clearly scenario-dependent and results in a median of 0.07 m (66%-range: 0.04–0.10 m; 90%-range: −0.01–0.26 m of global sea-level equivalent for the low-emission RCP-2.6 scenario and yields 0.1 m (66%-range: 0.06–0.14 m; 90%-range: −0.01–0.45 m for the strongest RCP-8.5. If only models with an explicit representation of ice-shelves are taken into account the scenario dependence remains and the values change to: 0.05 m (66%-range: 0.03–0.08 m for RCP-2.6 and 0.07 m (66%-range: 0.04–0.11 m for RCP-8.5. These results were obtained using a time delay between the surface warming signal and the subsurface oceanic warming as observed in the CMIP-5 models

  5. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, R. E.; Studinger, M.; Ferraccioli, F.; Damaske, D.; Finn, C.; Braaten, D. A.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Jordan, T. A.; Corr, H.; Elieff, S.; Frearson, N.; Block, A. E.; Rose, K.

    2009-12-01

    Models of the onset of glaciation in Antarctica routinely document the early growth of the ice sheet on the summit of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in the center of the East Antarctic Craton. While ice sheet models replicate the formation of the East Antarctic ice sheet 35 million years ago, the age, evolution and structure of the Gamburtsev Mountains remain completely unresolved. During the International Polar Year scientists from seven nations have launched a major collaborative program (AGAP) to explore the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains buried by the East Antarctic ice sheet and bounded by numerous subglacial lakes. The AGAP umbrella is a multi-national, multi-disciplinary effort and includes aerogeophysics, passive seismology, traverse programs and will be complimented by future ice core and bedrock drilling. A major new airborne data set including gravity; magnetics; ice thickness; SAR images of the ice-bed interface; near-surface and deep internal layers; and ice surface elevation is providing insights into a more dynamic East Antarctica. More than 120,000 km of aerogeophysical data have been acquired from two remote field camps during the 2008/09 field season. AGAP effort was designed to address several fundamental questions including: 1) What role does topography play in the nucleation of continental ice sheets? 2) How do tectonic processes control the formation, distribution, and stability of subglacial lakes? The preliminary analysis of this major new data set indicated these 3000m high mountains are deeply dissected by a dendritic system. The northern margin of the mountain range terminates against the inland extent of the Lambert Graben. Evidence of the onset of glaciation is preserved as cirques and U shaped valleys along the axis of the uplifted massifs. The geomorphology reflects the interaction between the ice sheet and the Gamburtsev Mountains. Bright reflectors in the radar data in the deep valleys indicate the presence of water that has

  6. Final Report. Coupled simulations of Antarctic Ice-sheet/ocean interactions using POP and CISM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asay-Davis, Xylar Storm [Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potdam (Germany)

    2015-12-30

    The project performed under this award, referred to from here on as CLARION (CoupLed simulations of Antarctic Ice-sheet/Ocean iNteractions), included important advances in two models of ice sheet and ocean interactions. Despite its short duration (one year), the project made significant progress on its three major foci. First, together with collaborator Daniel Martin at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), I developed the POPSICLES coupled ice sheet-ocean model to the point where it could perform a number of pan-Antarctic simulations under various forcing conditions. The results were presented at a number of major conferences and workshops worldwide, and are currently being incorporated into two manuscripts in preparation.

  7. Antarctic lakes (above and beneath the ice sheet): Analogues for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, J. W., Jr.

    The perennial ice covered lakes of the Antarctic are considered to be excellent analogues to lakes that once existed on Mars. Field studies of ice covered lakes, paleolakes, and polar beaches were conducted in the Bunger Hills Oasis, Eastern Antarctica. These studies are extended to the Dry Valleys, Western Antarctica, and the Arctic. Important distinctions were made between ice covered and non-ice covered bodies of water in terms of the geomorphic signatures produced. The most notable landforms produced by ice covered lakes are ice shoved ridges. These features form discrete segmented ramparts of boulders and sediments pushed up along the shores of lakes and/or seas. Sub-ice lakes have been discovered under the Antarctic ice sheet using radio echo sounding. These lakes occur in regions of low surface slope, low surface accumulations, and low ice velocity, and occupy bedrock hollows. The presence of sub-ice lakes below the Martian polar caps is possible. The discovery of the Antarctic sub-ice lakes raises possibilities concerning Martian lakes and exobiology.

  8. Towards quantifying the contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to global sea level change

    OpenAIRE

    van den Broeke, M. R.

    2006-01-01

    At present, the mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and its contribution to global sea level change are poorly known. Current methods to determine AIS mass balance as well as the inherent uncertainties are discussed. Special emphasis is placed on the increasingly important role of regional atmospheric climate models, which can reduce the uncertainties in surface accumulation, the correction for the firn layer depth and density in ice thickness calculations and moreover help in inter...

  9. Evidence for elevated and spatially variable geothermal flux beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Dustin M; Blankenship, Donald D; Young, Duncan A; Quartini, Enrica

    2014-06-24

    Heterogeneous hydrologic, lithologic, and geologic basal boundary conditions can exert strong control on the evolution, stability, and sea level contribution of marine ice sheets. Geothermal flux is one of the most dynamically critical ice sheet boundary conditions but is extremely difficult to constrain at the scale required to understand and predict the behavior of rapidly changing glaciers. This lack of observational constraint on geothermal flux is particularly problematic for the glacier catchments of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet within the low topography of the West Antarctic Rift System where geothermal fluxes are expected to be high, heterogeneous, and possibly transient. We use airborne radar sounding data with a subglacial water routing model to estimate the distribution of basal melting and geothermal flux beneath Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica. We show that the Thwaites Glacier catchment has a minimum average geothermal flux of ∼ 114 ± 10 mW/m(2) with areas of high flux exceeding 200 mW/m(2) consistent with hypothesized rift-associated magmatic migration and volcanism. These areas of highest geothermal flux include the westernmost tributary of Thwaites Glacier adjacent to the subaerial Mount Takahe volcano and the upper reaches of the central tributary near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core drilling site. PMID:24927578

  10. Using blue-ice moraines to constrain elevation changes of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the southern Ellsworth Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugden, David; Woodward, John; Dunning, Stuart; Hein, Andy; Marrero, Shasta; Le-Brocq, Anne

    2014-05-01

    Observations in the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet have not yet allowed the dating of elevated glacier trimlines and associated deposits in the Ellsworth Mountains. This uncertainty limits the value of models of changing ice-sheet configuration, volume and, by extension, sea level during glacial cycles and earlier. Here we present the emerging results of a study into the origin and evolution of blue-ice moraines in the Heritage Range, southern Ellsworth Mountains, and begin to unravel the long record of ice-sheet history they hold. Our findings so far are: (a) Ground Penetrating Radar shows that the blue-ice moraines are equilibrium forms bringing basal debris to the ice surface; the compressive ice flow is caused by enhanced ablation at the mountain foot. (b) Moraines are concentrated in embayments that focus katabatic winds and their location is largely controlled by topography. (c) The elevated blue-ice moraines in the southern Ellsworth Mountains hold a continuous record of West Antarctic Ice Sheet history going back 600,000 years; so far we have not found evidence of de-glacial intervals. (d) Thinning since the LGM (~40 ka?) is blue-ice moraine formation.

  11. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Gasson, Edward; Kuhn, Gerhard; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco; SMS Science Team; Acton, Gary; Askin, Rosemary; Atkins, Clifford; Bassett, Kari; Beu, Alan; Blackstone, Brian; Browne, Gregory; Ceregato, Alessandro; Cody, Rosemary; Cornamusini, Gianluca; Corrado, Sveva; DeConto, Robert; Del Carlo, Paola; Di Vincenzo, Gianfranco; Dunbar, Gavin; Falk, Candice; Field, Brad; Fielding, Christopher; Florindo, Fabio; Frank, Tracy; Giorgetti, Giovanna; Grelle, Thomas; Gui, Zi; Handwerger, David; Hannah, Michael; Harwood, David M.; Hauptvogel, Dan; Hayden, Travis; Henrys, Stuart; Hoffmann, Stefan; Iacoviello, Francesco; Ishman, Scott; Jarrard, Richard; Johnson, Katherine; Jovane, Luigi; Judge, Shelley; Kominz, Michelle; Konfirst, Matthew; Krissek, Lawrence; Kuhn, Gerhard; Lacy, Laura; Levy, Richard; Maffioli, Paola; Magens, Diana; Marcano, Maria C.; Millan, Cristina; Mohr, Barbara; Montone, Paola; Mukasa, Samuel; Naish, Timothy; Niessen, Frank; Ohneiser, Christian; Olney, Mathew; Panter, Kurt; Passchier, Sandra; Patterson, Molly; Paulsen, Timothy; Pekar, Stephen; Pierdominici, Simona; Pollard, David; Raine, Ian; Reed, Joshua; Reichelt, Lucia; Riesselman, Christina; Rocchi, Sergio; Sagnotti, Leonardo; Sandroni, Sonia; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Schmitt, Douglas; Speece, Marvin; Storey, Bryan; Strada, Eleonora; Talarico, Franco; Taviani, Marco; Tuzzi, Eva; Verosub, Kenneth; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Warny, Sophie; Wilson, Gary; Wilson, Terry; Wonik, Thomas; Zattin, Massimiliano

    2016-03-01

    Geological records from the Antarctic margin offer direct evidence of environmental variability at high southern latitudes and provide insight regarding ice sheet sensitivity to past climate change. The early to mid-Miocene (23-14 Mya) is a compelling interval to study as global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were similar to those projected for coming centuries. Importantly, this time interval includes the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of global warmth during which average surface temperatures were 3-4 °C higher than today. Miocene sediments in the ANDRILL-2A drill core from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica, indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) was highly variable through this key time interval. A multiproxy dataset derived from the core identifies four distinct environmental motifs based on changes in sedimentary facies, fossil assemblages, geochemistry, and paleotemperature. Four major disconformities in the drill core coincide with regional seismic discontinuities and reflect transient expansion of grounded ice across the Ross Sea. They correlate with major positive shifts in benthic oxygen isotope records and generally coincide with intervals when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at or below preindustrial levels (˜280 ppm). Five intervals reflect ice sheet minima and air temperatures warm enough for substantial ice mass loss during episodes of high (˜500 ppm) atmospheric CO2. These new drill core data and associated ice sheet modeling experiments indicate that polar climate and the AIS were highly sensitive to relatively small changes in atmospheric CO2 during the early to mid-Miocene.

  12. Development and Applications of Dome A-DEM in Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Jiying; WEN Jiahong; WANG Yafeng; WANG Weili; Beata M CATHSO; Kenneth C JEZEK

    2007-01-01

    Dome A, the highest dome of East Antarctic Ice Sheet, is being an area focused by international Antarctic community after Chinese Antarctic Expedition finally reached there in 2005, and with the ongoing International Polar Year (IPY) during August 2007. In this paper two data processing methods are used together to generate two 100-m cell size digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Dome A region (Dome A-DEM) by using Cokriging method to interpolate the ICESat GLAS data, with Ihde-DEM as a constraint. It provides fundamental data to glaciological and geophysical investigation in this area. The Dome A-DEM was applied to determining the ice-sheet surface elevations and coordinates of the south and north summits, defining boundaries of basins and ice flowlines, deducing subglacial topography, and mapping surface slope and aspect in Dome A region. The DEM shows there are two (north and south) summits in Dome A region. The coordinate and the surface elevation of the highest point (the north summit) are 80°21'29.86"S, 77°21'50.29"E and 4092.71±1.43m, respectively. The ice thickness and sub-ice bedrock elevation at north summit are 2420m and 1672m, respectively. Dome A region contains four drainage basins that meet together near the south summit. Ice flowlines, slope and aspect in detail are also derived using the DEM.

  13. Antarctic Ice Sheet variability across the Eocene-Oligocene boundary climate transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeotti, Simone; DeConto, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Stocchi, Paolo; Florindo, Fabio; Pagani, Mark; Barrett, Peter; Bohaty, Steven M; Lanci, Luca; Pollard, David; Sandroni, Sonia; Talarico, Franco M; Zachos, James C

    2016-04-01

    About 34 million years ago, Earth's climate cooled and an ice sheet formed on Antarctica as atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) fell below ~750 parts per million (ppm). Sedimentary cycles from a drill core in the western Ross Sea provide direct evidence of orbitally controlled glacial cycles between 34 million and 31 million years ago. Initially, under atmospheric CO2 levels of ≥600 ppm, a smaller Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS), restricted to the terrestrial continent, was highly responsive to local insolation forcing. A more stable, continental-scale ice sheet calving at the coastline did not form until ~32.8 million years ago, coincident with the earliest time that atmospheric CO2 levels fell below ~600 ppm. Our results provide insight into the potential of the AIS for threshold behavior and have implications for its sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentrations above present-day levels. PMID:27034370

  14. Characteristics of Gravity Waves over an Antarctic Ice Sheet during an Austral Summer

    OpenAIRE

    Daniela Cava; Umberto Giostra; Gabriel Katul

    2015-01-01

    While occurrences of wavelike motion in the stable boundary layer due to the presence of a significant restoring buoyancy force are rarely disputed, their modalities and interaction with turbulence remain a subject of active research. In this work, the characteristics of gravity waves and their impact on flow statistics, including turbulent fluxes, are presented using data collected above an Antarctic Ice sheet during an Austral Summer. Antarctica is an ideal location for exploring the charac...

  15. Sea-level feedback lowers projections of future Antarctic Ice-Sheet mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Natalya; Pollard, David; Holland, David

    2015-11-01

    The stability of marine sectors of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) in a warming climate has been identified as the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future sea-level rise. Sea-level fall near the grounding line of a retreating marine ice sheet has a stabilizing influence on the ice sheets, and previous studies have established the importance of this feedback on ice age AIS evolution. Here we use a coupled ice sheet-sea-level model to investigate the impact of the feedback mechanism on future AIS retreat over centennial and millennial timescales for a range of emission scenarios. We show that the combination of bedrock uplift and sea-surface drop associated with ice-sheet retreat significantly reduces AIS mass loss relative to a simulation without these effects included. Sensitivity analyses show that the stabilization tends to be greatest for lower emission scenarios and Earth models characterized by a thin elastic lithosphere and low-viscosity upper mantle, as is the case for West Antarctica.

  16. A Microbial Community in Sediments Beneath the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet, Ice Stream C (Kamb)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skidmore, M.; Han, S.; Foo, W.; Bui, D.; Lanoil, B.

    2004-12-01

    In 2000, an ice-drilling project focusing on the "sticky spot" of Ice Stream C recovered cores of sub-glacial sediments from beneath the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet. We have characterized several chemical and microbiological parameters of the sole intact sediment core. Pore waters extracted from these sediments were brackish and some were supersaturated with respect to calcite. Ion chromatography demonstrated the presence of several organic acids at low, but detectable, levels in the pore water. DAPI direct cell counts were approximately 107 cells g-1. Aerobic viable plate counts were much lower than direct cell counts; however, they were two orders of magnitude higher on plates incubated at low temperature (4 ° C; 3.63 x 105 CFU ml-1) than at higher temperatures (ca. 22° C; 1.5 x 103 CFU ml-1); no colonies were detected on plates incubated anaerobically at either temperature. 16S rDNA clone library analysis indicates extremely limited bacterial diversity in these samples: six phylogenetic clades were detected. The three dominant bacterial phylogenetic clades in the clone libraries (252 clones total) were most closely related to Thiobacillus thioparus (180 clones), Polaromonas vacuolata (34 clones), and Gallionella ferruginea (35 clones) and their relatives; one clone each represented the other three phylogenetic clades (most closely related to Ralstonia pickettii, Lysobacter antibioticus, and Xylella fastidiosa, respectively). These sequences match closely with sequences previously obtained from other subglacial environments in Alaska, Ellesmere Island, Canada and New Zealand. Implications of this microbial community to subglacial chemistry and microbial biogeography will be discussed.

  17. Advances in Measuring Antarctic Sea-Ice Thickness and Ice-Sheet Elevations with ICESat Laser Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) has been measuring elevations of the Antarctic ice sheet and sea-ice freeboard elevations with unprecedented accuracy. Since February 20,2003, data has been acquired during three periods of laser operation varying from 36 to 54 days, which is less than the continuous operation of 3 to 5 years planned for the mission. The primary purpose of ICESat is to measure time-series of ice-sheet elevation changes for determination of the present-day mass balance of the ice sheets, study of associations between observed ice changes and polar climate, and estimation of the present and future contributions of the ice sheets to global sea level rise. ICESat data will continue to be acquired for approximately 33 days periods at 3 to 6 month intervals with the second of ICESat's three lasers, and eventually with the third laser. The laser footprints are about 70 m on the surface and are spaced at 172 m along-track. The on-board GPS receiver enables radial orbit determinations to an accuracy better than 5 cm. The orbital altitude is around 600 km at an inclination of 94 degrees with a 8-day repeat pattern for the calibration and validation period, followed by a 91 -day repeat period for the rest of the mission. The expected range precision of single footprint measurements was 10 cm, but the actual range precision of the data has been shown to be much better at 2 to 3 cm. The star-tracking attitude-determination system should enable footprints to be located to 6 m horizontally when attitude calibrations are completed. With the present attitude calibration, the elevation accuracy over the ice sheets ranges from about 30 cm over the low-slope areas to about 80 cm over areas with slopes of 1 to 2 degrees, which is much better than radar altimetry. After the first period of data collection, the spacecraft attitude was controlled to point the laser beam to within 50 m of reference surface tracks over the ice sheets. Detection of ice

  18. Properties of the Antarctic ice sheet derived from passive microwave data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The goal of this work is to investigate new techniques for separating the geophysical signals of changing physical temperature and changing electrical properties of polar firn from observed brightness temperature data. In turn, the authors seek to exploit these techniques for monitoring spatial and temporal variations in the near-surface temperature regime of the ice sheet and their associated impacts on ice sheet accumulation and ablation. In this paper, they briefly summarize their approach to detecting relative changes in the near-surface temperature field of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Essentially, antarctic brightness temperatures (Tb) compiled from the NASA Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer data set are segmented by different glacial regimes. Tb time series for each sector are compared. Because they show that temporal variations in Th are dominated by changes in physical temperature, they infer meaningful differences in relative physical temperature between regimes. Together with identifying expected seasonal trends in near-surface temperature, this analysis highlights more subtle variations such as the anomalously cold winter temperatures in 1982 over East Antarctica followed one year later by a cold winter in West Antarctic. Variations in electrical properties of antarctic firn are investigated using the polarization ratio (defined as the difference of the vertical and horizontal channels of a single frequency divided by the sum of the same channels). They show that in the annual mean, the polarization is largely independent of physical temperature. They go on to show that very low polarization ratios of mean monthly data are probably due to the presence of free-water in the firn. Monthly mean values of polarization for each January in the SMMR data set are presented and discussed in this context

  19. Ice-dynamical constraints on the existence and impact of subglacial volcanism on West Antarctic ice sheet stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Stefan W.; Tulaczyk, Slawek

    2006-12-01

    Subglacial volcanism in West Antarctica may play a crucial role in the dynamics and stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Evidence supporting the existence of an individual subglacial volcanic center (Mt. Casertz) in the upper catchments of Whillans and Kamb Ice Stream (WIS and KIS), comes from a comparison of ice sheet modeling results with measured ice velocities. Lubrication of an area, which otherwise should be frozen to its bed, is best explained by basal melt water generated in the vicinity of Mt. Casertz. The estimated melt water production of Mt. Casertz corresponds to ~8 % of the total melt water production in the two catchments. This would be sufficient to offset basal freezing in the dormant KIS, relubricating its bed and potentially causing a restart. Near future volcanic activity changes are speculative, but would have far reaching implications on the dynamics and stability of the WAIS requiring further investigation.

  20. Flow speed within the Antarctic ice sheet and its controls inferred from satellite observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthern, Robert J.; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.; Williams, C. Rosie

    2015-07-01

    Accurate dynamical models of the Antarctic ice sheet with carefully specified initial conditions and well-calibrated rheological parameters are needed to forecast global sea level. By adapting an inverse method previously used in electric impedance tomography, we infer present-day flow speeds within the ice sheet. This inversion uses satellite observations of surface velocity, snow accumulation rate, and rate of change of surface elevation to estimate the basal drag coefficient and an ice stiffness parameter that influences viscosity. We represent interior ice motion using a vertically integrated approximation to incompressible Stokes flow. This model represents vertical shearing within the ice and membrane stresses caused by horizontal stretching and shearing. Combining observations and model, we recover marked geographical variations in the basal drag coefficient. Relative changes in basal shear stress are smaller. No simple sliding law adequately represents basal shear stress as a function of sliding speed. Low basal shear stress predominates in central East Antarctica, where thick insulating ice allows liquid water at the base to lubricate sliding. Higher shear stress occurs in coastal East Antarctica, where a frozen bed is more likely. Examining Thwaites glacier in more detail shows that the slowest sliding often coincides with elevated basal topography. Differences between our results and a similar adjoint-based inversion suggest that inversion or regularization methods can influence recovered parameters for slow sliding and finer scales; on broader scales we recover a similar pattern of low basal drag underneath major ice streams and extensive regions in East Antarctica that move by basal sliding.

  1. Rapid bottom melting widespread near Antarctic ice sheet grounding lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, E.; Jacobs, S.

    2002-01-01

    As continental ice from Antartica reaches the grounding line and begins to float, its underside melts into the ocean. Results obtained with satellite radar interferometry reveal that bottom melt rates experienced by large outlet glaciers near their grounding lines are far higher than generally assumed.

  2. Present-day and future Antarctic ice sheet climate and surface mass balance in the Community Earth System Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Vizcaino, Miren; Fyke, Jeremy; van Kampenhout, Leo; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2016-02-01

    We present climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) as simulated by the global, coupled ocean-atmosphere-land Community Earth System Model (CESM) with a horizontal resolution of ˜1° in the past, present and future (1850-2100). CESM correctly simulates present-day Antarctic sea ice extent, large-scale atmospheric circulation and near-surface climate, but fails to simulate the recent expansion of Antarctic sea ice. The present-day Antarctic ice sheet SMB equals 2280 ± 131 {Gt year^{-1}} , which concurs with existing independent estimates of AIS SMB. When forced by two CMIP5 climate change scenarios (high mitigation scenario RCP2.6 and high-emission scenario RCP8.5), CESM projects an increase of Antarctic ice sheet SMB of about 70 {Gt year^{-1}} per degree warming. This increase is driven by enhanced snowfall, which is partially counteracted by more surface melt and runoff along the ice sheet's edges. This intensifying hydrological cycle is predominantly driven by atmospheric warming, which increases (1) the moisture-carrying capacity of the atmosphere, (2) oceanic source region evaporation, and (3) summer AIS cloud liquid water content.

  3. Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritz, Catherine; Edwards, Tamsin L.; Durand, Gaël; Payne, Antony J.; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lying on bedrock below sea level may be vulnerable to marine-ice-sheet instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence that MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE), which contains ice equivalent to more than a metre of global sea-level rise. If triggered in other regions, the centennial to millennial contribution could be several metres. Physically plausible projections are challenging: numerical models with sufficient spatial resolution to simulate grounding-line processes have been too computationally expensive to generate large ensembles for uncertainty assessment, and lower-resolution model projections rely on parameterizations that are only loosely constrained by present day changes. Here we project that the Antarctic ice sheet will contribute up to 30 cm sea-level equivalent by 2100 and 72 cm by 2200 (95% quantiles) where the ASE dominates. Our process-based, statistical approach gives skewed and complex probability distributions (single mode, 10 cm, at 2100; two modes, 49 cm and 6 cm, at 2200). The dependence of sliding on basal friction is a key unknown: nonlinear relationships favour higher contributions. Results are conditional on assessments of MISI risk on the basis of projected triggers under the climate scenario A1B (ref. 9), although sensitivity to these is limited by theoretical and topographical constraints on the rate and extent of ice loss. We find that contributions are restricted by a combination of these constraints, calibration with success in simulating observed ASE losses, and low assessed risk in some basins. Our assessment suggests that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments (up to a metre by 2100 and around one and a half by 2200) are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers.

  4. Large-Ensemble modeling of last deglacial and future variations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; DeConto, Robert; Chang, Won; Applegate, Patrick; Haran, Murali

    2015-04-01

    Recent observations of thinning and retreat of the Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers identify the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) sector of West Antarctica as particularly vulnerable to future climate change. To date, most future modeling of these glaciers has been calibrated using recent and modern observations. As an alternate approach, we apply a hybrid 3-D ice sheet-shelf model to the last deglacial retreat of Antarctica, making use of geologic data from ~20,000 years BP to present, focusing on the ASE but including other sectors of Antarctica. Following several recent ice-sheet studies, we use Large-Ensemble statistical techniques, performing sets of ~500 to 1000 runs with varying model parameters. The model is run for the last 40 kyrs on 10 to 20-km grids, both on continental domains and also on nested domains over West Antarctica. Various types of objective scores for each run are calculated using reconstructed past grounding lines, relative sea level records, measured uplift rates, and cosmogenic elevation-age data. Runs are extended into the future few millennia using RCP scenarios. The goal is to produce calibrated probabilistic ranges of model parameter values and quantified envelopes of future ice retreat. Preliminary results are presented for Large Ensembles with (i) Latin HyperCube sampling in high-dimensional parameter space, using statistical emulators and Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques, and (ii) dense "factorial" sampling with a smaller number of parameters. Different ways of combining the types of scores listed above are explored. One robust conclusion is that for the warmer future RCP scenarios, most reasonable parameter combinations produce retreat deep into the West Antarctic interior. Recently proposed mechanisms of hydrofracturing and ice-cliff failure accelerate future West Antarctic retreat, and later produce retreat into East Antarctic basins.

  5. High geothermal heat flux measured below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Andrew T; Mankoff, Kenneth D; Tulaczyk, Slawek M; Tyler, Scott W; Foley, Neil

    2015-07-01

    The geothermal heat flux is a critical thermal boundary condition that influences the melting, flow, and mass balance of ice sheets, but measurements of this parameter are difficult to make in ice-covered regions. We report the first direct measurement of geothermal heat flux into the base of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), below Subglacial Lake Whillans, determined from the thermal gradient and the thermal conductivity of sediment under the lake. The heat flux at this site is 285 ± 80 mW/m(2), significantly higher than the continental and regional averages estimated for this site using regional geophysical and glaciological models. Independent temperature measurements in the ice indicate an upward heat flux through the WAIS of 105 ± 13 mW/m(2). The difference between these heat flux values could contribute to basal melting and/or be advected from Subglacial Lake Whillans by flowing water. The high geothermal heat flux may help to explain why ice streams and subglacial lakes are so abundant and dynamic in this region. PMID:26601210

  6. Inability of stratospheric sulfate aerosol injections to preserve the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCusker, K. E.; Battisti, D. S.; Bitz, C. M.

    2015-06-01

    Injection of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere has the potential to reduce the climate impacts of global warming, including sea level rise (SLR). However, changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation that can significantly influence the rate of basal melting of Antarctic marine ice shelves and the associated SLR have not previously been considered. Here we use a fully coupled global climate model to investigate whether rapidly increasing stratospheric sulfate aerosol concentrations after a period of global warming could preserve Antarctic ice sheets by cooling subsurface ocean temperatures. We contrast this climate engineering method with an alternative strategy in which all greenhouse gases (GHG) are returned to preindustrial levels. We find that the rapid addition of a stratospheric aerosol layer does not effectively counteract surface and upper level atmospheric circulation changes caused by increasing GHGs, resulting in continued upwelling of warm water in proximity of ice shelves, especially in the vicinity of the already unstable Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. By contrast, removal of GHGs restores the circulation, yielding relatively cooler subsurface ocean temperatures to better preserve West Antarctica.

  7. Formulation, calibration and validation of the DAIS model (version 1), a simple Antarctic ice sheet model sensitive to variations of sea level and ocean subsurface temperature

    OpenAIRE

    Shaffer, G.

    2014-01-01

    The DCESS (Danish Center for Earth System Science) Antarctic Ice Sheet (DAIS) model is presented. Model hindcasts of Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) sea level equivalent are forced by reconstructed Antarctic temperatures, global mean sea level and high-latitude, ocean subsurface temperatures, the latter calculated using the DCESS model forced by reconstructed global mean atmospheric temperatures. The model is calibrated by comparing such hindcasts for different model configurations w...

  8. Cascading water underneath Wilkes Land, East Antarctic Ice Sheet, observed using altimetry and digital elevation models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Flament

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available We describe a major subglacial lake drainage close to the ice divide in Wilkes Land, East Antarctica, and the subsequent cascading of water underneath the ice sheet toward the coast. To analyze the event, we combined altimetry data from several sources and bedrock data. We estimated the total volume of water that drained from Lake CookE2 by differencing digital elevation models (DEM derived from ASTER and SPOT5 stereo-imagery. With 5.2 ± 0.5 km3, this is the largest single subglacial drainage event reported so far in Antarctica. Elevation differences between ICESat laser altimetry and the SPOT5 DEM indicate that the discharge lasted approximately 2 yr. A 13-m uplift of the surface, corresponding to a refilling of about 0.64 ± 0.32 km3, was observed between the end of the discharge in October 2008 and February 2012. Using Envisat radar altimetry, with its high 35-day temporal resolution, we monitored the subsequent filling and drainage of connected subglacial lakes located downstream. In particular, a transient temporal signal can be detected within the theoretical 500-km long flow paths computed with the BEDMAP2 data set. The volume of water traveling in this wave is in agreement with the volume that drained from Lake CookE2. These observations contribute to a better understanding of the water transport beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet.

  9. The influence of continental shelf bathymetry on Antarctic Ice Sheet response to climate forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Philip J.; Mullally, Dan; Golledge, Nicholas R.

    2016-07-01

    We investigated whether shelf-depth changes would have influenced Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) response to climate forcing using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM). The simulations confirm that this would have indeed been the case. For the last-glacial-cycle (LGC) type forcing we prescribed, a modern-like polar AIS surrounded by shallow and intermediate bathymetries experiences rapid grounding-line advance early during the transition from interglacial to glacial forcing. This is in contrast to our baseline simulation of AIS response on the currently overdeepened bathymetry, which showed the expected gradual advance of grounding lines to the same climatic forcing. In the simulation, the more-positive mass balance for the shallower bathymetry is primarily a result of significantly lower calving fluxes from smaller-area ice shelves. On the basis of these results, we suggest that shelf bathymetry is an important boundary condition that should be considered when reconstructing AIS behavior since at least the middle Miocene. We note that caution should be used when applying these concepts because the particular way in which AIS mass balance is altered by shelf depth depends on how the changes in accumulation and ablation at the marine terminations combine with accumulation and ablation on land.

  10. GLAS/ICESat L2 Global Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheet Altimetry Data V033

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — GLA12 contains the ice sheet elevation and elevation distribution corrected for geodetic and atmospheric affects calculated from algorithms fine-tuned for ice sheet...

  11. The effects of climate uncertainty on the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Pliocene warm period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernales, Jorge; Häfliger, Tonio; Rogozhina, Irina; Thomas, Maik

    2015-04-01

    The mid-Pliocene (3.15 to 2.85 million years before present) is the most recent period in Earth's history when temperatures and CO2 concentrations were sustainedly higher than pre-industrial values [1], representing an ideal interval for studying the climate system under conditions similar to those projected for the end of this century. In these projections, the response of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) remains uncertain, including areas generally considered stable under a warming climate. Therefore, a better understanding of AIS's behaviour during periods like the mid-Pliocene will provide valuable information on the potential vulnerability of the composite parts of the AIS in the future. For this purpose, we have designed numerical experiments of the AIS dynamics during the mid-Pliocene warm period using the continental-scale ice sheet-shelf model SICOPOLIS [2]. To account for the uncertainties in the configuration of the AIS and climate conditions prior to this period, we employ a wide range of initial ice sheet configurations and climatologies, including modern observations, the results from the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP) climate experiments [3], and perturbations to single climatic fields, allowing us to assess the vulnerability of different AIS sectors to specific forcing mechanisms. Our simulations show that the West Antarctic ice sheet remains largely ice-free under the chosen range of climate conditions, except for small portions grounded above sea level. On the contrary, the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) shows no signs of potential collapse, with an ice loss over a few peripheral sectors largely compensated by an increase in ice volume over the interior due to increased precipitation rates and surface temperatures remaining well below the freezing point. Furthermore, our results contrast with existing hypotheses that cast doubt on the stability of the EAIS during the mid-Pliocene warm period. References [1] Cook, C. P., et al

  12. Late Pleistocene ice-shelf, valley-glacier and ice-sheet interactions on Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula: implications for climatic and ice-volume changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Bethan; Hambrey, Michael; Glasser, Neil; Smellie, John; Carrivick, Jonathan; Bentley, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Recent rapid warming across the Antarctic Peninsula has resulted in ice-sheet thinning, dramatic ice-shelf collapse, acceleration of ice-flow velocities and widespread glacier recession. Reconstructing past rates, volumes and magnitudes of cryospheric change, particularly with respect to the former configuration of ice sheets and ice shelves, and their response to changing oceanic and climatic regimes, is vital in providing a context for this change, in order to improve predictions of future ice-sheet behaviour, and to provide glacio-isostatic adjustment corrections for gravimetric measurements of contemporary ice loss. This research aimed to investigate valley glacier and ice-shelf interactions during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Holocene Epoch across George VI Sound and Alexander Island, western Antarctic Peninsula, an area with a well-preserved but poorly dated record. We identify four principal stratigraphic units: (1) a high-elevation drift with Alexander Island erratics only (interpreted as recording older advances of ice from the interior of the island), (2) a lower-elevation drift with exotic Palmer Land erratics (interpreted as ice-shelf moraine, representing incursions of George VI Ice Shelf onto Ablation Point Massif), (3) multiple overlapping sequences of valley glacier moraine and ice-shelf moraine, presumed to be Holocene in age, and (4) more recent processes and units, including frozen epishelf lakes, slope processes and alluvial fans. On-going cosmogenic nuclide dating on these sediments (in progress; 25 10Be exposure ages) has the potential to unlock the complex history and interactions of ice streams, valley glaciers and ice shelves in this area. This work will also provide the first long-term record of sea-level indicators, allowing the first estimates of glacial unloading, rates of uplift and ice-sheet thinning to be calculated. The Holocene record of the ice shelf, preserved in the younger ice-shelf moraines and in the overlapping

  13. A model study of the effect of climate and sea-level change on the evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from the Last Glacial Maximum to 2100

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maris, M. N. A.; van Wessem, J. M.; van de Berg, W. J.; de Boer, B.; Oerlemans, J.

    2015-08-01

    Due to a scarcity of observations and its long memory of uncertain past climate, the Antarctic Ice Sheet remains a largely unknown factor in the prediction of global sea level change. As the history of the ice sheet plays a key role in its future evolution, in this study we model the Antarctic Ice Sheet from the Last Glacial Maximum (21 kyr ago) until the year 2100 with the ice-dynamical model ANICE. We force the model with different temperature, surface mass balance and sea-level records to investigate the importance of these different aspects for the evolution of the ice sheet. Additionally, we compare the model output from 21 kyr ago until the present with observations to assess model performance in simulating the total grounded ice volume and the evolution of different regions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Although there are some clear limitations of the model, we conclude that sea-level change has driven the deglaciation of the ice sheet, whereas future temperature change and the history of the ice sheet are the primary cause of changes in ice volume in the future. We estimate the change in grounded ice volume between its maximum (around 15 kyr ago) and the present-day to be between 8.4 and 12.5 m sea-level equivalent and the contribution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to the global mean sea level in 2100, with respect to 2000, to be -22 to 63 mm.

  14. The response of the East Antarctic ice-sheet to the evolving tectonic configuration of the Transantarctic Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Andrew; Huybrechts, Philippe

    1999-12-01

    The landscape of the Transantarctic Mountains is the result of the coupled evolution of the West Antarctic rift system and the East Antarctic ice-sheet. Studies of this glacial-tectonic system generally assume that the evolving surface elevation of the Transantarctic Mountains is a key determinant of the changing East Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics between the Miocene and today. Here, we extend previous work [Huybrechts, Ph., 1993. Glaciological modelling of the Late Cenozoic East Antarctic ice-sheet: stability or dynamism? Geografiska Annaler Stockholm, 75A (4) 221-238.] by using numerical models of the ice-sheet and lithosphere to examine the impact of different bedrock surface elevations of the Transantarctic Mountains on ice-sheet dynamics. There are widely different interpretations of the evolution of the Transantarctic Mountains from the available data, so we explore bedrock surface elevations suggested by empirical evidence in recent papers about the sensitivity of the Late Cenozoic ice-sheet. The results show that the surface elevation of individual mountain blocks has only a very local effect on ice-sheet dynamics. The existing mountain blocks of the Transantarctic Mountains, which force inland ice to drain through troughs adjacent to the mountain blocks, were overriden by inland ice when bedrock elevations were 1 km lower. When the troughs through the mountains were less well developed, in the Pliocene or Miocene, inland ice was thicker and ice-surface gradients and ice-velocities across the mountains were higher. This led to more active and erosive outlet glaciers through the mountains and the further development of these troughs. From these results, the key determinant of East Antarctic ice dynamics appears to be the interplay between the development of major troughs through the Transantarctic Mountains and rising mountain elevations. The glacial history of the central Transantarctic Mountain ranges was very different to that of more peripheral mountain

  15. Evidence for a substantial West Antarctic ice sheet contribution to meltwater pulses and abrupt global sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogwill, C. J.; Turney, C. S.; Golledge, N. R.; Etheridge, D. M.; Rubino, M.; Thornton, D.; Woodward, J.; Winter, K.; van Ommen, T. D.; Moy, A. D.; Curran, M. A.; Rootes, C.; Rivera, A.; Millman, H.

    2015-12-01

    During the last deglaciation (21,000 to 7,000years ago) global sea level rise was punctuated by several abrupt meltwater spikes triggered by the retreat of ice sheets and glaciers world-wide. However, the debate regarding the relative timing, geographical source and the physical mechanisms driving these rapid increases in sea level has catalyzed debate critical to predicting future sea level rise and climate. Here we present a unique record of West Antarctic Ice Sheet elevation change derived from the Patriot Hills blue ice area, located close to the modern day grounding line of the Institute Ice Stream in the Weddell Sea Embayment. Combined isotopic signatures and gas volume analysis from the ice allows us to develop a record of local ice sheet palaeo-altitude that is assessed against independent regional high-resolution ice sheet modeling studies, allowing us to demonstrate that past ice sheet elevations across this sector of the WSE were considerably higher than those suggested by current terrestrial reconstructions. We argue that ice in the WSE had a significant influence on both pre and post LGM sea level rise including MWP-1A (~14.6 ka) and during MWP-1B (11.7-11.6 ka), reconciling past sea level rise and demonstrating for the first time that this sector of the WAIS made a significant and direct contribution to post LGM sea level rise.

  16. Quaternary Antarctic ice-sheet fluctuations and Southern Ocean palaeoceanography: natural variability studies at the Antarctic CRC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In its first three years, the Antarctic Co-operative Research Centre's Natural Variability Program has focussed research effort on understanding changes in the extent of the East Antarctic ice sheet, the sedimentary processes and biogeochemical cycles affecting shelf sedimentation and the palaeoceanography of the Southern Ocean. Seismic data from the Prydz trough-mouth fan indicate that it contains a high-resolution time series of the Plio-Pleistocene activity of the Lambert Glacier system. The fan has been prograding from the eastern side of Prydz Bay at least since the Miocene and it contains Plio-Pleistocene sediments, which are 0.8-1.2 s TWT thick beneath the current shelf break. Radiocarbon dating of shelf sediments indicates that deposition of a Holocene siliceous mud and ooze layer N as initiated at about 10 ka BP on the Mac Robertson Shelf, which is interpreted as coinciding with the retreat of an expanded ice sheet from the shelf break. Geochemical analyses of sediment cores from the Mac Robertson Shelf suggest significant differences in sediment accumulation between the inner and outer shelf during the Holocene. In contrast, results for a core from the inner shelf suggest an approximately 7-fold increase in average sediment accumulation rate from the mid to late Holocene, with roughly comparable increases in the accumulation of both biogenic and lithogenic material. Palaeoceanographic studies of the Southern Ocean, using planktonic foraminifera, diatoms and alkenone unsaturation ratios, indicate larger sea surface temperature amplitudes over wider areas of the Southern Ocean during the last glacial maximum than previously suggested by CLIMAP. Our studies offer the possibility of improvements to reconstructed glacial boundary conditions, with wider areal coverage, greater reliability of estimates, and the opportunity for estimation of seasonal dynamics. The cores under study contain, essentially, no biogenic carbonates, precluding use of δ18O stratigraphy

  17. Mass Balance of the West Antarctic Ice-Sheet from ICESat Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    Mass balance estimates for 2003-2008 are derived from ICESat laser altimetry and compared with estimates for 1992-2002 derived from ERS radar altimetry. The net mass balance of 3 drainage systems (Pine Island, Thwaites/Smith, and the coast of Marie Bryd) for 2003-2008 is a loss of 100 Gt/yr, which increased from a loss of 70 Gt/yr for the earlier period. The DS including the Bindschadler and MacAyeal ice streams draining into the Ross Ice Shelf has a mass gain of 11 Gt/yr for 2003-2008, compared to an earlier loss of 70 Gt/yr. The DS including the Whillans and Kamb ice streams has a mass gain of 12 Gt/yr, including a significant thickening on the upper part of the Kamb DS, compared to a earlier gain of 6 Gt/yr (includes interpolation for a large portion of the DS). The other two DS discharging into the Ronne Ice Shelf and the northern Ellsworth Coast have a mass gain of 39 Gt/yr, compared to a gain of 4 Gt/yr for the earlier period. Overall, the increased losses of 30 Gt/yr in the Pine Island, Thwaites/Smith, and the coast of Marie Bryd DSs are exceeded by increased gains of 59 Gt/yr in the other 4 DS. Overall, the mass loss from the West Antarctic ice sheet has decreased to 38 Gt/yr from the earlier loss of 67 Gt/yr, reducing the contribution to sea level rise to 0.11 mm/yr from 0.19 mm/yr

  18. Assessment of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance Estimates: 1992 - 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.

    2011-01-01

    Published mass balance estimates for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) lie between approximately +50 to -250 Gt/year for 1992 to 2009, which span a range equivalent to 15% of the annual mass input and 0.8 mm/year Sea Level Equivalent (SLE). Two estimates from radar-altimeter measurements of elevation change by European Remote-sensing Satellites (ERS) (+28 and -31 Gt/year) lie in the upper part, whereas estimates from the Input-minus-Output Method (IOM) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) lie in the lower part (-40 to -246 Gt/year). We compare the various estimates, discuss the methodology used, and critically assess the results. Although recent reports of large and accelerating rates of mass loss from GRACE=based studies cite agreement with IOM results, our evaluation does not support that conclusion. We find that the extrapolation used in the published IOM estimates for the 15 % of the periphery for which discharge velocities are not observed gives twice the rate of discharge per unit of associated ice-sheet area than the 85% faster-moving parts. Our calculations show that the published extrapolation overestimates the ice discharge by 282 Gt/yr compared to our assumption that the slower moving areas have 70% as much discharge per area as the faster moving parts. Also, published data on the time-series of discharge velocities and accumulation/precipitation do not support mass output increases or input decreases with time, respectively. Our modified IOM estimate, using the 70% discharge assumption and substituting input from a field-data compilation for input from an atmospheric model over 6% of area, gives a loss of only 13 Gt/year (versus 136 Gt/year) for the period around 2000. Two ERS-based estimates, our modified IOM, and a GRACE-based estimate for observations within 1992 to 2005 lie in a narrowed range of +27 to - 40 Gt/year, which is about 3% of the annual mass input and only 0.2 mm/year SLE. Our preferred estimate for 1992-2001 is - 47 Gt

  19. A 16,000-yr tephra framework for the Antarctic ice sheet: a contribution from the new Talos Dome core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narcisi, Biancamaria; Petit, Jean Robert; Delmonte, Barbara; Scarchilli, Claudio; Stenni, Barbara

    2012-08-01

    A detailed tephra record for the last 16,000 years of the TALDICE ice core drilled at Talos Dome (East Antarctica, Pacific/Ross Sea sector) is documented. Traces of 26 different explosive volcanic eruptions, dated by ice core chronology and framed within the climate (δ18O) record for the core, have been identified. Glass major element composition and grain size data indicate that all prominent tephra layers derive from Antarctic volcanic activity and likely originated in proximal volcanoes of the Melbourne Volcanic Province (Northern Victoria Land). Two other Antarctic horizons may have originated from the more distant volcanoes of Mount Berlin (Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica) and Mount Erebus (Ross Island, Southern Victoria Land). Moreover, based on glass-shard geochemistry and a 20-year analysis of atmospheric back trajectories suggesting ash transport from South America to the drilling site by the circumpolar westerly circulation, a few faint microtephra horizons are attributed to Andean volcanic activity. Two of these tephras are interpreted to be related to known Holocene explosive eruptions from the volcanoes of Mount Hudson and Mount Burney. Finally, by comparing compositional features in conjunction with age data, three TALDICE tephras have been successfully correlated with volcanic layers in other ice records of the Antarctic ice sheet. Altogether, our results expand the Antarctic tephrostratigraphic framework and add value to the prospects for continental-scale correlations between ice cores and Southern Hemisphere sediment archives.

  20. Evolution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet: a numerical study on the role of the dissipation-strain rate feedback with changing climate

    OpenAIRE

    Huybrechts, P.; Oerlemans, J.

    1988-01-01

    An efficient numerical ice-sheet model, including time dependence and full thermo-mechanical coupling, has been developed in order to investigate the thermal regime and overall configuration of a polar ice sheet with respect to changing environmental conditions. From basic sensitivity experiments, in which a schematic East Antarctic ice sheet is forced with a typical glacial-interglacial climatic shift, it is found that: (i) the mutual interaction of temperature and deformation has a stabiliz...

  1. A 3-D model for the Antarctic ice sheet: a sensitivity study on the glacial-interglacial contrast

    OpenAIRE

    Huybrechts, Philippe

    1990-01-01

    On the longer climatic time scales, changes in the elevation and extent of the Antarctic ice sheet have an important role in modulating global atmospheric andoceanographic processes, and contribute significantly to world-wide sea levels. In this paper, a 3-D time-dependent thermomechanical model for the entire icesheet is presented that is subsequently used to examine the effects of glacial-interglacial shifts in environmental boundary conditions on its geometry. Themodel takes into account a...

  2. The effects of climate uncertainty on the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Pliocene warm period

    OpenAIRE

    Jorge Bernales; Tonio Häfliger; I. Rogozhina; M. Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The mid-Pliocene (3.15 to 2.85 million years before present) is the most recent period in Earth’s history when temperatures and CO2 concentrations were sustainedly higher than pre-industrial values [1], representing an ideal interval for studying the climate system under conditions similar to those projected for the end of this century. In these projections, the response of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) remains uncertain, including areas generally considered stable under a warming...

  3. Overview and Assessment of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance Estimates: 1992-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.

    2011-01-01

    Mass balance estimates for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in more recent reports lie between approximately ?50 to -250 Gt/year for 1992 to 2009. The 300 Gt/year range is approximately 15% of the annual mass input and 0.8 mm/year Sea Level Equivalent (SLE). Two estimates from radar altimeter measurements of elevation change by European Remote-sensing Satellites (ERS) (?28 and -31 Gt/year) lie in the upper part, whereas estimates from the Input-minus-Output Method (IOM) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) lie in the lower part (-40 to -246 Gt/year). We compare the various estimates, discuss the methodology used, and critically assess the results. We also modify the IOM estimate using (1) an alternate extrapolation to estimate the discharge from the non-observed 15% of the periphery, and (2) substitution of input from a field data compilation for input from an atmospheric model in 6% of area. The modified IOM estimate reduces the loss from 136 Gt/year to 13 Gt/year. Two ERS-based estimates, the modified IOM, and a GRACE-based estimate for observations within 1992 2005 lie in a narrowed range of ?27 to -40 Gt/year, which is about 3% of the annual mass input and only 0.2 mm/year SLE. Our preferred estimate for 1992 2001 is -47 Gt/year for West Antarctica, ?16 Gt/year for East Antarctica, and -31 Gt/year overall (?0.1 mm/year SLE), not including part of the Antarctic Peninsula (1.07% of the AIS area). Although recent reports of large and increasing rates of mass loss with time from GRACE-based studies cite agreement with IOM results, our evaluation does not support that conclusion

  4. A view of Antarctic ice-sheet evolution from sea-level and deep-sea Isotope Changes During the Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, K.G.; Wright, J.D.; Katz, M.E.; Browning, J.V.; Cramer, B.S.; Wade, B.S.; Mizintseva, S.F.

    2007-01-01

    The imperfect direct record of Antarctic glaciation has led to the delayed recognition of the initiation of a continentsized ice sheet. Early studies interpreted initiation in the middle Miocene (ca 15 Ma). Most current studies place the first ice sheet in the earliest Oligocene (33.55 Ma), but there is physical evidence for glaciation in the Eocene. Though there are inherent limitations in sea-level and deep-sea isotope records, both place constraints on the size and extent of Late Cretaceous to Cenozoic Antarctic ice sheets. Sealevel records argue that small- to medium-size (typically 10-12 × 106 km3

  5. Characteristics of Gravity Waves over an Antarctic Ice Sheet during an Austral Summer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Cava

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available While occurrences of wavelike motion in the stable boundary layer due to the presence of a significant restoring buoyancy force are rarely disputed, their modalities and interaction with turbulence remain a subject of active research. In this work, the characteristics of gravity waves and their impact on flow statistics, including turbulent fluxes, are presented using data collected above an Antarctic Ice sheet during an Austral Summer. Antarctica is an ideal location for exploring the characteristics of gravity waves because of persistent conditions of strong atmospheric stability in the lower troposphere. Periods dominated by wavelike motion have been identified by analysing time series measured by fast response instrumentation. The nature and characteristic of the dominant wavy motions are investigated using Fourier cross-spectral indicators. Moreover, a multi-resolution decomposition has been applied to separate gravity waves from turbulent fluctuations in case of a sufficiently defined spectral gap. Statistics computed after removing wavy disturbances highlight the large impact of gravity waves on second order turbulent quantities including turbulent flux calculations.

  6. GLIMMER Antarctic Ice Sheet Model,an experimental research of moving boundary condition

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tang Xueyuan; Sun Bo; Zhang Zhanhai; Li Yuansheng; Yang Qinghua

    2008-01-01

    A 3 D coupled ice sheet model,GLIMMER model is introduced,and an idealized ice sheet experiment under the EISMINT 1 criterion of moving boundary condition is presented.The results of the experiment reveal that for a steady state ice sheet profile the characteristic curves describe the process of evolution which are accordant with theoretical estimates.By solving the coupled thermodynamics equations of ice sheet,one may find the characteristic curves which derived from the conservation of the mass,energy and momentum to the ice flow profile.At the same time,an agreement,approximate to the GLIMMER case and the confirmed theoretical results,is found.Present study is explorihg work to introduceand discuss the handicaps of EISMINT criterion and GLIMMER,and prospect a few directions of the GLIMMER model.

  7. Gravity Waves characteristics and their impact on turbulent transport above an Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cava, Daniela; Giostra, Umberto; Katul, Gabriel

    2016-04-01

    Turbulence within the stable boundary layer (SBL) remains a ubiquitous feature of many geophysical flows, especially over glaciers and ice-sheets. Although numerous studies have investigated various aspects of the boundary layer motion during stable atmospheric conditions, a unified picture of turbulent transport within the SBL remains elusive. In a strongly stratified SBL, turbulence generation is frequently associated with interactions with sub-meso scale motions that are often a combination of gravity waves (GWs) and horizontal modes. While some progress has been made in the inclusion of GW parameterisation within global models, description and parameterisation of the turbulence-wave interaction remain an open question. The discrimination between waves and turbulence is a focal point needed to make progress as these two motions have different properties with regards to heat, moisture and pollutant transport. In fact, the occurrence of GWs can cause significant differences and ambiguities in the interpretation of turbulence statistics and fluxes if not a priori filtered from the analysis. In this work, the characteristics of GW and their impact on turbulent statistics were investigated using wind velocity components and scalars collected above an Antarctic Ice sheet during an Austral Summer. Antarctica is an ideal location for exploring the characteristics of GW because of persistent conditions of strongly stable atmospheric stability in the lower troposphere. Periods dominated by wavy motions have been identified by analysing time series measured by fast response instrumentation. The GWs nature and features have been investigated using Fourier cross-spectral indicators. The detected waves were frequently characterised by variable amplitude and period; moreover, they often produced non-stationarity and large intermittency in turbulent fluctuations that can significantly alter the estimation of turbulence statistics in general and fluxes in particular. A multi

  8. Kilometer-thick ice-sheets in the northern mid-latitudes of Mars in the Amazonian: Analogs from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Dry Valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, James W.; Marchant, David R.

    2008-09-01

    Introduction. The strong geomorphic similarities between lobate deposits on the northwest flank of the Tharsis Montes [1,2, 12-13] and along the dichotomy boundary between 30° and 50° [3] with terrestrial cold-based glaciers and glacial deposits has led to new hypotheses for geologically recent (Amazonian-age) low and mid-latitude glaciation on Mars [1,4]. A common theme among many of these studies has been to identify individual landscape elements on Mars and match them with terrestrial counterparts from cold polar deserts on Earth [5,6]. Here, we use the documented long-term history of outlet and alpine glaciers along the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica as a suitable analog for glaciation along the martian dichotomy boundary. As a guiding principle we note that, just as for terrestrial glacial landsystems, the most recent ice-related deposit/feature along the dichotomy boundary on Mars need not reflect the maximum in ice volume and/or ice configuration. The Antarctic Dry Valleys (ADV). A terrestrial analog for cold-based glaciation across steppedbedrock topography. To a first order, the large-scale bedrock geomorphology of the Antarctic Dry Valleys (Transantarctic mountain rift-margin upwarp) approximates the martian dichotomy boundary: the valleys occur within, and dissect, a series of broad, coast-facing escarpments (total relief of up to 3000 m) separated by isolated inselbergs. In the middle Miocene, sometime between 14.8 and 12.5 Ma [7, 8], all but the highest mountains in the Dry Valleys were overrun by a major expansion of East Antarctic ice. During this time, ice spilled across bedrock escarpments and flowed out across low-lying valleys toward the continental shelf. A modern-day counterpart for the maximum-overriding stage is seen inland of the ADV, where glacier ice still overrides stepped bedrock topography (Fig. 1). Ice expansion was triggered when the Antarctic cryosphere transitioned from relatively warm and wet (fostering

  9. A consistent data set of Antarctic ice sheet topography, cavity geometry, and global bathymetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Timmermann

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Sub-ice shelf circulation and freezing/melting rates in ocean general circulation models depend critically on an accurate and consistent representation of cavity geometry. Existing global or pan-Antarctic topography data sets have turned out to contain various inconsistencies and inaccuracies. The goal of this work is to compile independent regional surveys and maps into a global data set. We use the S-2004 global 1-min bathymetry as the backbone and add an improved version of the BEDMAP topography (ALBMAP bedrock topography for an area that roughly coincides with the Antarctic continental shelf. The position of the merging line is individually chosen in different sectors in order to capture the best of both data sets. High-resolution gridded data for ice shelf topography and cavity geometry of the Amery, Fimbul, Filchner-Ronne, Larsen C and George VI Ice Shelves, and for Pine Island Glacier are carefully merged into the ambient ice and ocean topographies. Multibeam survey data for bathymetry in the former Larsen B cavity and the southeastern Bellingshausen Sea have been obtained from the data centers of Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI, British Antarctic Survey (BAS and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO, gridded, and blended into the existing bathymetry map. The resulting global 1-min Refined Topography data set (RTopo-1 contains self-consistent maps for upper and lower ice surface heights, bedrock topography, and surface type (open ocean, grounded ice, floating ice, bare land surface. The data set is available in NetCDF format from the PANGAEA database at doi:10.1594/pangaea.741917.

  10. Exposure-age record of Holocene ice sheet and ice shelf change in the northeast Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Balco, G.; Schaefer, J. M.; LARISSA group

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes glacial–geologic observations and cosmogenic-nuclide exposure ages from ice-free areas adjacent to the Sjögren, Boydell, and Drygalski Glaciers of the northeast Antarctic Peninsula. These provide a record of Holocene glacier and ice shelf change in this region. Early Holocene ice surface elevation near the present coastline was locally at least 500 m above present sea level, but our observations do not constrain the maximum thickness of Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice or t...

  11. Late Miocene-Pliocene Asian monsoon intensification linked to Antarctic ice-sheet growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ao, Hong; Roberts, Andrew P.; Dekkers, Mark J.; Liu, Xiaodong; Rohling, Eelco J.; Shi, Zhengguo; An, Zhisheng; Zhao, Xiang

    2016-06-01

    Environmental conditions in one of Earth's most densely populated regions, East Asia, are dominated by the monsoon. While Quaternary monsoon variability is reasonably well understood, pre-Quaternary monsoon variability and dynamics remain enigmatic. In particular, little is known about potential relationships between northern hemispheric monsoon response and major Cenozoic changes in Antarctic ice cover. Here we document long-term East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) intensification through the Late Miocene-Pliocene (∼8.2 to 2.6 Ma), and attribute this to progressive Antarctic glaciation. Our new high-resolution magnetic records of long-term EASM intensification come from the Late Miocene-Pliocene Red Clay sequence on the Chinese Loess Plateau; we identify underlying mechanisms using a numerical climate-model simulation of EASM response to an idealized stepwise increase in Antarctic ice volume. We infer that progressive Antarctic glaciation caused intensification of the cross-equatorial pressure gradient between an atmospheric high-pressure cell over Australia and a low-pressure cell over mid-latitude East Asia, as well as intensification of the cross-equatorial sea-surface temperature (SST) gradient. These combined atmospheric and oceanic adjustments led to EASM intensification. Our findings offer a new and more global perspective on the controls behind long-term Asian monsoon evolution.

  12. Global estimates of the impact of a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: An application of FUND

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholls, R J; Tol, R.S.J.; Vafeidis, A.T.

    2008-01-01

    The threat of an abrupt and extreme rise in sea level is widely discussed in the media, but little understood in practise, including the likely impacts of such a rise. This paper explores for the first time the global impacts of extreme sea-level rise, triggered by a hypothetical collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). As the potential contributions remain uncertain, a wide range of scenarios are explored: WAIS contributions to sea-level rise of between 0.5m/century up to 5m/century....

  13. Boundary conditions of an active West Antarctic subglacial lake: implications for storage of water beneath the ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Siegert

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Repeat-pass IceSat altimetry has revealed 124 discrete surface height changes across the Antarctic Ice Sheet, interpreted to be caused by subglacial lake discharges (surface lowering and inputs (surface uplift. Few of these active lakes have been confirmed by radio-echo sounding (RES despite several attempts (notable exceptions are Lake Whillans and three in the Adventure Subglacial Trench. Here we present targeted RES and radar altimeter data from an "active lake" location within the upstream Institute Ice Stream, into which 0.12 km3 of water is calculated to have flowed between October 2003 and February 2008. We use a series of transects to establish an accurate appreciation of the influences of bed topography and ice-surface elevation on water storage potential. The location of surface height change is over the downslope flank of a distinct topographic hollow, where RES reveals no obvious evidence for deep (> 10 m water. The regional hydropotential reveals a sink coincident with the surface change, however. Governed by the location of the hydrological sink, basal water will likely "drape" over existing topography in a manner dissimilar to subglacial lakes where flat strong specular RES reflections are measured. The inability of RES to detect the active lake means that more of the Antarctic ice sheet bed may contain stored water than is currently appreciated. Variation in ice surface elevation datasets leads to significant alteration in calculations of the local flow of basal water indicating the value of, and need for, high resolution RES datasets in both space and time to establish and characterise subglacial hydrological processes.

  14. Large ensemble modeling of last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: comparison of simple and advanced statistical techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Pollard

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A 3-D hybrid ice-sheet model is applied to the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet over the last ~ 20 000 years. A large ensemble of 625 model runs is used to calibrate the model to modern and geologic data, including reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea-level records, elevation-age data and uplift rates, with an aggregate score computed for each run that measures overall model-data misfit. Two types of statistical methods are used to analyze the large-ensemble results: simple averaging weighted by the aggregate score, and more advanced Bayesian techniques involving Gaussian process-based emulation and calibration, and Markov chain Monte Carlo. Results for best-fit parameter ranges and envelopes of equivalent sea-level rise with the simple averaging method agree quite well with the more advanced techniques, but only for a large ensemble with full factorial parameter sampling. Best-fit parameter ranges confirm earlier values expected from prior model tuning, including large basal sliding coefficients on modern ocean beds. Each run is extended 5000 years into the "future" with idealized ramped climate warming. In the majority of runs with reasonable scores, this produces grounding-line retreat deep into the West Antarctic interior, and the analysis provides sea-level-rise envelopes with well defined parametric uncertainty bounds.

  15. Large ensemble modeling of last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: comparison of simple and advanced statistical techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, D.; Chang, W.; Haran, M.; Applegate, P.; DeConto, R.

    2015-11-01

    A 3-D hybrid ice-sheet model is applied to the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet over the last ~ 20 000 years. A large ensemble of 625 model runs is used to calibrate the model to modern and geologic data, including reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea-level records, elevation-age data and uplift rates, with an aggregate score computed for each run that measures overall model-data misfit. Two types of statistical methods are used to analyze the large-ensemble results: simple averaging weighted by the aggregate score, and more advanced Bayesian techniques involving Gaussian process-based emulation and calibration, and Markov chain Monte Carlo. Results for best-fit parameter ranges and envelopes of equivalent sea-level rise with the simple averaging method agree quite well with the more advanced techniques, but only for a large ensemble with full factorial parameter sampling. Best-fit parameter ranges confirm earlier values expected from prior model tuning, including large basal sliding coefficients on modern ocean beds. Each run is extended 5000 years into the "future" with idealized ramped climate warming. In the majority of runs with reasonable scores, this produces grounding-line retreat deep into the West Antarctic interior, and the analysis provides sea-level-rise envelopes with well defined parametric uncertainty bounds.

  16. An Overlooked Term in Assessment of the Potential Sea-Level Rise from a Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Diandong Ren; Mervyn Lynch; Lance M. Leslie

    2013-01-01

    As to sea level rise (SLR) contribution, melting and setting afloat make no difference for land based ice. Melting of West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) into water is impossible in the upcoming several centuries, whereas breaking and partially afloat is likely as long as sea waters find a pathway to the bottom of those ice sectors with basal elevation below sea level. In this sense WAIS may be disintegrated in a future warming climate. We reassess the potential contribution to eustatic sea leve...

  17. Warming, Contraction, and Freshening of Antarctic Bottom Water since the 1990s, with a Potential Ice-Sheet Melt Feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Gregory; Purkey, Sarah; Rintoul, Stephen; Swift, James

    2013-04-01

    We analyze changes in Antarctic Bottom Waters (AABW) around the deep Southern Ocean using repeat section data collected between 1981 and 2012. The international World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) Hydrographic Program collected a global high-quality baseline of full-depth, accurate oceanographic transects in the 1980s and 1990s. Since the 2000s, some of these transects are being reoccupied, again through international collaboration, as part of GO-SHIP (The Global Ocean Ship-Based Hydrographic Investigations Program). The average dates of the first and last data used to estimate these trends are circa 1991 and 2008. Temperature analyses reveal a nearly global-scale signature of warming in the abyssal ocean ventilated from the Antarctic. In the deep basins around Antarctica, AABW warmed at a rate of 0.02 to 0.05 °C per decade below 4000 m. In addition, the waters between 1000 and 4000 m within and south of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current warmed at a rate of about 0.03 °C per decade. With this warming, cold, deep isotherms are sinking in the Southern Ocean. The 0 °C potential isotherm sinking rate is around 100 m per decade, implying a 8.2 (±2.6) Sv contraction rate of AABW, about 7% per decade. In addition to this contraction, AABW freshening is observed within the Indian and Pacific sectors of the Southern Ocean. The freshening signal is stronger closer to AABW sources. Its spatial pattern implies recent changes in AABW formation, perhaps partly owing to freshening of the shelf waters, which has been linked to increases in glacial ice sheet melt. The observed rate of water-mass freshening for AABW colder than 0°C in the Indian and Pacific Sectors of the Southern Ocean is about half of the estimated increase in mass lost by glacial ice sheets there in recent years. A positive feedback loop might link the AABW contraction and ice sheet melt-influenced freshening as follows: Increased ocean heat flux drives enhanced basal melt of floating ice shelves

  18. Recent sea-level contributions of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Andrew; Wingham, Duncan

    2007-03-16

    After a century of polar exploration, the past decade of satellite measurements has painted an altogether new picture of how Earth's ice sheets are changing. As global temperatures have risen, so have rates of snowfall, ice melting, and glacier flow. Although the balance between these opposing processes has varied considerably on a regional scale, data show that Antarctica and Greenland are each losing mass overall. Our best estimate of their combined imbalance is about 125 gigatons per year of ice, enough to raise sea level by 0.35 millimeters per year. This is only a modest contribution to the present rate of sea-level rise of 3.0 millimeters per year. However, much of the loss from Antarctica and Greenland is the result of the flow of ice to the ocean from ice streams and glaciers, which has accelerated over the past decade. In both continents, there are suspected triggers for the accelerated ice discharge-surface and ocean warming, respectively-and, over the course of the 21st century, these processes could rapidly counteract the snowfall gains predicted by present coupled climate models. PMID:17363663

  19. Future surface mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet and its influence on sea level change, simulated by a regional atmospheric climate model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; van de Berg, W.J.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Rae, J.G.L.; van Meijgaard, E.

    2013-01-01

    A regional atmospheric climate model with multi-layer snow module (RACMO2) is forced at the lateral boundaries by global climate model (GCM) data to assess the future climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS). Two different GCMs (ECHAM5 until 2100 and HadCM3 until 2200)

  20. Antarctic Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance Estimates from 2003 TO 2015 Using Icesat and CRYOSAT-2 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Huan; Hai, Gang; Chen, Lei; Liu, Shijie; Liu, Jun; Tong, Xiaohua; Li, Rongxing

    2016-06-01

    An assessment of Antarctic ice sheet surface mass balance from 2003 to 2015 has been carried out using a combination of ICESat data from 2003 to 2009 and CryoSat-2 data from 2010 to 2015. Both data sets are of L2 and are currently processed separately using different models. First, a repeat-track processing method that includes terms accounting for the trend and the first order fit of topography is applied to repeat-track measurements of all ICESat Campaigns. It uses the Least Squares fitting of the model to all observations in a box of 500 m x 500 m. The estimated trends in these boxes are then averaged inside a 30 km x 30 km cell. Similarly, the cells are used to estimate basin and ice sheet level surface elevation change trends. Mass balance calculating is performed at the cell level by multiplying the ice density by the volume change and then extended to the basin and the ice sheet level. Second, in CryoSat-2 data processing we applied a model within a cell of 5 km x 5 km considering that CryoSat-2 does not maintain repeated tracks. In this model the elevation trend, and a higher order topography are solved in an iterative way using the least squares technique. The mass change is computed at the cell level in the same way as the ICESat data. GIA correction is applied for both ICESat and CryoSat-2 estimates. Detailed information about the data processing, elevation and mass balance changes, and comparison with other studies will be introduced.

  1. An unusual early Holocene diatom event north of the Getz Ice Shelf (Amundsen Sea): Implications for West Antarctic Ice Sheet development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esper, O.; Gersonde, R.; Hillenbrand, C.; Kuhn, G.; Smith, J.

    2011-12-01

    Modern global change affects not only the polar north but also, and to increasing extent, the southern high latitudes, especially the Antarctic regions covered by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Consequently, knowledge of the mechanisms controlling past WAIS dynamics and WAIS behaviour at the last deglaciation is critical to predict its development in a future warming world. Geological and palaeobiological information from major drainage areas of the WAIS, like the Amundsen Sea Embayment, shed light on the history of the WAIS glaciers. Sediment records obtained from a deep inner shelf basin north of Getz Ice Shelf document a deglacial warming in three phases. Above a glacial diamicton and a sediment package barren of microfossils that document sediment deposition by grounded ice and below an ice shelf or perennial sea ice cover (possibly fast ice), respectively, a sediment section with diatom assemblages dominated by sea ice taxa indicates ice shelf retreat and seasonal ice-free conditions. This conclusion is supported by diatom-based summer temperature reconstructions. The early retreat was followed by a phase, when exceptional diatom ooze was deposited around 12,500 cal. years B.P. [1]. Microscopical inspection of this ooze revealed excellent preservation of diatom frustules of the species Corethron pennatum together with vegetative Chaetoceros, thus an assemblage usually not preserved in the sedimentary record. Sediments succeeding this section contain diatom assemblages indicating rather constant Holocene cold water conditions with seasonal sea ice. The deposition of the diatom ooze can be related to changes in hydrographic conditions including strong advection of nutrients. However, sediment focussing in the partly steep inner shelf basins cannot be excluded as a factor enhancing the thickness of the ooze deposits. It is not only the presence of the diatom ooze but also the exceptional preservation and the species composition of the diatom assemblage

  2. Negative magnetic anomaly over Mt. Resnik, a subaerially erupted volcanic peak beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.; Finn, C.; Morse, D.L.; Blankenship, D.D.

    2006-01-01

    Mt. Resnik is one of the previously reported 18 subaerially erupted volcanoes (in the West Antarctic rift system), which have high elevation and high bed relief beneath the WAIS in the Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey. Mt. Resnik lies 300 m below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS); it has 1.6 km topographic relief, and a conical form defined by radar ice-sounding of bed topography. It has an associated complex negative magnetic anomaly revealed by the CWA survey. We calculated and interpreted magnetic models fit to the Mt. Resnik anomaly as a volcanic source comprising both reversely and normally magnetized (in the present field direction) volcanic flows, 0.5-2.5-km thick, erupted subaerially during a time of magnetic field reversal. The Mt. Resnik 305-nT anomaly is part of an approximately 50- by 40-km positive anomaly complex extending about 30 km to the west of the Mt. Resnik peak, associated with an underlying source complex of about the same area, whose top is at the bed of the WAIS. The bed relief of this shallow source complex has a maximum of only about 400 m, whereas the modeled source is >3 km thick. From the spatial relationship we interpret that this source and Mt Resnik are approximately contemporaneous. Any subglacially (older?) erupted edifices comprising hyaloclastite or other volcanic debris, which formerly overlaid the source to the west, were removed by the moving WAIS into which they were injected as is the general case for the ???1000 volcanic centers at the base of the WAIS. The presence of the magnetic field reversal modeled for Mt. Resnik may represent the Bruhnes-Matayama reversal at 780 ka (or an earlier reversal). There are ???100 short-wavelength, steep-gradient, negative magnetic anomalies observed over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), or about 10% of the approximately 1000 short-wavelength, shallow-source, high-amplitude (50- >1000 nT) "volcanic" magnetic anomalies in the CWA survey. These

  3. Cosmogenic 10Be Depth Profile in top 560 m of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welten, K. C.; Woodruff, T. E.; Caffee, M. W.; Edwards, R.; McConnell, J. R.; Bisiaux, M. M.; Nishiizumi, K.

    2009-12-01

    Concentrations of cosmogenic 10Be in polar ice samples are a function of variations in solar activity, geomagnetic field strength, atmospheric mixing and annual snow accumulation rates. The 10Be depth profile in ice cores also provides independent chronological markers to tie Antarctic to Greenland ice cores and to tie Holocene ice cores to the 14C dendrochronology record. We measured 10Be concentrations in 187 samples from depths of 0-560 m of the main WAIS Divide core, WDC06A. The ice samples are typically 1-2 kg and represent 2-4 m of ice, equivalent to an average temporal resolution of ~12 years, based on the preliminary age-depth scale proposed for the WDC core, (McConnell et al., in prep). Be, Al and Cl were separated using ion exchange chromatography techniques and the 10Be concentrations were measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at PRIME lab. The 10Be concentrations range from 8.1 to 19.1 x 10^3 at/g, yielding an average of (13.1±2.1) x 10^3 at/g. Adopting an average snow accumulation rate of 20.9 cm weq/yr, as derived from the age-depth scale, this value corresponds to an average 10Be flux of (2.7±0.5) x 10^5 atoms/yr/cm2. This flux is similar to that of the Holocene part of the Siple Dome (Nishiizumi and Finkel, 2007) and Dome Fuji (Horiuchi et al. 2008) ice cores, but ~30% lower than the value of 4.0 x 10^5 atoms/yr/cm2 for GISP2 (Finkel and Nishiizumi, 1997). The periods of low solar activity, known as Oort, Wolf, Spörer, Maunder and Dalton minima, show ~20% higher 10Be concentrations/fluxes than the periods of average solar activity in the last millennium. The maximum 10Be fluxes during some of these periods of low solar activity are up to ~50% higher than average 10Be fluxes, as seen in other polar ice cores, which makes these peaks suitable as chronologic markers. We will compare the 10Be record in the WAIS Divide ice core with that in other Antarctic as well as Greenland ice cores and with the 14C treering record. Acknowledgment. This

  4. Origin and fate of Lake Vostok water frozen to the base of the East Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Robin E; Studinger, Michael; Tikku, Anahita A; Clarke, Garry K C; Gutner, Michael M; Meertens, Chuck

    2002-03-21

    The subglacial Lake Vostok may be a unique reservoir of genetic material and it may contain organisms with distinct adaptations, but it has yet to be explored directly. The lake and the overlying ice sheet are closely linked, as the ice-sheet thickness drives the lake circulation, while melting and freezing at the ice-sheet base will control the flux of water, biota and sediment through the lake. Here we present a reconstruction of the ice flow trajectories for the Vostok core site, using ice-penetrating radar data and Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of surface ice velocity. We find that the ice sheet has a significant along-lake flow component, persistent since the Last Glacial Maximum. The rates at which ice is frozen (accreted) to the base of the ice sheet are greatest at the shorelines, and the accreted ice layer is subsequently transported out of the lake. Using these new flow field and velocity measurements, we estimate the time for ice to traverse Lake Vostok to be 16,000-20,000 years. We infer that most Vostok ice analysed to date was accreted to the ice sheet close to the western shoreline, and is therefore not representative of open lake conditions. From the amount of accreted lake water we estimate to be exported along the southern shoreline, the lake water residence time is about 13,300 years. PMID:11907573

  5. A previously unreported type of seismic source in the firn layer of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lough, Amanda C.; Barcheck, C. Grace; Wiens, Douglas A.; Nyblade, Andrew; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar

    2015-11-01

    We identify a unique type of seismic source in the uppermost part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet recorded by temporary broadband seismic arrays in East Antarctica. These sources, termed "firnquakes," are characterized by dispersed surface wave trains with frequencies of 1-10 Hz detectable at distances up to 1000 km. Events show strong dispersed Rayleigh wave trains and an absence of observable body wave arrivals; most events also show weaker Love waves. Initial events were discovered by standard detection schemes; additional events were then detected with a correlation scanner using the initial arrivals as templates. We locate sources by determining the L2 misfit for a grid of potential source locations using Rayleigh wave arrival times and polarization directions. We then perform a multiple-filter analysis to calculate the Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion and invert the group velocity for shear velocity structure. The resulting velocity structure is used as an input model to calculate synthetic seismograms. Inverting the dispersion curves yields ice velocity structures consistent with a low-velocity firn layer ~100 m thick and show that velocity structure is laterally variable. The absence of observable body wave phases and the relative amplitudes of Rayleigh waves and noise constrain the source depth to be less than 20 m. The presence of Love waves for most events suggests the source is not isotropic. We propose the events are linked to the formation of small crevasses in the firn, and several events correlate with shallow crevasse fields mapped in satellite imagery.

  6. GLAS/ICESat L2 Global Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheet Altimetry Data (HDF5) V033

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — GLAH12 contains the ice sheet elevation and elevation distribution corrected for geodetic and atmospheric affects calculated from algorithms fine-tuned for ice...

  7. Simulating the Antarctic ice sheet in the late-Pliocene warm period: PLISMIP-ANT, an ice-sheet model intercomparison project

    OpenAIRE

    B. de Boer; Dolan, A. M.; Bernales, J.; Gasson, E.; Goelzer, H.; Golledge, N.R.; Sutter, J.; P. Huybrechts; G. Lohmann; I. Rogozhina; A. Abe-Ouchi; Saito, F.; R. S. W. van de Wal

    2015-01-01

    In the context of future climate change, understanding the nature and behaviour of ice sheets during warm intervals in Earth history is of fundamental importance. The Late-Pliocene warm period (also known as the PRISM interval: 3.264 to 3.025 million years before present) can serve as a potential analogue for projected future climates. Although Pliocene ice locations and extents are still poorly constrained, a significant contribution to sea-level rise shoul...

  8. Comparison of Surface Elevation Changes of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets from Radar and Laser Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Barbieri, Kristine; DiMarzio, John P.; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2012-01-01

    A primary purpose of satellite altimeter measurements is determination of the mass balances of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and changes with time by measurement of changes in the surface elevations. Since the early 1990's, important measurements for this purpose have been made by radar altimeters on ERS-l and 2, Envisat, and CryoSat and a laser altimeter on ICESat. One principal factor limiting direct comparisons between radar and laser measurements is the variable penetration depth of the radar signal and the corresponding location of the effective depth of the radar-measured elevation beneath the surface, in contrast to the laser-measured surface elevation. Although the radar penetration depth varies significantly both spatially and temporally, empirical corrections have been developed to account for this effect. Another limiting factor in direct comparisons is caused by differences in the size of the laser and radar footprints and their respective horizontal locations on the surface. Nevertheless, derived changes in elevation, dHldt, and time-series of elevation, H(t), have been shown to be comparable. For comparisons at different times, corrections for elevation changes caused by variations in the rate offrrn compaction have also been developed. Comparisons between the H(t) and the average dH/dt at some specific locations, such as the Vostok region of East Antarctic, show good agreement among results from ERS-l and 2, Envisat, and ICESat. However, Greenland maps of dHidt from Envisat and ICESat for the same time periods (2003-2008) show some areas of significant differences as well as areas of good agreement. Possible causes of residual differences are investigated and described.

  9. Terrestrial evidence of melting of the Antarctic ice sheet during the last glacial period

    OpenAIRE

    Sawagaki, Takanobu; Hirakawa,Kazuomi

    2002-01-01

    Antarctica at the close of a millennium : proceedings of the 8th international symposium on Antarctic earth sciences, Wellington, New Zealand, July 1999, Edited by: J.A. Gamble, D.N.B. Skinner, and S. Henrys (Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin, 35), ISBN: 1-877264-06-7, pp.404-414

  10. Computing the volume response of the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet to warming scenarios to 2200

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beaudon, E.; Moore, J.C.; Martma, T.; Pohjola, V.A.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Kohler, J.; Isaksson, E.

    2013-01-01

    An ice core extracted from Holtedahlfonna ice cap, western Spitsbergen, record spanning the period 1700–2005, was analyzed for major ions. The leading empirical orthogonal function (EOF) component is correlated with an index of summer melt (log([Na+]/[Mg2+]) from 1850 and shows that almost 50% of th

  11. Constraints on ice volume changes of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and Ross Ice Shelf since the LGM based on cosmogenic exposure ages from Darwin-Hatherton outlet glaciers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, David; Joy, Kurt; Storey, Bryan

    2013-04-01

    At the Last Glacial Maximum and during Termination-1 (~20-10 ka), marine evidence indicates that the grounding line of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) advanced northwards into the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS), blocking drainage of the Darwin and Hatherton outlet glaciers through the Transantarctic Mountains (TM) resulting in significant downstream thickening of glacier profiles. These outlet glaciers provide geological and glaciological records of EAIS expansion through the TMs as well as WAIS fluctuations which together suggest an LGM thickness of ~800 m lager than today at their confluence with the Ross Embayment. About 80 cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al exposure ages of erratics from 3 locations flanking the Hatherton Glacier (Dubris Valley near the EAIS source region, from Lake Wellman at its midpoint and Diamond Hill at its terminus) taken along transects covering 800 m in differential elevation from ice-sheet contact to mountain peaks documents 2.5 Ma of ice volume evolution of the Hatherton allowing a reconstruction of its quaternary paleo-ice surface. Pleistocene ice thickness is some 800 to 400 meters thicker between 2.5 to 0.5 Ma years ago than today . However at all 3 locations, exposure ages of mapped glacial drifts younger than 0.5 Ma at lower elevations down to current ice margin did not show any evidence for a distinct LGM advance. At Lake Wellman a cluster of mid-elevation moraine boulders from the Britannia Drift, previously taken to demarcate the LGM advance, have exposure ages ranging from 30 to 40 ka. At Dubris Valley, the same drift returned ages of 120-125 ka. At Diamond Hill, the confluence of the Darwin Glacier and RIS, two transects were sampled that cover an altitude range of 1100 meters. Cosmogenic dates show a similar trend to that seen further upvalley - the WAIS was approximately 900 meters thicker than the current Rose Ice Shelf configuration at ~1.5Ma and with only minor advances in the last 10ka and an absence of any LGM ages. The absence of a

  12. Ice sheets and sea-level changes

    OpenAIRE

    Alley, R.; Clark, P.U.; Huybrechts, Philippe; Joughin, I.

    2005-01-01

    Future sea-level rise is an important issue related to the continuing buildup of atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, with the potential to raise sea level ~70 m if completely melted, dominate uncertainties in projected sea-level change. Freshwater fluxes from these ice sheets also may affect oceanic circulation, contributing to climate change. Observational and modeling advances have reduced many uncertainties related to ice sheet behavior, but r...

  13. Use of high frequency radiometer and altimeter on board AMSU-B, AMSR-E and Altika/SARAL for observations of the Antarctic ice sheet surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adodo, Fifi; Picard, Ghislain; Remy, Frederique

    2016-04-01

    Snow surface properties quickly evolved according to local weather conditions, therefore are climate change indicator. These snow surface properties such as grain size, density, accumulation rate etc... are very important for evaluation and monitoring of the impact of global warming on the polar ice sheet. In order to retrieve these snowpack properties, we explore the high frequency microwave radiometer variable( Brightness Temperature (Tb)) on the Antarctic ice sheet on-board AMSU-B , AMSR-E in combination with the ALTIKA altimeter (37GHz) waveform parameters (Backscatter coefficient, Trailing edge Slope(TeS) and Leading edge Width(LeW)). We compare the radiometer brightness temperature to calculations with the DMRT- ML radiative transfer model which simulates brightness temperature in vertical and horizontal polarizations. With some assumptions, this combination allows a good retrieval of snowpack properties. We showed positive trend of the grains size on the Antarctic plateau especially at Dome C during the two last decades. This work will provide a higher accuracy of the estimation of snowpack surfaces properties and contribute to monitoring the ice sheet surface mass balance, well constraining of meteorological and glaciological models.

  14. Threshold behavior of a marine-based sector of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in response to early Pliocene ocean warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Melissa A.; Passchier, Sandra; Khim, Boo-Keun; Song, Buhan; Williams, Trevor

    2015-06-01

    We investigate the stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) on the Wilkes Land continental margin, Antarctica, utilizing a high-resolution record of ice-rafted debris (IRD) mass accumulation rates (MAR) from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Site U1359. The relationship between orbital variations in the IRD record and climate drivers was evaluated to capture changes in the dynamics of a marine-based ice sheet in response to early Pliocene warming. Three IRD MAR excursions were observed and confirmed via scanning electron microscope microtextural analysis of sand grains. Time series analysis of the IRD MAR reveals obliquity-paced expansions of the ice sheet to the outer shelf prior to ~4.6 Ma. A decline in the obliquity and a transition into a dominant precession response of IRD MAR occur at ~4.6 Ma along with a decline in the amplitude of IRD MAR maxima to low background levels between ~4.0 and ~3.5 Ma. We speculate that as sea surface temperatures began to peak above 3°C during the early Pliocene climatic optimum, the ice shelves thinned, leading to a greater susceptibility to precession-forced summer insolation and the onset of persistent retreat of a marine-based portion of the EAIS.

  15. Analysis of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance from ICESat Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    If protoplanets formed from 10 to 20 kilometer diameter planetesimals in a runaway accretion process prior to their oligarchic growth into the terrestrial planets, it is only logical to ask where these planetesimals may have formed in order to assess the initial composition of the Earth. We have used Weidenschilling's model for the formation of comets (1997) to calculate an efficiency factor for the formation of planetesimals from the solar nebula, then used this factor to calculate the feeding zones that contribute to material contained within 10, 15 and 20 kilometer diameter planetesimals at 1 A.V. as a function of nebular mass. We find that for all reasonable nebular masses, these planetesimals contain a minimum of 3% water as ice by mass. The fraction of ice increases as the planetesimals increase in size and as the nebular mass decreases, since both factors increase the feeding zones from which solids in the final planetesimals are drawn. Is there really a problem with the current accretion scenario that makes the Earth too dry, or is it possible that the nascent Earth lost significant quantities of water in the final stages of accretion?

  16. The Pleistocene evolution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Prydz bay region: Stable isotopic evidence from ODP Site 1167

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theissen, K.M.; Dunbar, R.B.; Cooper, A. K.; Mucciarone, D.A.; Hoffmann, D.

    2003-01-01

    Ocean Drilling Program Leg 188, Prydz Bay, East Antarctica is part of a larger initiative to explore the Cenozoic history of the Antarctic Ice Sheet through direct drilling and sampling of the continental margins. In this paper, we present stable isotopic results from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1167 located on the Prydz Channel Trough Mouth Fan (TMF), the first Antarctic TMF to be drilled. The foraminifer-based ??18O record is interpreted along with sedimentary and downhole logging evidence to reconstruct the Quaternary glacial history of Prydz Bay and the adjacent Lambert Glacier Amery Ice Shelf System (LGAISS). We report an electron spin resonance age date of 36. 9 ?? 3.3 ka at 0.45 m below sea floor and correlate suspected glacial-interglacial cycles with the global isotopic stratigraphy to improve the chronology for Site 1167. The ??18O record based on planktonic (Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (s.)) and limited benthic results (Globocassidulina crassa), indicates a trend of ice sheet expansion that was interrupted by a period of reduced ice volume and possibly warmer conditions during the early-mid-Pleistocene (0.9-1.38 Ma). An increase in ?? 18O values after ??? 900 ka appears to coincide with the mid-Pleistocene climate transition and the expansion of the northern hemisphere ice sheet. The ??18O record in the upper 50 m of the stratigraphic section indicates as few as three glacial-interglacial cycles, tentatively assigned as marine isotopic stages (MIS) 16-21, are preserved since the Brunhes/Matuyama paleomagnetic reversal (780 ka). This suggests that there is a large unconformity near the top of the section and/or that there may have been few extreme advances of the ice sheet since the mid-Pleistocene climate transition resulting in lowered sedimentation rates on the Prydz Channel TMF. The stable isotopic record from Site 1167 is one of the few available from the area south of the Antarctic Polar Front that has been linked with the global isotopic

  17. The safety band of Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürst, Johannes Jakob; Durand, Gaël; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Tavard, Laure; Rankl, Melanie; Braun, Matthias; Gagliardini, Olivier

    2016-05-01

    The floating ice shelves along the seaboard of the Antarctic ice sheet restrain the outflow of upstream grounded ice. Removal of these ice shelves, as shown by past ice-shelf recession and break-up, accelerates the outflow, which adds to sea-level rise. A key question in predicting future outflow is to quantify the extent of calving that might precondition other dynamic consequences and lead to loss of ice-shelf restraint. Here we delineate frontal areas that we label as `passive shelf ice’ and that can be removed without major dynamic implications, with contrasting results across the continent. The ice shelves in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas have limited or almost no `passive’ portion, which implies that further retreat of current ice-shelf fronts will yield important dynamic consequences. This region is particularly vulnerable as ice shelves have been thinning at high rates for two decades and as upstream grounded ice rests on a backward sloping bed, a precondition to marine ice-sheet instability. In contrast to these ice shelves, Larsen C Ice Shelf, in the Weddell Sea, exhibits a large `passive’ frontal area, suggesting that the imminent calving of a vast tabular iceberg will be unlikely to instantly produce much dynamic change.

  18. Getting around Antarctica: new high-resolution mappings of the grounded and freely-floating boundaries of the Antarctic ice sheet created for the International Polar Year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bindschadler

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Two ice-dynamic transitions of the Antarctic ice sheet – the boundary of grounded ice features and the freely-floating boundary – are mapped at 15-m resolution by participants of the International Polar Year project ASAID using customized software combining Landsat-7 imagery and ICESat/GLAS laser altimetry. The grounded ice boundary is 53 610 km long; 74 % abuts to floating ice shelves or outlet glaciers, 19 % is adjacent to open or sea-ice covered ocean, and 7 % of the boundary ice terminates on land. The freely-floating boundary, called here the hydrostatic line, is the most landward position on ice shelves that expresses the full amplitude of oscillating ocean tides. It extends 27 521 km and is discontinuous. Positional (one-sigma accuracies of the grounded ice boundary vary an order of magnitude ranging from ±52 m for the land and open-ocean terminating segments to ±502 m for the outlet glaciers. The hydrostatic line is less well positioned with errors over 2 km. Elevations along each line are selected from 6 candidate digital elevation models based on their agreement with ICESat elevation values and surface shape inferred from the Landsat imagery. Elevations along the hydrostatic line are converted to ice thicknesses by applying a firn-correction factor and a flotation criterion. BEDMAP-compiled data and other airborne data are compared to the ASAID elevations and ice thicknesses to arrive at quantitative (one-sigma uncertainties of surface elevations of ±3.6, ±9.6, ±11.4, ±30 and ±100 m for five ASAID-assigned confidence levels. Over one-half of the surface elevations along the grounded ice boundary and over one-third of the hydrostatic line elevations are ranked in the highest two confidence categories. A comparison between ASAID-calculated ice shelf thicknesses and BEDMAP-compiled data indicate a thin-ice bias of 41.2 ± 71.3 m for the ASAID ice thicknesses. The relationship between the seaward offset of the hydrostatic line

  19. Getting around Antarctica: New High-Resolution Mappings of the Grounded and Freely-Floating Boundaries of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Created for the International Polar Year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, R.; Choi, H.; Wichlacz, A.; Bingham, R.; Bohlander, J.; Brunt, K.; Corr, H.; Drews, R.; Fricker, H.; Hall, M.; Hindmarsh, R.; Kohler, J.; Padman, L.; Rack, W.; Rotschkly, G.; Urbini, S.; Vornberger, P.; Young, N.

    2011-01-01

    Two ice-dynamic transitions of the Antarctic ice sheet - the boundary of grounded ice features and the freely-floating boundary - are mapped at 15-m resolution by participants of the International Polar Year project ASAID using customized software combining Landsat-7 imagery and ICESat/GLAS laser altimetry. The grounded ice boundary is 53 610 km long; 74% abuts to floating ice shelves or outlet glaciers, 19% is adjacent to open or sea-ice covered ocean, and 7% of the boundary ice terminates on land. The freely-floating boundary, called here the hydrostatic line, is the most landward position on ice shelves that expresses the full amplitude of oscillating ocean tides. It extends 27 521 km and is discontinuous. Positional (one-sigma) accuracies of the grounded ice boundary vary an order of magnitude ranging from +/- 52m for the land and open-ocean terminating segments to +/- 502m for the outlet glaciers. The hydrostatic line is less well positioned with errors over 2 km. Elevations along each line are selected from 6 candidate digital elevation models based on their agreement with ICESat elevation values and surface shape inferred from the Landsat imagery. Elevations along the hydrostatic line are converted to ice thicknesses by applying a firn-correction factor and a flotation criterion. BEDMAP-compiled data and other airborne data are compared to the ASAID elevations and ice thicknesses to arrive at quantitative (one-sigma) uncertainties of surface elevations of +/-3.6, +/-9.6, +/-11.4, +/-30 and +/-100m for five ASAID-assigned confidence levels. Over one-half of the surface elevations along the grounded ice boundary and over one-third of the hydrostatic line elevations are ranked in the highest two confidence categories. A comparison between ASAID-calculated ice shelf thicknesses and BEDMAP-compiled data indicate a thin-ice bias of 41.2+/-71.3m for the ASAID ice thicknesses. The relationship between the seaward offset of the hydrostatic line from the grounded ice

  20. The aeromagnetic method as a tool to identify Cenozoic magmatism in the West Antarctic Rift System beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: a review; Thiel subglacial volcano as possible source of the ash layer in the WAISCOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.

    2013-01-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) flows through the volcanically active West Antarctic Rift System (WARS). The aeromagnetic method has been the most useful geophysical tool for identification of subglacial volcanic rocks, since 1959–64 surveys, particularly combined with 1978 radar ice-sounding. The unique 1991–97 Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey covering 354,000 km2 over the WAIS, (5-km line-spaced, orthogonal lines of aeromagnetic, radar ice-sounding, and aerogravity measurements), still provides invaluable information on subglacial volcanic rocks, particularly combined with the older aeromagnetic profiles. These data indicate numerous 100–>1000 nT, 5–50-km width, shallow-source, magnetic anomalies over an area greater than 1.2 × 106 km2, mostly from subglacial volcanic sources. I interpreted the CWA anomalies as defining about 1000 “volcanic centers” requiring high remanent normal magnetizations in the present field direction. About 400 anomaly sources correlate with bed topography. At least 80% of these sources have less than 200 m relief at the WAIS bed. They appear modified by moving ice, requiring a younger age than the WAIS (about 25 Ma). Exposed volcanoes in the WARS are The present rapid changes resulting from global warming, could be accelerated by subglacial volcanism.

  1. Surface topography and massflux of the Antarctic ice sheet in western Dronning Maud Land, derived by differential SAR interferomety

    OpenAIRE

    Drews, Reinhard; Rack, Wolfgang; Wesche, Christine; Steinhage, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    Considerations on mass balance in Antarctica are of high interest in recent debatesabout the influence of the cryosphere and its response to climate change. Antarcticaplays an important role in the earths overall radiation budget, the development of themean sea level, and, as an excellent climate archive, it enables paleoclimatic researchand improved understanding of the climate system. In order to address those questions,a detailed knowledge of the ice sheets topography and its dynamics is c...

  2. Radiostratigraphy and age structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Macgregor, JA; Fahnestock, MA; Catania, GA; Paden, JD; Prasad Gogineni, S; Young, SK; Rybarski, SC; Mabrey, AN; Wagman, BM; M. Morlighem

    2015-01-01

    Several decades of ice-penetrating radar surveys of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have observed numerous widespread internal reflections. Analysis of this radiostratigraphy has produced valuable insights into ice sheet dynamics and motivates additional mapping of these reflections. Here we present a comprehensive deep radiostratigraphy of the Greenland Ice Sheet from airborne deep ice-penetrating radar data collected over Greenland by The University of Kansas between 1993 and 2013. T...

  3. Ice sheet in peril

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvidberg, Christine Schøtt

    2016-01-01

    Earth's large ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are major contributors to sea level change. At present, the Greenland Ice Sheet (see the photo) is losing mass in response to climate warming in Greenland (1), but the present changes also include a long-term response to past climate transitions...

  4. Major collapse event of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in Pliocene%东南极冰盖上新世大规模退缩事件

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘小汉; 韦利杰; 黄费新; 方爱民; 琚宜太; 李潇丽; 周学君

    2013-01-01

    The multi-disciplinary study of past ice surface elevations in the Grove Mountains of interior East Antarctica provide direct land based data on the behaviour of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet since the Pliocene. The glacial geology,the ages of cold desert soils,the depositional environment of younger moraine sedimentary boulders and their spore pollen assemblages combine to imply a possible significant shrinkage of the ice sheet before the Middle Pliocene Epoch,with the ice sheet margin retreating south of the Grove Mountains( -400 km south from its present coastal position). Exposure age measurements of bedrock indicate that the elevation of the ice surface in the Grove Mountains region subsequently rose at about Mid-Pliocene to at least 400 m higher than today's levels. The ice surface then progressively lowered, with some minor fluctuations. Middle to Late Pleistocene exposure ages found on the lowest samples,at the ice/bedrock contact line, indicate a long period with ice surface elevations was kept at current level or complex fluctuation history during the Quaternary Epoch. Such event of Antarctic ice sheet collapse should correspond with some of huge tectonic events in north hemisphere in global scale,such as the Messinian salinity crisis in the Mediterranean region.%笔者近年对东南极内陆格罗夫山(Grove Mountains)开展了上新世以来冰盖表面波动的综合研究,运用冰川地质、地貌、土壤、沉积岩、孢粉组合及宇宙核素等各种方法手段,提出东南极大冰盖形成以后并非稳定演化至今,而在上新世早期时发生过大规模退缩,其前缘至少曾经退缩到格罗夫山地区,距现今冰盖边缘约400 km.之后,冰盖又迅速膨胀,到距今2.3 Ma时,冰面至少超过现今高度约400 m.以后冰面缓慢平稳下降,至1.6 Ma时,东南极冰盖进入第四纪振荡期,但重新上升的冰面再也没有超过现今高度的100 m以上.东南极冰盖大规模消融事件在全球尺度上也

  5. Land Ice: Greenland & Antarctic ice mass anomaly

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Data from NASA's Grace satellites show that the land ice sheets in both Antarctica and Greenland are losing mass. The continent of Antarctica (left chart) has been...

  6. Ice sheet hydrology from observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The hydrological systems of ice sheets are complex. Our view of the system is split, largely due to the complexity of observing the systems. Our basic knowledge of processes have been obtained from smaller glaciers and although applicable in general to the larger scales of the ice sheets, ice sheets contain features not observable on smaller glaciers due to their size. The generation of water on the ice sheet surface is well understood and can be satisfactorily modeled. The routing of water from the surface down through the ice is not complicated in terms of procat has been problematic is the way in which the couplings between surface and bed has been accomplished through a kilometer of cold ice, but with the studies on crack propagation and lake drainage on Greenland we are beginning to understand also this process and we know water can be routed through thick cold ice. Water generation at the bed is also well understood but the main problem preventing realistic estimates of water generation is lack of detailed information about geothermal heat fluxes and their geographical distribution beneath the ice. Although some average value for geothermal heat flux may suffice, for many purposes it is important that such values are not applied to sub-regions of significantly higher fluxes. Water generated by geothermal heat constitutes a constant supply and will likely maintain a steady system beneath the ice sheet. Such a system may include subglacial lakes as steady features and reconfiguration of the system is tied to time scales on which the ice sheet geometry changes so as to change pressure gradients in the basal system itself. Large scale re-organization of subglacial drainage systems have been observed beneath ice streams. The stability of an entirely subglacially fed drainage system may hence be perturbed by rapid ice flow. In the case of Antarctic ice streams where such behavior has been observed, the ice streams are underlain by deformable sediments. It is

  7. Ice sheet hydrology from observations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansson, Peter (Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm Univ-, Stockholm (Sweden))

    2010-11-15

    The hydrological systems of ice sheets are complex. Our view of the system is split, largely due to the complexity of observing the systems. Our basic knowledge of processes have been obtained from smaller glaciers and although applicable in general to the larger scales of the ice sheets, ice sheets contain features not observable on smaller glaciers due to their size. The generation of water on the ice sheet surface is well understood and can be satisfactorily modeled. The routing of water from the surface down through the ice is not complicated in terms of procat has been problematic is the way in which the couplings between surface and bed has been accomplished through a kilometer of cold ice, but with the studies on crack propagation and lake drainage on Greenland we are beginning to understand also this process and we know water can be routed through thick cold ice. Water generation at the bed is also well understood but the main problem preventing realistic estimates of water generation is lack of detailed information about geothermal heat fluxes and their geographical distribution beneath the ice. Although some average value for geothermal heat flux may suffice, for many purposes it is important that such values are not applied to sub-regions of significantly higher fluxes. Water generated by geothermal heat constitutes a constant supply and will likely maintain a steady system beneath the ice sheet. Such a system may include subglacial lakes as steady features and reconfiguration of the system is tied to time scales on which the ice sheet geometry changes so as to change pressure gradients in the basal system itself. Large scale re-organization of subglacial drainage systems have been observed beneath ice streams. The stability of an entirely subglacially fed drainage system may hence be perturbed by rapid ice flow. In the case of Antarctic ice streams where such behavior has been observed, the ice streams are underlain by deformable sediments. It is

  8. Large ensemble modeling of the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: comparison of simple and advanced statistical techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; Chang, Won; Haran, Murali; Applegate, Patrick; DeConto, Robert

    2016-05-01

    A 3-D hybrid ice-sheet model is applied to the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet over the last ˜ 20 000 yr. A large ensemble of 625 model runs is used to calibrate the model to modern and geologic data, including reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea-level records, elevation-age data and uplift rates, with an aggregate score computed for each run that measures overall model-data misfit. Two types of statistical methods are used to analyze the large-ensemble results: simple averaging weighted by the aggregate score, and more advanced Bayesian techniques involving Gaussian process-based emulation and calibration, and Markov chain Monte Carlo. The analyses provide sea-level-rise envelopes with well-defined parametric uncertainty bounds, but the simple averaging method only provides robust results with full-factorial parameter sampling in the large ensemble. Results for best-fit parameter ranges and envelopes of equivalent sea-level rise with the simple averaging method agree well with the more advanced techniques. Best-fit parameter ranges confirm earlier values expected from prior model tuning, including large basal sliding coefficients on modern ocean beds.

  9. Varying depositional environments across the Oligocene-Miocene boundary and their relevance for East Antarctic ice sheet history: IODP Site U1356, Wilkes Land margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salabarnada, Ariadna; Escutia, Carlota; Nelson, Hans; Damuth, John E.; Brinkhuis, Henk

    2014-05-01

    IODP Expedition 318 drilled seven sites in two transects across the Wilkes Land (WL) margin of Antarctica. The objective was to obtain a long-term record of the Cenozoic Antarctic glaciation in response to climatic changes, including major transitions. Our work focuses on the study of nearly 300 meters of Oligocene-early Miocene sediments from Site 1356 (cores 42R to 72R) located on a channel levee in the lower continental rise. Shipboard core descriptions reported these sediments to consist of strongly bioturbated claystone and calcareous claystone with Zoophycos or Nereites ichnofacies. Subordinate lithofacies include: 1) laminated silty claystones, 2) convoluted claystones, sandstones and conglomerates; 3) mudstones and sandstones, with a few dispersed to common clasts; and 4) graded or cross-laminated siltstones and sandstones. Based on our study of facies associations in the cores, we differentiate 3 major sedimentary phases, representing important changes in the depositional environments off the WL margin. During the early-late Oligocene, sediments record deposition in a deep-water setting, with bottom currents reworking hemipelagic sediments. Late Oligocene sedimentary processes are dominated by successive fine- to coarse-grained debris-flow mass transport deposits. In the early Miocene, turbidites and hemipelagic sedimentation, characteristic of levee deposition, dominate. With this interpretation of sedimentary environments, plus the correlation between Site U1356 and seismic reflection profiles at the site and vicinity, we can begin to link the relation between along-slope and down-slope processes to the evolution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  10. Global ice sheet modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The University of Maine conducted this study for Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) as part of a global climate modeling task for site characterization of the potential nuclear waste respository site at Yucca Mountain, NV. The purpose of the study was to develop a global ice sheet dynamics model that will forecast the three-dimensional configuration of global ice sheets for specific climate change scenarios. The objective of the third (final) year of the work was to produce ice sheet data for glaciation scenarios covering the next 100,000 years. This was accomplished using both the map-plane and flowband solutions of our time-dependent, finite-element gridpoint model. The theory and equations used to develop the ice sheet models are presented. Three future scenarios were simulated by the model and results are discussed

  11. The Elementary Marine Ice Sheet Model (EMISM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank

    2015-04-01

    behaviour is in line with recent model simulations of Pine Island and Thwaites Glacier systems. We perform a series of sensitivity experiments with EMISM and compare results to recent model intercomparisons of the Antarctic ice sheet (e.g., SeaRISE, Favier et al. (2013)). Future developments include the implementation of a variant of the coupled SSA/SIA to account for ice stream flow, upstream of grounding lines.

  12. Carbon dioxide effects research and assessment program. Environmental and societal consequences of a possible CO/sub 2/-induced climate change: volume II, part I. Response of the West Antarctic ice sheet to CO/sub 2/-induced climatic warming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bentley, C.

    1982-04-01

    The paper proposes a research plan to deal with the question of what the response of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would be to a rise in global temperatures caused by an anthropogenic CO/sub 2/ buildup in the atmosphere. The plan is designed to answer the following questions: (1) how fast is the ice mass changing now, and why; (2) how will the boundary conditions that affect the ice sheet respond to an atmospheric temperature change and how are those boundary conditions changing now; (3) what will be the response of the ice sheet to changes in boundary conditions; and (4) what can be learned by analogy with what has happened in the past. (ACR)

  13. Change Analysis of Antarctic Ice Shelves Based on Multiple Remote Sensing Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Yixiang; Weng, Hexia; Lv, Da; Tong, Xiaohua; Li, Rongxing

    2016-06-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet is well known as the most sensitive and key issue in the global climate change research and is playing a more and more important role for the global sea level change. Measurement of changes in area and mass of the Antarctic ice sheet is critically important and has been made by using different remote sensing technologies and ground exploration data. Sequential mapping of Antarctic boundaries provides a simple and direct method for measuring the area and volume if ice sheet or ice shelves advances or retreats in the Antarctic coasts. Our results show that the total ice shelf area is retreated between 1963 and 2009. However, the trend for each ice shelf is quite different.

  14. Oligocene environmental changes on the Wilkes Land margin in response to a developing East Antarctic ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Houben, A. J. P.; Bijl, P.K; Brinkhuis, H.; Bendle, J.A.; J. Pross; Stickley, C.E.; Olney, M.; Röhl, U.; Tauxe, L.; S. M. Bohaty; Schouten, S.; Ebbing, A.P.J.; Sangiorgi, F.; Stocchi, P.; Vermeersen, B.

    2011-01-01

    IODP Expedition 318 drilled several sites on the Wilkes Land margin of East Antarctica in Jan.–Feb. 2010. The principle objective of the cruise was to obtain a better understanding of the Cenozoic cryospheric evolution of Antarctica, in conjunction with the dating of major regional seismic unconformities WL-U3 thru U8. Unconformity WL-U3 was suggested to be related to the inception of Antarctic glaciation during the Eocene-Oligocene Transition (~34 Ma). Changes in biotic assemblages distinctl...

  15. Mass change detection in Antarctic ice sheet using ICESat block analysis techniques from 2003~2008%基于ICESat块域分析法探测2003~2008年南极冰盖质量变化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    史红岭; 陆洋; 杜宗亮; 贾路路; 张子占; 周春霞

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, the ICESat laser altimetry data is used to obtain an estimate of the mass balance of Antarctic ice sheet from February 2003 to March 2008. The time series of elevation change in Antarctic ice sheet are derived by the block crossover analysis using the ICESat nadir ground track, and the calculation of the campaign basis is discussed. A least square regression of crossover difference is applied to calculate the average elevation change trend and the seasonal cycle, and then the mass changes of Antarctic ice sheet are estimated by combining the elevation change rate with the surface firn density model. The result shows that seasonal cycle signals are obvious in Antarctic ice sheet height changes, and the average annual amplitude is about 2.21 cm. On the coast of the Antarctica continent, there are significant thinning and thickening, especially near the Amundsen Sea embayment of west Antarctic and Antarctic Peninsula. Considering the influence of GIA (three public GIA models), our best estimate of the mass change in Antarctic ice sheet is about -82~-73Gt/yr. For the ICESat, the ice sheet surface firn density model and the GIA model are the main factors in the mass change estimates.%利用2003~2008年间的ICESat卫星激光测高数据,通过块域交叉点分析提取南极大陆冰盖表面高程变化信息,同时探讨了卫星激光测高不同任务间的系统偏差,结合冰盖地表粒雪密度模型探测南极大陆冰盖质量变化,并对其原因做了初步分析.结果显示南极大陆冰盖高度变化具有明显的年周期信号,平均周年振幅为2.21 cm.在南极大陆的边缘,存在着明显的消融和增长,尤其是在西南极阿蒙森海湾附近的冰川和南极半岛.利用目前常用的三种不同的冰后回弹模型,计算得到南极大陆冰盖整体平均质量变化趋势约为-82~-73 Gt/yr.在由ICESat高度变化到质量变化过程中,冰盖地表粒雪密度和冰后回弹模型的不确定性是

  16. Carbonyl sulfide hydrolysis in Antarctic ice cores and an atmospheric history for the last 8000 years

    OpenAIRE

    Aydin, M.; Fudge, TJ; Verhulst, KR; Nicewonger, MR; Waddington, ED; Saltzman, Es

    2014-01-01

    ©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Carbonyl sulfide (COS) was measured in Antarctic ice core samples from the Byrd, Siple Dome, Taylor Dome, and West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide sites covering the last 8000 years of the Holocene. COS levels decrease downcore in most of these ice cores. The magnitude of the downcore trends varies among the different ice cores and is related to the thermal histories of the ice sheet at each site. We hypothesize that this is due to the temper...

  17. Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic sea ice temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vancoppenolle, Martin; Raphael, Marilyn; Rousset, Clément; Vivier, Frédéric; Moreau, Sébastien; Delille, Bruno; Tison, Jean-Louis

    2016-04-01

    Sea ice temperature affects the sea ice growth rate, heat content, permeability and habitability for ice algae. Large-scale simulations with NEMO-LIM suggest large ice temperature contrasts between the Arctic and the Antarctic sea ice. First, Antarctic sea ice proves generally warmer than in the Arctic, in particular during winter, where differences reach up to ~10°C. Second, the seasonality of temperature is different among the two hemispheres: Antarctic ice temperatures are 2-3°C higher in spring than they are in fall, whereas the opposite is true in the Arctic. These two key differences are supported by the available ice core and mass balance buoys temperature observations, and can be attributed to differences in air temperature and snow depth. As a result, the ice is found to be habitable and permeable over much larger areas and much earlier in late spring in the Antarctic as compared with the Arctic, which consequences on biogeochemical exchanges in the sea ice zone remain to be evaluated.

  18. Resolving Trends in Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Loss and Glacio-isostatic Adjustment Through Spatio-temporal Source-separation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamber, J. L.; Schoen, N.; Zammit-Mangion, A.; Rougier, J.; Flament, T.; Luthcke, S. B.; Petrie, E. J.; Rémy, F.

    2013-12-01

    There remains considerable inconsistency between different methods and approaches for determining ice mass trends for Antarctica from satellite observations. There are three approaches that can provide near global coverage for mass trends: altimetry, gravimetry and mass budget calculations. All three approaches suffer from a source separation problem where other geophysical processes limit the capability of the method to resolve the origin and magnitude of a mass change. A fourth approach, GPS vertical motion, provides localised estimates of mass change due to elastic uplift and an indirect estimate of GIA. Each approach has different source separation issues and different spatio-temporal error characteristics. In principle, it should be possible to combine the data and process covariances to minimize the uncertainty in the solution and to produce robust, posterior errors for the trends. In practice, this is a challenging problem in statistics because of the large number of degrees of freedom, the variable spatial and temporal sampling between the different observations and the fact that some processes remain under-sampled, such as firn compaction. Here, we present a novel solution to this problem using the latest methods in statistical modelling of spatio-temporal processes. We use Bayesian hierarchical modelling and employ stochastic partial differential equations to capture our physical understanding of the key processes that influence our observations. Due to the huge number of observations involved (> 10^8) methods are required to reduce the dimensionality of the problem and care is required in treatment of the observations as they are not independent. Here, we focus mainly on the results rather than the full suite of methods and we present time evolving fields of surface mass balance, ice dynamic-driven mass loss, and firn compaction for the period 2003-2009, derived from a combination of ICESat, ENVISAT, GRACE, InSAR, GPS and regional climate model output

  19. Reconstructing ice-sheet accumulation rates at ridge B, East Antarctica

    OpenAIRE

    Leysinger Vieli, G. J.-M. C.; Siegert, M.J.; Payne, A.J.

    2004-01-01

    Understanding how ice sheets responded to past climate change is fundamental to forecasting how they will respond in the future. Numerical models calculating the evolution of ice sheets depend upon accumulation data, which are principally available from ice cores. Here, we calculate past rates of ice accumulation using internal layering. The englacial structure of the East Antarctic ice divide at ridge B is extracted from airborne ice-penetrating radar. The isochronous surfaces are dated at t...

  20. Ice rises: The double role of imprinting and archiving ice-dynamics at the sheet-shelf boundary of Antarctica

    OpenAIRE

    Drews, Reinhard; Eisen, Olaf; Martin, Carlos; Steinhage, Daniel; Pattyn, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Almost three-quarters of the Antarctic ice-sheet boundary is in contact with the ocean. Floating ice shelves extend the continental ice seawards and provide an interface for the interaction of ice and ocean. Ice rises are grounded features embedded within ice-shelves. They typically develop a local ice-flow regime which on the one hand buttresses the large-scale ice flow from the Antarctic continent, and on the other hand may stabilize the grounding-line position on a inland facing bedrock sl...

  1. Photosynthesis in Antarctic sea ice diatoms

    OpenAIRE

    Mock, Thomas

    2003-01-01

    This thesis was conducted to apply new techniques for measuring photosynthesis in Antarctic sea ice diatoms. A systematic approach of investigations was applied to obtain precise measurements of photosynthesis under natural conditions in the field from which questions were derived for further analysis in the laboratory. In situ measurements with the tracer 14C through the entire thickness of a young sea ice floe revealed that algae are able to actively assimilate dissolved inorganic carbon un...

  2. Using ice-penetrating radars to date ice-rise formation and Late Holocene ice-sheet retreat in the Ronne Ice Shelf region, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingslake, Jonathan; Hindmarsh, Richard; King, Edward; Corr, Hugh

    2015-04-01

    The history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the region currently occupied by the Ronne Ice Shelf is poorly known. This reflects a lack of accessible recently deglaciated surfaces, which prohibits conventional paleo glaciological techniques that can provide evidence of past ice-sheet extent and retreat, for example ocean coring or exposure-dating of geological material. We use a glaciological technique, Raymond Effect Dating, to constrain the retreat of the ice sheet through the Ronne Ice Shelf region. During two Antarctic field seasons, we used a pulse-echo ice-penetrating radar to image the base and internal stratigraphy of four ice rises - areas of grounded ice containing ice divides. Towing the radar with skidoos, we conducted over 2000 km of surveys on the Skytrain, Korff, Henry and Fowler Ice Rises and the ice shelf between them. We also used a step-frequency radar called pRES to measure the vertical ice flow in the vicinity of each ice divide. Isochronal ice layers imaged during the surveys deforming in a predictable way with ice flow, meaning that their shape contains information about past ice flow. Directly beneath ice divides the downward motion of the ice is impeded by an ice-dynamical phenomenon called the Raymond Effect. This causes layers beneath the divides to form 'Raymond Arches' that grow over time. We will present the data and simulate the growth of the Raymond Arches using our pRES-measured vertical ice velocities and date the onset of ice-divide flow at each ice rise by comparing the size of simulated arches to the arches imaged during our radar surveys. We consider the main sources of uncertainty associated with these ice-rise formation dates and discuss what they can tell us about the retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet through this region during the last few thousand years.

  3. Reducing uncertainties in projections of Antarctic ice mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, G.; Pattyn, F.

    2015-11-01

    Climate model projections are often aggregated into multi-model averages of all models participating in an intercomparison project, such as the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). The "multi-model" approach provides a sensitivity test to the models' structural choices and implicitly assumes that multiple models provide additional and more reliable information than a single model, with higher confidence being placed on results that are common to an ensemble. A first initiative of the ice sheet modeling community, SeaRISE, provided such multi-model average projections of polar ice sheets' contribution to sea-level rise. The SeaRISE Antarctic numerical experiments aggregated results from all models devoid of a priori selection, based on the capacity of such models to represent key ice-dynamical processes. Here, using the experimental setup proposed in SeaRISE, we demonstrate that correctly representing grounding line dynamics is essential to infer future Antarctic mass change. We further illustrate the significant impact on the ensemble mean and deviation of adding one model with a known bias in its ability of modeling grounding line dynamics. We show that this biased model can hardly be identified from the ensemble only based on its estimation of volume change, as ad hoc and untrustworthy parametrizations can force any modeled grounding line to retreat. However, tools are available to test parts of the response of marine ice sheet models to perturbations of climatic and/or oceanic origin (MISMIP, MISMIP3d). Based on recent projections of Pine Island Glacier mass loss, we further show that excluding ice sheet models that do not pass the MISMIP benchmarks decreases the mean contribution and standard deviation of the multi-model ensemble projection by an order of magnitude for that particular drainage basin.

  4. Ice Sheets and the Anthropocene

    OpenAIRE

    Wolff, Eric W.

    2014-01-01

    Ice could play a role in identifying and defining the Anthropocene. The recurrence of northern hemisphere glaciation and the stability of the Greenland Ice Sheet are both potentially vulnerable to human impact on the environment. However, only a very long hiatus in either would be unusual in the context of the Quaternary Period, requiring the definition of a geological boundary. Human influence can clearly be discerned in several ice-core measurements. These include a sharp boundary in radioa...

  5. Ice sheet hydrology - a review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansson, Peter; Naeslund, Jens-Ove [Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm Univ., Stockholm (Sweden); Rodhe, Lars [Geological Survey of Sweden, Uppsala (Sweden)

    2007-03-15

    This report summarizes the theoretical knowledge on water flow in and beneath glaciers and ice sheets and how these theories are applied in models to simulate the hydrology of ice sheets. The purpose is to present the state of knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, identify the gaps in our understanding of ice sheet hydrology. Many general concepts in hydrology and hydraulics are applicable to water flow in glaciers. However, the unique situation of having the liquid phase flowing in conduits of the solid phase of the same material, water, is not a commonly occurring phenomena. This situation means that the heat exchange between the phases and the resulting phase changes also have to be accounted for in the analysis. The fact that the solidus in the pressure-temperature dependent phase diagram of water has a negative slope provides further complications. Ice can thus melt or freeze from both temperature and pressure variations or variations in both. In order to provide details of the current understanding of water flow in conjunction with deforming ice and to provide understanding for the development of ideas and models, emphasis has been put on the mathematical treatments, which are reproduced in detail. Qualitative results corroborating theory or, perhaps more often, questioning the simplifications made in theory, are also given. The overarching problem with our knowledge of glacier hydrology is the gap between the local theories of processes and the general flow of water in glaciers and ice sheets. Water is often channelized in non-stationary conduits through the ice, features which due to their minute size relative to the size of glaciers and ice sheets are difficult to incorporate in spatially larger models. Since the dynamic response of ice sheets to global warming is becoming a key issue in, e.g. sea-level change studies, the problems of the coupling between the hydrology of an ice sheet and its dynamics is steadily gaining interest. New work is emerging

  6. Ice sheet hydrology - a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report summarizes the theoretical knowledge on water flow in and beneath glaciers and ice sheets and how these theories are applied in models to simulate the hydrology of ice sheets. The purpose is to present the state of knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, identify the gaps in our understanding of ice sheet hydrology. Many general concepts in hydrology and hydraulics are applicable to water flow in glaciers. However, the unique situation of having the liquid phase flowing in conduits of the solid phase of the same material, water, is not a commonly occurring phenomena. This situation means that the heat exchange between the phases and the resulting phase changes also have to be accounted for in the analysis. The fact that the solidus in the pressure-temperature dependent phase diagram of water has a negative slope provides further complications. Ice can thus melt or freeze from both temperature and pressure variations or variations in both. In order to provide details of the current understanding of water flow in conjunction with deforming ice and to provide understanding for the development of ideas and models, emphasis has been put on the mathematical treatments, which are reproduced in detail. Qualitative results corroborating theory or, perhaps more often, questioning the simplifications made in theory, are also given. The overarching problem with our knowledge of glacier hydrology is the gap between the local theories of processes and the general flow of water in glaciers and ice sheets. Water is often channelized in non-stationary conduits through the ice, features which due to their minute size relative to the size of glaciers and ice sheets are difficult to incorporate in spatially larger models. Since the dynamic response of ice sheets to global warming is becoming a key issue in, e.g. sea-level change studies, the problems of the coupling between the hydrology of an ice sheet and its dynamics is steadily gaining interest. New work is emerging

  7. Feedbacks between ice and ocean dynamics at the West Antarctic Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in future global warming scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goeller, Sebastian; Timmermann, Ralph

    2016-04-01

    The ice flow at the margins of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is moderated by large ice shelves. Their buttressing effect substantially controls the mass balance of the WAIS and thus its contribution to sea level rise. The stability of these ice shelves results from the balance of mass gain by accumulation and ice flow from the adjacent ice sheet and mass loss by calving and basal melting due to the ocean heat flux. Recent results of ocean circulation models indicate that warm circumpolar water of the Southern Ocean may override the submarine slope front of the Antarctic Continent and boost basal ice shelf melting. In particular, ocean simulations for several of the IPCC's future climate scenarios demonstrate the redirection of a warm coastal current into the Filchner Trough and underneath the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf within the next decades. In this study, we couple the finite elements ocean circulation model FESOM and the three-dimensional thermomechanical ice flow model RIMBAY to investigate the complex interactions between ocean and ice dynamics at the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. We focus on the impact of a changing ice shelf cavity on ocean dynamics as well as the feedback of the resulting sub-shelf melting rates on the ice shelf geometry and implications for the dynamics of the adjacent marine-based Westantarctic Ice Sheet. Our simulations reveal the high sensitivity of grounding line migration to ice-ocean interactions within the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf and emphasize the importance of coupled model studies for realistic assessments of the Antarctic mass balance in future global warming scenarios.

  8. Contributions of GPS occultations to Antarctica ice sheet mass balance studies

    OpenAIRE

    S. J. Ge; Shum, C.K.; Jens Wickert

    2002-01-01

    Antarctica is the coldest, stormiest and the most remote continent on Earth. Nearly 75% of the world's fresh water is trapped in the Antarctic ice sheets, which could significantly raise the global sea level if the ice sheets would melt. The continental ice sheet mass balance budget remains one of the largest uncertainties in the understanding of the causes of global sea level rise. Advanced gravity mapping satellite missions, such as CHAMP, GRACE and GOCE, are anticipated to provide signi...

  9. A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Andrew; Ivins, Erik R.; Geruo, A.; Barletta, Valentia R.; Bentley, Mike J.; Bettadpur, Srinivas; Briggs, Kate H.; Bromwich, David H.; Forsberg, Rene; Galin, Natalia; Horwath, Martin; Jacobs, Stan; Joughin, Ian; King, Matt A.; Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Li, Jilu; Ligtenberg, Stefan R. M.; Luckman, Adrian; Luthcke, Scott B.; McMillan, Malcolm; Meister, Rakia; Milne, Glenn; Mouginot, Jeremie; Muir, Alan; Nicolas,Julien P.; Paden, John; Payne, Antony J.; Pritchard, Hamish; Rignot, Eric; Rott, Helmut; Sorensen, Louise Sandberg; Scambos, Ted A.; Yi, Dohngui; Zwally, H. Jay

    2012-01-01

    We combined an ensemble of satellite altimetry, interferometry, and gravimetry data sets using common geographical regions, time intervals, and models of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment to estimate the mass balance of Earth's polar ice sheets. We find that there is good agreement between different satellite methods-especially in Greenland and West Antarctica-and that combining satellite data sets leads to greater certainty. Between 1992 and 2011, the ice sheets of Greenland, East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by -142 plus or minus 49, +14 plus or minus 43, -65 plus or minus 26, and -20 plus or minus 14 gigatonnes year(sup -1), respectively. Since 1992, the polar ice sheets have contributed, on average, 0.59 plus or minus 0.20 millimeter year(sup -1) to the rate of global sea-level rise.

  10. Milankovitch solar rdiation variations and ice age ice sheet sizes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The fluctuations in the size of ice age ice sheets are caclulated using glacier mechanics and the Milankovitch solar radiation variations. The calculations are greatly simplified by considering only two-dimensional ice sheets with profiles that would be appropriate if ice obeyed the flow law of a perfectly plastic solid. The solar radiation variations seem to be large enough to account for ice ages. (author)

  11. Greenland Ice Sheet Retreat Since the Little Ice Age

    OpenAIRE

    Beitch, Marci Jillian

    2014-01-01

    Late 20th century and 21st century satellite imagery of the perimeter of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) provide high resolution observations of the ice sheet margins. Examining changes in ice margin positions over time yield measurements of GrIS area change and rates of margin retreat. However, longer records of ice sheet margin change are needed to establish more accurate predictions of the ice sheet's future response to global conditions. In this study, the trimzone, the area of deglaciated...

  12. Subglacial hydrology indicates a major shift in dynamics of the West Antarctic Ross Ice Streams within the next two centuries

    OpenAIRE

    Goeller, S.; V. Helm; Thoma, M; Grosfeld, K.

    2015-01-01

    The mass export of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is dominated by fast flowing ice streams. Understanding their dynamics is a key to estimate the future integrity of the WAIS and its contributions to global sea level rise. This study focuses on the Ross Ice Streams (RIS) at the Siple Coast. In this sector, observations reveal a high variability of ice stream pathways and velocities which is assumed to be driven by subglacial hydrology...

  13. Comparing ice discharge through West Antarctic Gateways: Weddell vs. Amundsen Sea warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, M. A.; Levermann, A.; Winkelmann, R.

    2015-03-01

    Future changes in Antarctic ice discharge will be largely controlled by the fate of the floating ice shelves, which exert a back-stress onto Antarctica's marine outlet glaciers. Ice loss in response to warming of the Amundsen Sea has been observed and investigated as a potential trigger for the marine ice-sheet instability. Recent observations and simulations suggest that the Amundsen Sea Sector might already be unstable which would have strong implications for global sea-level rise. At the same time, regional ocean projections show much stronger warm-water intrusion into ice-shelf cavities in the Weddell Sea compared to the observed Amundsen warming. Here we present results of numerical ice sheet modelling with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) which show that idealized, step-function type ocean warming in the Weddell Sea leads to more immediate ice discharge with a higher sensitivity to small warming levels than the same warming in the Amundsen Sea. This is consistent with the specific combination of bedrock and ice topography in the Weddell Sea Sector which results in an ice sheet close to floatation. In response to even slight ocean warming, ice loss increases rapidly, peaks and declines within one century. While the cumulative ice loss in the Amundsen Sea Sector is of similar magnitude after five centuries of continued warming, ice loss increases at a slower pace and only for significantly higher warming levels. Although there is more marine ice stored above sea level in close vicinity of the grounding line compared to the Weddell Sea Sector, the ice sheet is farther from floatation and the grounding line initially retreats more slowly.

  14. Comparing ice discharge through West Antarctic Gateways: Weddell vs. Amundsen Sea warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Martin

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Future changes in Antarctic ice discharge will be largely controlled by the fate of the floating ice shelves, which exert a back-stress onto Antarctica's marine outlet glaciers. Ice loss in response to warming of the Amundsen Sea has been observed and investigated as a potential trigger for the marine ice-sheet instability. Recent observations and simulations suggest that the Amundsen Sea Sector might already be unstable which would have strong implications for global sea-level rise. At the same time, regional ocean projections show much stronger warm-water intrusion into ice-shelf cavities in the Weddell Sea compared to the observed Amundsen warming. Here we present results of numerical ice sheet modelling with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM which show that idealized, step-function type ocean warming in the Weddell Sea leads to more immediate ice discharge with a higher sensitivity to small warming levels than the same warming in the Amundsen Sea. This is consistent with the specific combination of bedrock and ice topography in the Weddell Sea Sector which results in an ice sheet close to floatation. In response to even slight ocean warming, ice loss increases rapidly, peaks and declines within one century. While the cumulative ice loss in the Amundsen Sea Sector is of similar magnitude after five centuries of continued warming, ice loss increases at a slower pace and only for significantly higher warming levels. Although there is more marine ice stored above sea level in close vicinity of the grounding line compared to the Weddell Sea Sector, the ice sheet is farther from floatation and the grounding line initially retreats more slowly.

  15. Greenland Radar Ice Sheet Thickness Measurements

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Two 150-MHz coherent radar depth sounders were developed and flown over the Greenland ice sheet to obtain ice thickness measurements in support of PARCA...

  16. The Influence of Platelet Ice and Snow on Antarctic Landfast Sea Ice

    OpenAIRE

    Hoppmann, Mario; Nicolaus, Marcel

    2012-01-01

    Sea ice fastened to coasts, icebergs and ice shelves is of crucial importance for climate- and ecosystems. Near Antarctic ice shelves, this land-fast sea ice exhibits two unique characteristics: a significant fraction of incorporated ice platelets and a thick snow cover, leading to surface flooding and snow-ice formation. In order to investigate the spatial and temporal variability of sea-ice and snow thicknesses, we have initiated a regular observation program on the land-fast sea ice of ...

  17. What Darkens the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    OpenAIRE

    Tedesco, M.; Doherty, S; Warren, S; Tranter, M.; J. Stroeve; Fettweis, Xavier; Alexander, P.

    2015-01-01

    Most of the massive ice sheet that covers roughly four fifths of Greenland melts at the surface in summer. As long as the ice sheet regains its mass in the winter, this is not catastrophic. However, if the ice sheet melted entirely, sea levels would rise by more than 7 meters, with obvious and severe consequences for human civilization. Not surprisingly, scientists are working hard to determine if and when the ice sheet will transition (or if it has already transitioned) from a stable sta...

  18. A Comparative Study of Antarctic Arctic and Himalayan Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. C. Pathak

    1989-07-01

    Full Text Available Arctic, Antarctic and inaccessible lofty regions of Himalayas,which are geographically diverse areas and have been a constant source of inspiration, envisages a challenging field of study 'by early adventurers and scientists of the world. Characteristics of ice obtained at Arctic and Antarctic do not possess similar properties. Even thesalient properties of snow and ice of western and central Himalayas vary due to its differing free water content. A study has been carriedout based on recent Antarctic Expedition by Indian scientists and the data gathered along litha-tectonic regions of Himalayas and their characteristics have been compared, wkich brings out stratigraphic and metamorphic characteristics of the ice and snow. In the present paper,an analysis of the ice and snow properties of Arctic, Antarctic and Himalayan regions has been presented.

  19. Getting around Antarctica: new high-resolution mappings of the grounded and freely-floating boundaries of the Antarctic ice sheet created for the International Polar Year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bindschadler

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The boundary of grounded ice and the location of ice transitioning to a freely floating state are mapped at 15-m resolution around the entire continent of Antarctica. These data products are produced by participants of the International Polar Year project ASAID using customized software combining Landsat-7 imagery and ICESat laser altimetry. The grounded ice boundary is 53 610 km long; 74% of it abuts to floating ice shelves or outlet glaciers, 19% is adjacent to open or sea-ice covered ocean, and 7% of the boundary are land terminations with bare rock. Elevations along each line are selected from 6 candidate digital elevation models: two created from the input ICESat laser altimetry and Landsat data, two from stereo satellite imagery, and two from compilations of primarily radar altimetry. Elevation selection and an assignment of confidence in the elevation value are based on agreement with ICESat elevation values and shape of the surface inferred from the Landsat imagery. Elevations along the freely-floating boundary (called the hydrostatic line are converted to ice thicknesses by applying a firn-correction factor and a flotation criterion. The relationship between the seaward offset of the hydrostatic line from the grounding line only weakly matches a prediction based on beam theory. Airborne data are used to validate the technique of grounding line mapping, elevation selection and ice thickness derivation. The mapped products along with the customized software to generate them and a variety of intermediate products are available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

  20. Holocene deceleration of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGregor, Joseph A; Colgan, William T; Fahnestock, Mark A; Morlighem, Mathieu; Catania, Ginny A; Paden, John D; Gogineni, S Prasad

    2016-02-01

    Recent peripheral thinning of the Greenland Ice Sheet is partly offset by interior thickening and is overprinted on its poorly constrained Holocene evolution. On the basis of the ice sheet's radiostratigraphy, ice flow in its interior is slower now than the average speed over the past nine millennia. Generally higher Holocene accumulation rates relative to modern estimates can only partially explain this millennial-scale deceleration. The ice sheet's dynamic response to the decreasing proportion of softer ice from the last glacial period and the deglacial collapse of the ice bridge across Nares Strait also contributed to this pattern. Thus, recent interior thickening of the Greenland Ice Sheet is partly an ongoing dynamic response to the last deglaciation that is large enough to affect interpretation of its mass balance from altimetry. PMID:26912699

  1. Discussing Progress in Understanding Ice Sheet-Ocean Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herraiz Borreguero, Laura; Mottram, Ruth; Cvijanovic, Ivana

    2010-11-01

    Advanced Climate Dynamics Course 2010: Ice Sheet-Ocean Interactions; Lyngen, Norway, 8-19 June 2010; Sea level rise is one of many expected consequences of climate change, with accompanying complex social and economic challenges. Major uncertainties in sea level rise projections relate to the response of ice sheets to sea level rise and the key role that interactions with the ocean may play. Recognizing that probably no comprehensive curriculum currently exists at any single university that covers this novel and interdisciplinary subject, the Advanced Climate Dynamics Courses (ACDC) team brought together a group of 40 international students, postdocs, and lecturers from diverse backgrounds to provide an overview and discussion of state-of-the-art research into ocean-ice sheet interactions and to propose research priorities for the next decade. Among the key issues addressed were small-scale processes near the Antarctic ice shelves and Greenland outlet glaciers. These are fast changing components in the climate system, often related to large-scale forcings (atmospheric teleconnections and oceanic circulation). Progress in understanding and modeling is hampered by the range of scales involved, the lack of observations, and the difficulties in constraining, initializing, and providing adequate boundary conditions for ice sheet and ocean models.

  2. Testing of SIR (a transformable robotic submarine) in Lake Tahoe for future deployment at West Antarctic Ice Sheet grounding lines of Siple Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, R. D.; Scherer, R. P.; Griffiths, I.; Taylor, L.; Winans, J.; Mankoff, K. D.

    2011-12-01

    A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) has been custom-designed and built by DOER Marine to meet scientific requirements for exploring subglacial water cavities. This sub-ice rover (SIR) will explore and quantitatively document the grounding zone areas of the Ross Ice Shelf cavity using a 3km-long umbilical tether by deployment through an 800m-long ice borehole in a torpedo shape, which is also its default mode if operational failure occurs. Once in the ocean cavity it transforms via a diamond-shaped geometry into a rectangular form when all of its instruments come alive in its flight mode. Instrumentation includes 4 cameras (one forward-looking HD), a vertical scanning sonar (long-range imaging for spatial orientation and navigation), Doppler current meter (determine water current velocities), multi-beam sonar (image and swath map bottom topography), sub-bottom profiler (profile sub-sea-floor sediment for geological history), CTD (determine salinity, temperature and depth), DO meter (determine dissolved oxygen content in water), transmissometer (determine suspended particulate concentrations in water), laser particle-size analyzer (determine sizes of particles in water), triple laser-beams (determine size and volume of objects), thermistor probe (measure in situ temperatures of ice and sediment), shear vane probe (determine in situ strength of sediment), manipulator arm (deploy instrumentation packages, collect samples), shallow ice corer (collect ice samples and glacial debris), water sampler (determine sea water/freshwater composition, calibrate real-time sensors, sample microbes), shallow sediment corer (sample sea floor, in-ice and subglacial sediment for stratigraphy, facies, particle size, composition, structure, fabric, microbes). A sophisticated array of data handling, storing and displaying will allow real-time observations and environmental assessments to be made. This robotic submarine and other instruments will be tested in Lake Tahoe in September, 2011 and

  3. The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, A.; Ivins, E. R.

    2015-12-01

    for the second phase of IMBIE, including the project organisation, the work programme and schedule, the main science goals, and its current status, and reviews the recent and historical contributions that the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets have made to global sea level rise.

  4. Antarctic sea ice: Its development and basic properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The author reports investigations on sea ice properties carried out during a number of expeditions into the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. The results provide important baseline data, against which possible changes in the Antarctic sea ice cover as induced by climatic changes can be compared. This paper concentrates on results dealing with the textural properties and the ice thickness distributions of Antarctic sea ice. In addition, the author looks at the contribution of meteoric ice (snow ice) to the sea ice cover by means of δ18O measurements. While changes in extent and thickness are to be expected as a result of possible climatic warming, they propose that the amount of snow ice will serve as an additional indicator of such changes

  5. Deep Radiostratigraphy of the East Antarctic Plateau: Connecting the Dome C and Vostok Ice Core Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavitte, Marie G. P.; Blankenship, Donald D.; Young, Duncan A.; Schroeder, Dustin M.; Parrenin, Frederic; Lemeur, Emmanuel; Macgregor, Joseph A.; Siegert, Martin J.

    2016-01-01

    Several airborne radar-sounding surveys are used to trace internal reflections around the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica Dome C and Vostok ice core sites. Thirteen reflections, spanning the last two glacial cycles, are traced within 200 km of Dome C, a promising region for million-year-old ice, using the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics High-Capacity Radar Sounder. This provides a dated stratigraphy to 2318 m depth at Dome C. Reflection age uncertainties are calculated from the radar range precision and signal-to-noise ratio of the internal reflections. The radar stratigraphy matches well with the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS) radar stratigraphy obtained independently. We show that radar sounding enables the extension of ice core ages through the ice sheet with an additional radar-related age uncertainty of approximately 1/3-1/2 that of the ice cores. Reflections are extended along the Byrd-Totten Glacier divide, using University of Texas/Technical University of Denmark and MCoRDS surveys. However, core-to-core connection is impeded by pervasive aeolian terranes, and Lake Vostok's influence on reflection geometry. Poor radar connection of the two ice cores is attributed to these effects and suboptimal survey design in affected areas. We demonstrate that, while ice sheet internal radar reflections are generally isochronal and can be mapped over large distances, careful survey planning is necessary to extend ice core chronologies to distant regions of the East Antarctic ice sheet.

  6. The state of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

    compaction on ice sheet scales. The modeling objectives are multiple and aim at estimating the contribution from the firn to the observed volume change of the GrIS and to the diffusion of stable water isotopes. The firn modeling then provides crucial information on total mass balance of the GrIS and the...... parameterized by temperature and accumulation alone, as assumed previous studies. Ice-sheet model initialization is necessary to constrain projections of future sea-level rise and assess the present state of the GrIS. In this thesis, the initialization of the GrIS is investigated through ensemble studies of...... measures, such as the total ice-sheet volume, do not capture the full aspect of the present day state of the GrIS. The ensemble of ice-sheet initializations is then used to investigate how future projections of ice sheet evolution depend on the initialization. The further projections show a surprising...

  7. Ice sheet topography by satellite altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, R.L.; Campbell, W.J.; Ramseier, R.O.; Stanley, H.R.; Zwally, H.J.

    1978-01-01

    The surface elevation of the southern Greenland ice sheet and surface features of the ice flow are obtained from the radar altimeter on the GEOS 3 satellite. The achieved accuracy in surface elevation is ???2 m. As changes in surface elevation are indicative of changes in ice volume, the mass balance of the present ice sheets could be determined by repetitive mapping of the surface elevation and the surface could be monitored to detect surging or significant changes in ice flow. ?? 1978 Nature Publishing Group.

  8. Past ice-sheet behaviour: retreat scenarios and changing controls in the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halberstadt, Anna Ruth W.; Simkins, Lauren M.; Greenwood, Sarah L.; Anderson, John B.

    2016-05-01

    Studying the history of ice-sheet behaviour in the Ross Sea, Antarctica's largest drainage basin can improve our understanding of patterns and controls on marine-based ice-sheet dynamics and provide constraints for numerical ice-sheet models. Newly collected high-resolution multibeam bathymetry data, combined with two decades of legacy multibeam and seismic data, are used to map glacial landforms and reconstruct palaeo ice-sheet drainage. During the Last Glacial Maximum, grounded ice reached the continental shelf edge in the eastern but not western Ross Sea. Recessional geomorphic features in the western Ross Sea indicate virtually continuous back-stepping of the ice-sheet grounding line. In the eastern Ross Sea, well-preserved linear features and a lack of small-scale recessional landforms signify rapid lift-off of grounded ice from the bed. Physiography exerted a first-order control on regional ice behaviour, while sea floor geology played an important subsidiary role. Previously published deglacial scenarios for Ross Sea are based on low-spatial-resolution marine data or terrestrial observations; however, this study uses high-resolution basin-wide geomorphology to constrain grounding-line retreat on the continental shelf. Our analysis of retreat patterns suggests that (1) retreat from the western Ross Sea was complex due to strong physiographic controls on ice-sheet drainage; (2) retreat was asynchronous across the Ross Sea and between troughs; (3) the eastern Ross Sea largely deglaciated prior to the western Ross Sea following the formation of a large grounding-line embayment over Whales Deep; and (4) our glacial geomorphic reconstruction converges with recent numerical models that call for significant and complex East Antarctic ice sheet and West Antarctic ice sheet contributions to the ice flow in the Ross Sea.

  9. MAGIC-DML: Mapping/Measuring/Modeling Antarctic Geomorphology & Ice Change in Dronning Maud Land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogozhina, Irina; Bernales, Jorge; Newall, Jennifer; Stroeven, Arjen; Harbor, Jonathan; Glasser, Neil; Fredin, Ola; Fabel, Derek; Hättestrand, Class; Lifton, Nat

    2016-04-01

    Reconstructing and predicting the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate change is one of the major challenges facing the Earth Science community. There are critical gaps in our knowledge of past changes in ice elevation and extent in many regions of East Antarctica, including a large area of Dronning Maud Land. An international Swedish-UK-US-Norwegian-German project MAGIC-DML aims to reconstruct the timing and pattern of ice surface elevation (thus ice sheet volume) fluctuations since the mid-Pliocene warm period on the Dronning Maud Land margin of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. A combination of remotely sensed geomorphological mapping, field investigations, surface exposure dating and numerical modelling are being used in an iterative manner to produce a comprehensive reconstruction of the glacial history of Dronning Maud Land. Here we present the results from the first phase of this project, which involves high-resolution numerical simulations of the past glacial geometries and mapping of the field area using historic and recent aerial imagery together with a range of satellite acquired data.

  10. Analogue modelling of the influence of ice shelf collapse on the flow of ice sheets grounded below sea-level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corti, Giacomo; Zeoli, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    The sudden breakup of ice shelves is expected to result in significant acceleration of inland glaciers, a process related to the removal of the buttressing effect exerted by the ice shelf on the tributary glaciers. This effect has been tested in previous analogue models, which however applied to ice sheets grounded above sea level (e.g., East Antarctic Ice Sheet; Antarctic Peninsula and the Larsen Ice Shelf). In this work we expand these previous results by performing small-scale laboratory models that analyse the influence of ice shelf collapse on the flow of ice streams draining an ice sheet grounded below sea level (e.g., the West Antarctic Ice Sheet). The analogue models, with dimensions (width, length, thickness) of 120x70x1.5cm were performed at the Tectonic Modelling Laboratory of CNR-IGG of Florence, Italy, by using Polydimethilsyloxane (PDMS) as analogue for the flowing ice. This transparent, Newtonian silicone has been shown to well approximate the rheology of natural ice. The silicone was allowed to flow into a water reservoir simulating natural conditions in which ice streams flow into the sea, terminating in extensive ice shelves which act as a buttress for their glaciers and slow their flow. The geometric scaling ratio was 10(-5), such that 1cm in the models simulated 1km in nature; velocity of PDMS (a few mm per hour) simulated natural velocities of 100-1000 m/year. Instability of glacier flow was induced by manually removing a basal silicone platform (floating on water) exerting backstresses to the flowing analogue glacier: the simple set-up adopted in the experiments isolates the effect of the removal of the buttressing effect that the floating platform exerts on the flowing glaciers, thus offering insights into the influence of this parameter on the flow perturbations resulting from a collapse event. The experimental results showed a significant increase in glacier velocity close to its outlet following ice shelf breakup, a process similar to what

  11. INVESTIGATION ON MASS CHANGE OF ICE SHEET IN ANTARCTIC FROM GRACE TIME-VARIABLE GRAVITY DATA%基于GRACE时变重力场反演南极冰盖质量变化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李军海; 刘焕玲; 文汉江; 朱广彬; 方爱平

    2011-01-01

    利用UTCSR发布的GRACE Level-2 RL04版本2003-01-2008-08月的重力场模型估计南极冰盖质量变化.由于GRACE提供的C20项不准确,利用SLR测得的C20项进行替换.对于经度方向上出现的条纹状信号,采用去相关滤波处理.选择去掉其中某一个月的位模型重新反演南极冰盖质量变化,发现相同区域的质量变化率并没有发生很大的变化.联合得到的位模型、滤波技术以及ICE-5G冰后回弹模型观测到的西南极Amundsen地区和南极半岛的冰盖质量消融现象,其等效水高变化分别为-5.28±0.95 cm/a、-1.82±0.77 cm/a;而Ronne冰架以及东部Enderby地区冰盖质量在增加,分别为1.42±0.69cm/a、1.43±0.72 cm/a.与已有研究结果比较发现:西南极冰盖质量在加速融化,而Ronne冰架以及东部Enderby地区冰盖等效水高变化率没有发生大的变化.%The rates of Antarctic ice mass change have been estimated by use of the gravity solutions from GRACE level-2 RL04 for the period of January 2003 to August 2008 released by UTCSR. Because C20 of GRACE is not accurate enough, C20 from Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) is adopted instead. The decorrelation filter technique is used for the stripe shape signal presenting in the longitude direction. Antarctic ice mass change rates are investigated again when the gravity in some one month has been chosen to get rid of, and the results are that the rates of Antarctic ice mass do not change a lot in the same area. Gravity model, filtering technique and ICE-5G postglacial rebound model are combined to observe the ice loss in the west Amundsen Sea Embayment and the northern Antarctic Peninsula, the rates are -5.28 ±0.95 cm/a and -1.82 ±0.77cm/a respectively. Whereas ice mass rates in Southern Ronne Ice Shelf and Enderby land in east Antarctic are positive, and the rates are 1.42 ± 0.69 cm/a and 1.43 ± 0.72 cm/a respectively. Compared with the existing research results, the mass in the west Amundsen Sea

  12. New eyes in the sky measure glaciers and ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kieffer, Hugh; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Barry, Roger G.; Bindschadler, Robert; Bishop, Michael P.; MacKinnon, David; Ohmura, Atsumu; Raup, Bruce; Antoninetti, Massimo; Bamber, Jonathan; Braun, Mattias; Brown, Ian; Cohen, Denis; Copland, Luke; DueHagen, Jon; Engeset, Rune V.; Fitzharris, Blair; Fujita, Koji; Haeberli, Wilfried; Hagen, Jon Oue; Hall, Dorothy; Hoelzle, Martin; Johansson, Maria; Kaab, Andi; Koenig, Max; Konovalov, Vladimir; Maisch, Max; Paul, Frank; Rau, Frank; Reeh, Niels; Rignot, Eric; Rivera, Andres; De Ruyter de Wildt, Martiyn; Scambos, Ted; Schaper, Jesko; Scharfen, Greg; Shroder, Jack; Solomina, Olga; Thompson, David; van der Veen, Kees; Wohlleben, Trudy; Young, Neal

    2000-01-01

    The mapping and measurement of glaciers and their changes are useful in predicting sea-level and regional water supply, studying hazards and climate change [Haeberli et al., 1998],and in the hydropower industry Existing inventories cover only about 67,000 of the world's estimated 160,000 glaciers and are based on data collected over 50 years or more [e.g.,Haeberli et al., 1998]. The data available have proven that small ice bodies are disappearing at an accelerating rate and that the Antarctic ice sheet and its fringing ice shelves are undergoing unexpected, rapid change. According to many glaciologists, much larger fluctuations in land ice—with vast implications for society—are possible in the coming decades and centuries due to natural and anthropogenic climate change [Oppenheimer, 1998].

  13. Geophysical constraints on the dynamics and retreat of the Barents Sea ice sheet as a paleobenchmark for models of marine ice sheet deglaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, Henry; Andreassen, Karin; Bjarnadóttir, Lilja R.; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Winsborrow, Monica C. M.; Noormets, Riko; Polyak, Leonid; Auriac, Amandine; Hubbard, Alun

    2015-12-01

    Our understanding of processes relating to the retreat of marine-based ice sheets, such as the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and tidewater-terminating glaciers in Greenland today, is still limited. In particular, the role of ice stream instabilities and oceanographic dynamics in driving their collapse are poorly constrained beyond observational timescales. Over numerous glaciations during the Quaternary, a marine-based ice sheet has waxed and waned over the Barents Sea continental shelf, characterized by a number of ice streams that extended to the shelf edge and subsequently collapsed during periods of climate and ocean warming. Increasing availability of offshore and onshore geophysical data over the last decade has significantly enhanced our knowledge of the pattern and timing of retreat of this Barents Sea ice sheet (BSIS), particularly so from its Late Weichselian maximum extent. We present a review of existing geophysical constraints that detail the dynamic evolution of the BSIS through the last glacial cycle, providing numerical modelers and geophysical workers with a benchmark data set with which to tune ice sheet reconstructions and explore ice sheet sensitivities and drivers of dynamic behavior. Although constraining data are generally spatially sporadic across the Barents and Kara Seas, behaviors such as ice sheet thinning, major ice divide migration, asynchronous and rapid flow switching, and ice stream collapses are all evident. Further investigation into the drivers and mechanisms of such dynamics within this unique paleo-analogue is seen as a key priority for advancing our understanding of marine-based ice sheet deglaciations, both in the deep past and in the short-term future.

  14. Geophysical constraints on the dynamics and retreat of the Barents Sea ice sheet as a palaeobenchmark for models of marine icesheet deglaciation

    OpenAIRE

    Patton, Henry; Andreassen, Karin; Bjarnadóttir, Lilja Rún; Dowdeswell, J.A.; Winsborrow, Monica; Noormets, Riko; Polyak, Leonid; Auriac, A.; Hubbard, Alun Lloyd

    2015-01-01

    Our understanding of processes relating to the retreat of marine-based ice sheets, such as the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and tidewater-terminating glaciers in Greenland today, is still limited. In particular, the role of ice-stream instabilities and oceanographic dynamics in driving their collapse are poorly constrained beyond observational timescales. Over numerous glaciations during the Quaternary, a marine-based ice sheet has waxed and waned over the Barents Sea continental s...

  15. Antarctic ice-rafted detritus (IRD) in the South Atlantic: Indicators of iceshelf dynamics or ocean surface conditions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Simon H.H.; Hodell, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    Ocean sediment core TN057-13PC4/ODP1094, from the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, contains elevated lithogenic material in sections representing the last glacial period compared to the Holocene. This ice-rafted detritus is mainly comprised of volcanic glass and ash, but has a significant input of what was previously interpreted as quartz during peak intervals (Kanfoush et al., 2000, 2002). Our analysis of these clear mineral grains indicates that most are plagioclase, and that South Sandwich Islands is the predominant source, similar to that inferred for the volcanic glass (Nielsen et al., in review). In addition, quartz and feldspar with possible Antarctic origin occur in conjunction with postulated episodes of Antarctic deglaciation. We conclude that while sea ice was the dominant ice rafting agent in the Polar Frontal Zone of the South Atlantic during the last glacial period, the Holocene IRD variability may reflect Antarctic ice sheet dynamics.

  16. A multivariate analysis of Antarctic sea ice since 1979

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Magalhaes Neto, Newton de; Evangelista, Heitor [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Tanizaki-Fonseca, Kenny [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Dept. Analise Geoambiental, Inst. de Geociencias, Niteroi, RJ (Brazil); Penello Meirelles, Margareth Simoes [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)/Geomatica, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Garcia, Carlos Eiras [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Laboratorio de Oceanografia Fisica, Rio Grande, RS (Brazil)

    2012-03-15

    Recent satellite observations have shown an increase in the total extent of Antarctic sea ice, during periods when the atmosphere and oceans tend to be warmer surrounding a significant part of the continent. Despite an increase in total sea ice, regional analyses depict negative trends in the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Sea and positive trends in the Ross Sea. Although several climate parameters are believed to drive the formation of Antarctic sea ice and the local atmosphere, a descriptive mechanism that could trigger such differences in trends are still unknown. In this study we employed a multivariate analysis in order to identify the response of the Antarctic sea ice with respect to commonly utilized climate forcings/parameters, as follows: (1) The global air surface temperature, (2) The global sea surface temperature, (3) The atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration, (4) The South Annular Mode, (5) The Nino 3, (6) The Nino (3 + 4, 7) The Nino 4, (8) The Southern Oscillation Index, (9) The Multivariate ENSO Index, (10) the Total Solar Irradiance, (11) The maximum O{sub 3} depletion area, and (12) The minimum O{sub 3} concentration over Antarctica. Our results indicate that western Antarctic sea ice is simultaneously impacted by several parameters; and that the minimum, mean, and maximum sea ice extent may respond to a separate set of climatic/geochemical parameters. (orig.)

  17. Hydrologic Outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Hydrologic Outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet data set contains GIS point shapefiles that include 891 observed and potential hydrologic outlets of the Greenland...

  18. Mapping and Assessing Variability in the Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone, the Pack Ice and Coastal Polynyas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, Julienne; Jenouvrier, Stephanie

    2016-04-01

    Sea ice variability within the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas plays an important role for phytoplankton productivity and krill abundance. Therefore mapping their spatial extent, seasonal and interannual variability is essential for understanding how current and future changes in these biological active regions may impact the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Knowledge of the distribution of different ice types to the total Antarctic sea ice cover may also help to shed light on the factors contributing towards recent expansion of the Antarctic ice cover in some regions and contraction in others. The long-term passive microwave satellite data record provides the longest and most consistent data record for assessing different ice types. However, estimates of the amount of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and polynyas depends strongly on what sea ice algorithm is used. This study uses two popular passive microwave sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and Bootstrap to evaluate the distribution and variability in the MIZ, the consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas. Results reveal the NASA Team algorithm has on average twice the MIZ and half the consolidated pack ice area as the Bootstrap algorithm. Polynya area is also larger in the NASA Team algorithm, and the timing of maximum polynya area may differ by as much as 5 months between algorithms. These differences lead to different relationships between sea ice characteristics and biological processes, as illustrated here with the breeding success of an Antarctic seabird.

  19. Measurements of 36Cl in Antarctic meteorites and Antarctic ice using a Van de Graaff accelerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cosmic-ray produced 36Cl(tsub(1/2) = 3.0 X 105 years) has been measured in four Antarctic meteorites and one sample of Antarctic ice using a tandem Van de Graaff accelerator as an ultrasensitive mass spectrometer with the extremely low background level of 36Cl/Cl -16. Results from this ion counting technique (applied here to extraterrestrial materials for the first time) are used to support a two-stage irradiation model for the Yamato-7301and Allan Hills-76008 meteorites and to show a long terrestrial age (0.7 +- 0.1 m.y.) for Allan Hills-77002. Yamato-7304 has a terrestrial age of less than 0.1 m.y. The 36Cl content of the Antarctic ice sample from the Yamato Mountain area implies that the age of the ice cap at this site is less than one 36Cl half-life. (Auth.)

  20. On Sea Level - Ice Sheet Interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Gomez, Natalya Alissa

    2013-01-01

    This thesis focuses on the physics of static sea-level changes following variations in the distribution of grounded ice and the influence of these changes on the stability and dynamics of marine ice sheets. Gravitational, deformational and rotational effects associated with changes in grounded ice mass lead to markedly non-uniform spatial patterns of sea-level change. I outline a revised theory for computing post-glacial sea-level predictions and discuss the dominant physical effects that c...

  1. Regional Changes in the Sea Ice Cover and Ice Production in the Antarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2011-01-01

    Coastal polynyas around the Antarctic continent have been regarded as sea ice factories because of high ice production rates in these regions. The observation of a positive trend in the extent of Antarctic sea ice during the satellite era has been intriguing in light of the observed rapid decline of the ice extent in the Arctic. The results of analysis of the time series of passive microwave data indicate large regional variability with the trends being strongly positive in the Ross Sea, strongly negative in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas and close to zero in the other regions. The atmospheric circulation in the Antarctic is controlled mainly by the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the marginal ice zone around the continent shows an alternating pattern of advance and retreat suggesting the presence of a propagating wave (called Antarctic Circumpolar Wave) around the circumpolar region. The results of analysis of the passive microwave data suggest that the positive trend in the Antarctic sea ice cover could be caused primarily by enhanced ice production in the Ross Sea that may be associated with more persistent and larger coastal polynyas in the region. Over the Ross Sea shelf, analysis of sea ice drift data from 1992 to 2008 yields a positive rate-of-increase in the net ice export of about 30,000 km2 per year. For a characteristic ice thickness of 0.6 m, this yields a volume transport of about 20 km3/year, which is almost identical, within error bars, to our estimate of the trend in ice production. In addition to the possibility of changes in SAM, modeling studies have also indicated that the ozone hole may have a role in that it causes the deepening of the lows in the western Antarctic region thereby causing strong winds to occur offthe Ross-ice shelf.

  2. Models for polythermal ice sheets and glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Ian; Schoof, Christian

    2016-04-01

    The dynamics of ice-sheets and glaciers depend sensitively on their thermal structure. Many ice masses are polythermal, containing both cold ice, with temperature below the melting point, and temperate ice, with temperature at the melting point. The temperate ice is really an ice-water mixture, with water produced at grain boundaries by dissipative heating. Although the water content is typically small, it can have an important effect on ice dynamics; water content controls ice viscosity, and internal meltwater percolation affects hydrology. Locations where this may be important are in the enhanced shear layer at the base of fast-flowing outlet glaciers, and in the shear margins of ice streams. In this study, we present a simplified model to describe the temperature and water-content of polythermal ice masses, accounting for the possibility of gravity- and pressure-driven water drainage according to Darcy's law. The model is based on the principle of energy conservation and the theory of viscous compaction. Numerical solutions are described and a number of illustrative test problems presented. The model is compared with existing methods in the literature, including enthalpy gradient methods, to which it reduces under certain conditions. Based on the results of our analysis, we suggest a modified enthalpy method that allows for drainage under gravity but that can be relatively easily implemented in ice-sheet models.

  3. Geophysical evidence of a Large Igneous Province (LIP) in the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS), and its potential influence on the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, J. C.

    2010-12-01

    The WAIS flows through the volcanically active WARS. The inland rift shoulder ranges from 4-5 km elevation, (5-7 km relief, the greatest in the world); it is coincident with the Transantarctic Mountains from northern Victoria land bordering the Ross Sea, south along the west and south side of the Ross Ice Shelf to the Horlick Mountains. It forms the boundary between East and West Antarctica in this area, but diverges to the Ellsworth Mountains and forms the inland boundary of the WAIS and WARS there. Throughout the WARS shoulder to the Horlick Mountains, exposures of mostly late Cenozoic alkaline volcanic rocks are reported, as is the case in the coastal Marie Byrd Land area on the Southern Ocean aide of the WARS. The Transantarctic Mountains, continue at a much lower elevation (2000-750 m) to form the boundary between East and West Antarctica in the Filchner Ice Shelf area. Aeromagnetic and radar ice-sounding surveys over the WAIS indicated numerous high-amplitude (100->1000 nT),5-50-km width, shallow-source, magnetic anomalies over a very extensive area (>500,000 km2 ) that has been interpreted as evidence of mostly subglacial volcanic eruptions (“volcanic centers”). Behrendt et al, (2005, 2008) interpreted these anomalies as >1000 "volcanic centers" requiring high remanent normal (and at least 10% reversed) magnetizations in the present field direction. These data were interpreted to show that >80% of the anomaly sources at the bed of the WAIS, were modified by the moving ice, requiring a younger age than the WAIS (~25 Ma). Several active volcanoes have shown evidence of eruption through the WAIS and several other active volcanoes are present beneath the WAIS. Although exposed volcanoes surrounding the WAIS extend in age to ~34 Ma., Mt Erebus (Takahe (1000 volcanic, magnetic-anomaly sources are active today, subglacial volcanism may still have a significant effect on the dynamics of the WAIS. Active subglacial volcanism was interpreted from aerogeophysical

  4. Full-depth englacial vertical ice-sheet velocities measured using phase-sensitive radar

    OpenAIRE

    Kingslake, Jonathan; Hindmarsh, Richard C.A.; Aðalgeirsdóttir, Guðfinna; Conway, Howard; Corr, Hugh F.J.; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Martin, Carlos; King, Edward C.; Mulvaney, Robert; Pritchard, Hamish D.

    2014-01-01

    We describe a geophysical technique to measure englacial vertical velocities through to the beds of ice sheets without the need for borehole drilling. Using a ground-based phase-sensitive radio-echo sounder (pRES) during seven Antarctic field seasons, we measure the temporal changes in the position of englacial reflectors within ice divides up to 900 m thick on Berkner Island, Roosevelt Island, Fletcher Promontory and Adelaide Island. Recorded changes in reflector positions yield 'full-depth'...

  5. Continental Ice Sheets and the Planetary Radiation Budget

    OpenAIRE

    Oerlemans, J.

    1980-01-01

    The interaction between continental ice sheets and the planetary radiation budget is potentially important in climate-sensitivity studies. A simple ice-sheet model incorporated in an energybalance climate model provides a tool for studying this interaction in a quantitative way. Experiments in which the ice-sheet model is coupled step by step to the climate model show that ice sheets hardly affect the zonal mean radiation balance because the albedo feedback due to sea ice and snow cover is do...

  6. East Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics between 5.2 and 0 Ma from a high-resolution terrigenous particle size record, ODP Site 1165, Prydz Bay-Cooperation Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passchier, S.

    2007-01-01

    This paper discusses a 5.2-0 Ma high-resolution terrigenous particle size record recovered from a sediment drift off East Antarctica. The particle size properties of Hole 1165B are interpreted in the context of previously acquired data on a continental shelf to slope transect drilled by ODP Leg 188 in Prydz Bay and the Cooperation Sea. The new data indicate that the Lambert ice stream stayed predominantly landward of the shelf break in the early Pliocene (5.2-3.5 Ma) with periods of ice sheet recession on land. The middle Pliocene (3.5-3.1 Ma) is characterized as major ice expansion during glacials with deposition of laminated clays from meltwater plumes on the continental rise, alternating with periods of ice recession. A change in sedimentary facies and a decrease in sedimentation rates occurred at ~3.1 Ma indicating a more retreated Lambert Glacier. Between 2.5 and 1 Ma the ice stream was generally stable and had become cold-based with ice flow in a glacial trough extending to the shelf break. Three-four large pulses of coarse-grained glacigenic debris mark the record at ~1 Ma. These are interpreted as extensive calving due to decoupling of the marine terminus from its bed in response to Northern Hemisphere deglaciations and associated sea level rises.

  7. Antarctic sea ice losses drive gains in benthic carbon drawdown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, D K A

    2015-09-21

    Climate forcing of sea-ice losses from the Arctic and West Antarctic are blueing the poles. These losses are accelerating, reducing Earth's albedo and increasing heat absorption. Subarctic forest (area expansion and increased growth) and ice-shelf losses (resulting in new phytoplankton blooms which are eaten by benthos) are the only significant described negative feedbacks acting to counteract the effects of increasing CO2 on a warming planet, together accounting for uptake of ∼10(7) tonnes of carbon per year. Most sea-ice loss to date has occurred over polar continental shelves, which are richly, but patchily, colonised by benthic animals. Most polar benthos feeds on microscopic algae (phytoplankton), which has shown increased blooms coincident with sea-ice losses. Here, growth responses of Antarctic shelf benthos to sea-ice losses and phytoplankton increases were investigated. Analysis of two decades of benthic collections showed strong increases in annual production of shelf seabed carbon in West Antarctic bryozoans. These were calculated to have nearly doubled to >2x10(5) tonnes of carbon per year since the 1980s. Annual production of bryozoans is median within wider Antarctic benthos, so upscaling to include other benthos (combined study species typically constitute ∼3% benthic biomass) suggests an increased drawdown of ∼2.9x10(6) tonnes of carbon per year. This drawdown could become sequestration because polar continental shelves are typically deeper than most modern iceberg scouring, bacterial breakdown rates are slow, and benthos is easily buried. To date, most sea-ice losses have been Arctic, so, if hyperboreal benthos shows a similar increase in drawdown, polar continental shelves would represent Earth's largest negative feedback to climate change. PMID:26394097

  8. Numerical simulations of the Cordilleran ice sheet through the last glacial cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seguinot, Julien; Rogozhina, Irina; Stroeven, Arjen P.; Margold, Martin; Kleman, Johan

    2016-03-01

    After more than a century of geological research, the Cordilleran ice sheet of North America remains among the least understood in terms of its former extent, volume, and dynamics. Because of the mountainous topography on which the ice sheet formed, geological studies have often had only local or regional relevance and shown such a complexity that ice-sheet-wide spatial reconstructions of advance and retreat patterns are lacking. Here we use a numerical ice sheet model calibrated against field-based evidence to attempt a quantitative reconstruction of the Cordilleran ice sheet history through the last glacial cycle. A series of simulations is driven by time-dependent temperature offsets from six proxy records located around the globe. Although this approach reveals large variations in model response to evolving climate forcing, all simulations produce two major glaciations during marine oxygen isotope stages 4 (62.2-56.9 ka) and 2 (23.2-16.9 ka). The timing of glaciation is better reproduced using temperature reconstructions from Greenland and Antarctic ice cores than from regional oceanic sediment cores. During most of the last glacial cycle, the modelled ice cover is discontinuous and restricted to high mountain areas. However, widespread precipitation over the Skeena Mountains favours the persistence of a central ice dome throughout the glacial cycle. It acts as a nucleation centre before the Last Glacial Maximum and hosts the last remains of Cordilleran ice until the middle Holocene (6.7 ka).

  9. Sediment fluxes of an Antarctic palaeo-ice stream system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, Kelly; Larter, Robert; Smith, James; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter

    2016-04-01

    New marine-geophysical data (multibeam bathymetry, high-resolution acoustic profiles) acquired in 2014 have been integrated with heritage multichannel seismic-reflection and deep-tow boomer profiles from Anvers-Hugo Trough, western Antarctic Peninsula. From these datasets we have identified seismic facies relating to ice-stream advance and flow, ice-stream retreat, and post-glacial sedimentation processes. We identify multiple subglacial seismic units forming MSGL and other streamlined landforms at a variety of size scales. This may be indicative of multiple generations of ice-flow through the confluent ice-stream system. We also calculate the sediment volumes of a series of grounding-zone wedges (GZWs) located on the outer and mid-shelf that were produced during several stillstands in the trough as the grounded ice margin retreated through the system during deglaciation around c. 15-13 ka (from published core chronologies). Based on these volumes we consider the likely rates of subglacial sediment delivery by the Anvers Trough palaeo-ice stream and compare these to inferred flux rates from other palaeo- and modern Antarctic ice streams. In addition, we map the post-glacial glacimarine sediment package in the trough. Large mapped sediment thicknesses of this unit across the trough are consistent with high post-glacial sediment accumulation rates reported from cores acquired in the Anvers-Hugo Trough system. Previous authors have attributed this to exceptionally high primary productivity in a calving-bay re-entrant settings produced as ice retreated across the shelf on this part of the Antarctic margin.

  10. Variability of Antarctic Sea Ice 1979-1998

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Comiso, Josefino C.; Parkinson, Claire L.; Cavalieri, Donald J.; Gloersen, Per; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The principal characteristics of the variability of Antarctic sea ice cover as previously described from satellite passive-microwave observations are also evident in a systematically-calibrated and analyzed data set for 20.2 years (1979-1998). The total Antarctic sea ice extent (concentration > 15 %) increased by 13,440 +/- 4180 sq km/year (+1.18 +/- 0.37%/decade). The area of sea ice within the extent boundary increased by 16,960 +/- 3,840 sq km/year (+1.96 +/- 0.44%/decade). Regionally, the trends in extent are positive in the Weddell Sea (1.5 +/- 0.9%/decade), Pacific Ocean (2.4 +/- 1.4%/decade), and Ross (6.9 +/- 1.1 %/decade) sectors, slightly negative in the Indian Ocean (-1.5 +/- 1.8%/decade, and strongly negative in the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Seas sector (-9.5 +/- 1.5%/decade). For the entire ice pack, small ice increases occur in all seasons with the largest increase during autumn. On a regional basis, the trends differ season to season. During summer and fall, the trends are positive or near zero in all sectors except the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Seas sector. During winter and spring, the trends are negative or near zero in all sectors except the Ross Sea, which has positive trends in all seasons. Components of interannual variability with periods of about 3 to 5 years are regionally large, but tend to counterbalance each other in the total ice pack. The interannual variability of the annual mean sea-ice extent is only 1.6% overall, compared to 5% to 9% in each of five regional sectors. Analysis of the relation between regional sea ice extents and spatially-averaged surface temperatures over the ice pack gives an overall sensitivity between winter ice cover and temperature of -0.7% change in sea ice extent per K. For summer, some regional ice extents vary positively with temperature and others negatively. The observed increase in Antarctic sea ice cover is counter to the observed decreases in the Arctic. It is also qualitatively consistent with the

  11. Late Weichselian ice sheet of Northern Eurasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosswald, M. G.

    1980-01-01

    A considerable portion of Northern Eurasia, and particularly its continental shelf, was glaciated by inland ice during late Weichsel time. This was first inferred from such evidence as glacial striae, submarine troughs, sea-bed diamictons, boulder trains on adjacent land, and patterns of glacioisostatic crustal movements. Subsequently, the inference was confirmed by data on the occurrence and geographic position of late Weichselian end moraines and proglacial lacustrine deposits. The south-facing outer moraines in the northeastern Russian Plain, northern West Siberia, and on Taimyr Peninsula are underlain by sediments containing wood and peat, the radiocarbon dating of which yielded ages of 22,000 to 45,000 yr B.P. The youngest late-glacial moraines are of Holocene age: the double Markhida moraine in the lower Pechora River basin, presumably associated with "degradational" surges of the Barents Ice Dome, is underlain by sediments with wood and peat dated at 9000 to 9900 yr B.P.: this suggests that deglaciation of the Arctic continental shelf of Eurasia was not completed until after 9000 yr B.P. The reconstructed ice-front lines lead to the conclusion that the late Weichselian ice sheet of Northern Eurasia (proposed name: the Eurasian Ice Sheet) extended without interruptions from southwestern Ireland to the northeastern end of Taimyr Peninsula, a distance of 6000 km: it covered an area of 8,370,000 km 2, half of which lay on the present-day continental shelves and a quarter on lowlands that were depressed isostatically below sea level. Hence, the ice sheet was predominantly marine-based. A contour map of the ice sheet based both on the dependence of the heights of ice domes upon their radii and on factual data concerning the impact of bedrock topography upon ice relief has been constructed. The major features of the ice sheet were the British, Scandinavian, Barents, and Kara Ice Domes that had altitudes of 1.9 to 3.3 km and were separated from one another by ice

  12. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeh, N.

    1984-01-01

    Mass balance equation for glaciers; areal distribution and ice volumes; estimates of actual mass balance; loss by calving of icebergs; hydrological budget for Greenland; and temporal variations of Greenland mass balance are examined.

  13. Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Cavalieri

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978–December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17 100 ± 2300 km2 yr−1. Much of the increase, at 13 700 ± 1500 km2 yr−1, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean. One region, that of the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas, has, like the Arctic, instead experienced significant sea ice decreases, with an overall ice extent trend of −8200 ± 1200 km2 yr−1. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-yr period 1979–2010, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover as a whole experienced positive ice extent trends in every month, ranging in magnitude from a low of 9100 ± 6300 km2 yr−1 in February to a high of 24 700 ± 10 000 km2 yr−1 in May. The Ross Sea and Indian Ocean also had positive trends in each month, while the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas had negative trends in each month, and the Weddell Sea and Western Pacific Ocean had a mixture of positive and negative trends. Comparing ice-area results to ice-extent results, in each case the ice-area trend has the same sign as the ice-extent trend, but differences in the magnitudes of the two trends identify regions with overall increasing ice concentrations and others with overall decreasing ice concentrations. The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation. This is a key topic for future research.

  14. Overview of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance and Dynamics from ICESat Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay

    2010-01-01

    The primary purpose of the ICESat mission was to determine the present-day mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, identify changes that may be occurring in the surface-mass flux and ice dynamics, and estimate their contributions to global sea-level rise. Although ICESat's three lasers were planned to make continuous measurements for 3 to 5 years, the mission was re-planned to operate in 33-day campaigns 2 to 3 times each year following failure of the first laser after 36 days. Seventeen campaigns were conducted with the last one in the Fall of 2009. Mass balance maps derived from measured ice-sheet elevation changes show that the mass loss from Greenland has increased significantly to about 170 Gt/yr for 2003 to 2007 from a state of near balance in the 1990's. Increased losses (189 Gt/yr) from melting and dynamic thinning are over seven times larger'than increased gains (25 gt/yr) from precipitation. Parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet and the Antarctic Peninsula are losing mass at an increasing rate, but other parts of West Antarctica and the East Antarctic ice sheet are gaining mass at an increasing rate. Increased losses of 35 Gt/yr in Pine Island, Thwaites-Smith, and Marie-Bryd.Coast are more than balanced by gains in base of Peninsula and ice stream C, D, & E systems. From the 1992-2002 to 2003-2007 period, the overall mass balance for Antarctica changed from a loss of about 60 Gt/yr to near balance or slightly positive.

  15. Validation of the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge Basal Stress Boundary in the South Eastern Region of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, C. B.; King, K.

    2015-12-01

    The largest ice shelf in Antarctic, Ross Ice Shelf, was investigated over the years of (1970-2015). Near the basal stress boundary between the ice shelf and the West Antarctic ice sheet, ice velocity ranges from a few meters per year to several hundred meters per year in ice streams. Most of the drainage from West Antarctica into the Ross Ice Shelf flows down two major ice streams, each of which discharges more than 20 km3 of ice each year. Along with velocity changes, the warmest water below parts of the Ross Ice Shelf resides in the lowest portion of the water column because of its high salinity. Vertical mixing caused by tidal stirring can thus induce ablation by lifting the warm water into contact with the ice shelf. This process can cause melting over a period of time and eventually cause breakup of ice shelf. With changes occurring over many years a validation is needed for the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge (ASAID) basal stress boundary created in 2003. After the 2002 Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegration, nearby glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula accelerated up to eight times their original speed over the next 18 months. Similar losses of ice tongues in Greenland have caused speed-ups of two to three times the flow rates in just one year. Rapid changes occurring in regions surrounding Antarctica are causing concern in the polar science community to research changes occurring in coastal zones over time. During the research, the team completed study on the Ross Ice Shelf located on the south western coast of the Antarctic. The study included a validation of the ABSB vs. the natural basal stress boundary (NBSB) along the Ross Ice Shelf. The ASAID BSB was created in 2003 by a team of researchers headed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA GSFC), with an aim of studying coastal deviations as it pertains to the mass balance of the entire continent. The point data file was aimed at creating a replica of the

  16. Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Cavalieri

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978–December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17 100 ± 2300 km2 yr−1. Much of the increase, at 13 700 ± 1500 km2 yr−1, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean. One region, that of the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas, has (like the Arctic instead experienced significant sea ice decreases, with an overall ice extent trend of −8200 ± 1200 km2 yr−1. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-yr period 1979–2010, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover as a whole experienced positive ice extent trends in every month, ranging in magnitude from a low of 9100 ± 6300 km2 yr−1 in February to a high of 24 700 ± 10 000 km2 yr−1 in May. The Ross Sea and Indian Ocean also had positive trends in each month, while the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas had negative trends in each month, and the Weddell Sea and western Pacific Ocean had a mixture of positive and negative trends. Comparing ice-area results to ice-extent results, in each case the ice-area trend has the same sign as the ice-extent trend, but the magnitudes of the two trends differ, and in some cases these differences allow inferences about the corresponding changes in sea ice concentrations. The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation. This is a key topic for future research.

  17. A balanced water layer concept for subglacial hydrology in large-scale ice sheet models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Goeller

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available There is currently no doubt about the existence of a widespread hydrological network under the Antarctic Ice Sheet, which lubricates the ice base and thus leads to increased ice velocities. Consequently, ice models should incorporate basal hydrology to obtain meaningful results for future ice dynamics and their contribution to global sea level rise. Here, we introduce the balanced water layer concept, covering two prominent subglacial hydrological features for ice sheet modeling on a continental scale: the evolution of subglacial lakes and balance water fluxes. We couple it to the thermomechanical ice-flow model RIMBAY and apply it to a synthetic model domain. In our experiments we demonstrate the dynamic generation of subglacial lakes and their impact on the velocity field of the overlaying ice sheet, resulting in a negative ice mass balance. Furthermore, we introduce an elementary parametrization of the water flux–basal sliding coupling and reveal the predominance of the ice loss through the resulting ice streams against the stabilizing influence of less hydrologically active areas. We point out that established balance flux schemes quantify these effects only partially as their ability to store subglacial water is lacking.

  18. Balance velocities of the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joughin, I.; Fahnestock, M.; Ekholm, Simon; Kwok, R.

    1997-01-01

    We present a map of balance velocities for the Greenland ice sheet. The resolution of the underlying DEM, which was derived primarily from radar altimetery data, yields far greater detail than earlier balance velocity estimates for Greenland. The velocity contours reveal in striking detail the...

  19. Ice sheet anisotropy measured with polarimetric ice sounding radar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dall, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    For polar ice sheets, valuable stress and strain information can be deduced from crystal orientation fabrics (COF) and their prevailing c-axis alignment. Polarimetric radio echo sounding is a promising technique to measure the anisotropic electromagnetic propagation and reflection properties...

  20. First geomorphological record and glacial history of an inter-ice stream ridge on the West Antarctic continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klages, J. P.; Kuhn, G.; Hillenbrand, C.-D.; Graham, A. G. C.; Smith, J. A.; Larter, R. D.; Gohl, K.

    2013-02-01

    Inter-ice stream areas cover significant portions of Antarctica's formerly glaciated shelves, but have been largely neglected in past geological studies because of overprinting by iceberg scours. Here, we present results of the first detailed survey of an inter-ice stream ridge from the West Antarctic continental shelf. Well-preserved sub- and proglacial bedforms on the seafloor of the ridge in the eastern Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) provide new insights into the flow dynamics of this sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) during the Last Glacial cycle. Multibeam swath bathymetry and PARASOUND acoustic sub-bottom profiler data acquired across a mid-shelf bank, between the troughs of the Pine Island-Thwaites (PITPIS) and Cosgrove palaeo-ice streams (COPIS), reveal large-scale ribbed moraines, hill-hole pairs, terminal moraines, and crevasse-squeeze ridges. Together, these features form an assemblage of landforms that is entirely different from that in the adjacent ice-stream troughs, and appears to be unique in the context of previous studies of Antarctic seafloor geomorphology. From this assemblage, the history of ice flow and retreat from the inter-ice stream ridge is reconstructed. The bedforms indicate that ice flow was significantly slower on the inter-ice stream ridge than in the neighbouring troughs. While terminal moraines record at least two re-advances or stillstands of the ice sheet during deglaciation, an extensive field of crevasse-squeeze ridges indicates ice stagnation subsequent to re-advancing ice, which deposited the field of terminal moraines in the NE. The presented data suggest that the ice flow behaviour on the inter-ice stream ridge was substantially different from that in the adjacent troughs. However, newly obtained radiocarbon ages on two sediment cores recovered from the inter-ice stream ridge suggest a similar timing in the deglaciation of both areas. This information closes an important gap in the understanding of past WAIS

  1. Speedup and fracturing of George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. O. Holt

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available George VI Ice Shelf (GVIIS is located on the Antarctic Peninsula, a region where several ice shelves have undergone rapid breakup in response to atmospheric and oceanic warming. We use a combination of optical (Landsat, radar (ERS 1/2 SAR and laser altimetry (GLAS datasets to examine the response of GVIIS to environmental change and to offer an assessment on its future stability. The spatial and structural changes of GVIIS (ca. 1973 to ca. 2010 are mapped and surface velocities are calculated at different time periods (InSAR and optical feature tracking from 1989 to 2009 to document changes in the ice shelf's flow regime. Surface elevation changes are recorded between 2003 and 2008 using repeat track ICESat acquisitions. We note an increase in fracture extent and distribution at the south ice front, ice-shelf acceleration towards both the north and south ice fronts and spatially varied negative surface elevation change throughout, with greater variations observed towards the central and southern regions of the ice shelf. We propose that whilst GVIIS is in no imminent danger of collapse, it is vulnerable to ongoing atmospheric and oceanic warming and is more susceptible to breakup along its southern margin in ice preconditioned for further retreat.

  2. Subglacial hydrology indicates a major shift in dynamics of the West Antarctic Ross Ice Streams within the next two centuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Goeller

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The mass export of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS is dominated by fast flowing ice streams. Understanding their dynamics is a key to estimate the future integrity of the WAIS and its contributions to global sea level rise. This study focuses on the Ross Ice Streams (RIS at the Siple Coast. In this sector, observations reveal a high variability of ice stream pathways and velocities which is assumed to be driven by subglacial hydrology. We compute subglacial water pathways for the present-day ice sheet and verify this assumption by finding high correlations between areas of enhanced basal water flow and the locations of the RIS. Moreover, we reveal that the ice flow velocities of the individual ice streams are correlated with the sizes of the water catchment areas draining underneath. The future development of the subglacial hydraulic environment is estimated by applying ice surface elevation change rates observed by ICESat and CryoSat-2 to the present-day ice sheet geometry and thus assessing prognostic basal pressure conditions. Our simulations consistently indicate that a major hydraulic tributary of the Kamb and Whillans Ice Stream (KIS and WIS will be redirected underneath the Bindschadler Ice Stream (BIS within the next two centuries. The water catchment area feeding underneath the BIS is estimated to grow by about 50 % while the lower part of the stagnated KIS becomes increasingly separated from its upper hydraulic tributaries. We conclude, that this might be a continuation of the subglacial hydraulic processes which caused the past stagnation of the KIS. The simulated hydraulic rerouting is also capable to explain the observed deceleration of the WIS and indicates a possible future acceleration of the BIS accompanied by an increased ice drainage of the corresponding ice sheet interior.

  3. Simulations of the Scandinavian ice sheet and its subsurface conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boulton, G.S.; Caban, P.; Hulton, N. [Edinburgh Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept of Geology and Geophysics

    1999-12-01

    An ice sheet model has been applied to an approximate flow line through the area of the Fennoscandian ice sheet. The modelled ice sheet fluctuations have been matched with stratigraphic evidence of Weichselian ice sheet fluctuation in order to simulate ice sheet attributes through time along the flowline. The model predicts extensive melting at the base of the ice sheet. This output has been used as an input to a simplified model of hydrogeology along the southern flank of the ice sheet so as to reconstruct patterns of subglacial groundwater flow. The output from the model is also used to estimate patterns of subglacial stress and strain. Results suggest that large scale subglacial groundwater catchment are formed which were quite differentin extent from modern catchment; that fossil subglacial groundwaters should be found at sampling depths; and much fracturing in shallow bedrock in Sweden could be glacially generated.

  4. Simulations of the Scandinavian ice sheet and its subsurface conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An ice sheet model has been applied to an approximate flow line through the area of the Fennoscandian ice sheet. The modelled ice sheet fluctuations have been matched with stratigraphic evidence of Weichselian ice sheet fluctuation in order to simulate ice sheet attributes through time along the flowline. The model predicts extensive melting at the base of the ice sheet. This output has been used as an input to a simplified model of hydrogeology along the southern flank of the ice sheet so as to reconstruct patterns of subglacial groundwater flow. The output from the model is also used to estimate patterns of subglacial stress and strain. Results suggest that large scale subglacial groundwater catchment are formed which were quite different in extent from modern catchment; that fossil subglacial groundwaters should be found at sampling depths; and much fracturing in shallow bedrock in Sweden could be glacially generated

  5. Pan-ice-sheet glacier terminus change in East Antarctica reveals sensitivity of Wilkes Land to sea-ice changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Bertie W J; Stokes, Chris R; Jamieson, Stewart S R

    2016-05-01

    The dynamics of ocean-terminating outlet glaciers are an important component of ice-sheet mass balance. Using satellite imagery for the past 40 years, we compile an approximately decadal record of outlet-glacier terminus position change around the entire East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) marine margin. We find that most outlet glaciers retreated during the period 1974-1990, before switching to advance in every drainage basin during the two most recent periods, 1990-2000 and 2000-2012. The only exception to this trend was in Wilkes Land, where the majority of glaciers (74%) retreated between 2000 and 2012. We hypothesize that this anomalous retreat is linked to a reduction in sea ice and associated impacts on ocean stratification, which increases the incursion of warm deep water toward glacier termini. Because Wilkes Land overlies a large marine basin, it raises the possibility of a future sea level contribution from this sector of East Antarctica. PMID:27386519

  6. Ice Sheet System Model as Educational Entertainment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, G.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the importance of polar ice sheets and their role in the evolution of Sea Level Rise (SLR), as well as Climate Change, is of paramount importance for policy makers as well as the public and schools at large. For example, polar ice sheets and glaciers currently account for 1/3 of the SLR signal, a ratio that will increase in the near to long-term future, which has tremendous societal ramifications. Consequently, it is important to increase awareness about our changing planet. In our increasingly digital society, mobile and web applications are burgeoning venues for such outreach. The Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) is a software that was developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/CalTech/NASA, in collaboration with University of California Irvine (UCI), with the goal of better understanding the evolution of polar ice sheets. It is a state-of-the-art framework, which relies on higher-end cluster-computing to address some of the aforementioned challenges. In addition, it is a flexible framework that can be deployed on any hardware; in particular, on mobile platforms such as Android or iOS smart phones. Here, we look at how the ISSM development team managed to port their model to these platforms, what the implications are for improving how scientists disseminate their results, and how a broader audience may familiarize themselves with running complex climate models in simplified scenarios which are highly educational and entertaining in content. We also look at the future plans toward a web portal fully integrated with mobile technologies to deliver the best content to the public, and to provide educational plans/lessons that can be used in grades K-12 as well as collegiate under-graduate and graduate programs.

  7. Spatial and temporal characteristics of the little ice age: The Antarctic ice core record

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recently, ice core records from both hemispheres, in conjunction with other proxy records (e.g., tree rings, speleothems and corals), have shown that the Little Ice Age (LIA) was spatially extensive, extending to the Antarctic. This paper examines the temporal and spatial characteristics of the dust and δ18O information from Antarctic ice cores. Substantial differences exist in the records. For example, a 550- year record of δ18O and dust concentrations from Siple Station, Antarctica suggests that warmer, less dusty conditions prevailed from A.D. 1600 to 1830. Alternately, dust and δ118O data from South Pole Station indicate that opposite conditions (e.g., cooler and more dusty) were prevalent during the LIA. Three additional Antarctic δ18O records are integrated with the Siple and South Pole histories for a more comprehensive picture of LIA conditions. The records provide additional support for the LIA temperature opposition between the Antarctic Peninsula region and East Antarctica. In addition, periods of strongest LIA cooling are not temporally synchronous over East Antarctica. These strong regional differences demonstrate that a suite of spatially distributed, high resolution ice core records will be necessary to characterize the LIA in Antarctica

  8. Synchronicity between ice retreat and phytoplankton bloom in circum-Antarctic polynyas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yun; Ji, Rubao; Jenouvrier, Stephanie; Jin, Meibing; Stroeve, Julienne

    2016-03-01

    Phytoplankton in Antarctic coastal polynyas has a temporally short yet spatially variant growth window constrained by ice cover and day length. Using 18-year satellite measurements (1997-2015) of sea ice and chlorophyll concentrations, we assessed the synchronicity between the spring phytoplankton bloom and light availability, taking into account the ice cover and the incident solar irradiance, for 50 circum-Antarctic coastal polynyas. The synchronicity was strong (i.e., earlier ice-adjusted light onset leads to earlier bloom and vice versa) in most of the western Antarctic polynyas but weak in a majority of the eastern Antarctic polynyas. The west-east asymmetry is related to sea ice production rate: the formation of many eastern Antarctic polynyas is associated with strong katabatic wind and high sea ice production rate, leading to stronger water column mixing that could damp phytoplankton blooms and weaken the synchronicity.

  9. Comprehensive spatiotemporal glacier and ice sheet velocity measurements from Landsat 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Twila; Fahnestock, Mark; Scambos, Ted; Klinger, Marin; Haran, Terry

    2015-04-01

    Combining newly developed software with Landsat 8 image returns, we are now producing broad-coverage ice velocity measurements on weekly to monthly scales across ice sheets and glaciers. Using new image-to-image cross correlation software, named PyCorr, we take advantage of the improved radiometric resolution of the Landsat 8 panchromatic band to create velocity maps with sub-pixel accuracy. Landsat 8's 12-bit radiometric resolution supports measurement of ice flow in uncrevassed regions based on persistent sastrugi patterns lasting weeks to a few months. We also leverage these improvements to allow for ice sheet surface roughness measurements. Landsat 8's 16-day repeat orbit and increased image acquisition across the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets supports development of seasonal to annual ice sheet velocity mosaics with full coverage of coastal regions. We also create time series for examining sub-seasonal change with near real time processing in areas such as the Amundsen Sea Embayment and fast flowing Greenland outlet glaciers. In addition, excellent geolocation accuracy enables velocity mapping of smaller ice caps and glaciers, which we have already applied in Alaska and Patagonia. Finally, PyCorr can be used for velocity mapping with other remote sensing imagery, including high resolution WorldView satellite data.

  10. Satellite Observations of Antarctic Sea Ice Thickness and Volume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurtz, Nathan; Markus, Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    We utilize satellite laser altimetry data from ICESat combined with passive microwave measurements to analyze basin-wide changes in Antarctic sea ice thickness and volume over a 5 year period from 2003-2008. Sea ice thickness exhibits a small negative trend while area increases in the summer and fall balanced losses in thickness leading to small overall volume changes. Using a five year time-series, we show that only small ice thickness changes of less than -0.03 m/yr and volume changes of -266 cu km/yr and 160 cu km/yr occurred for the spring and summer periods, respectively. The calculated thickness and volume trends are small compared to the observational time period and interannual variability which masks the determination of long-term trend or cyclical variability in the sea ice cover. These results are in stark contrast to the much greater observed losses in Arctic sea ice volume and illustrate the different hemispheric changes of the polar sea ice covers in recent years.

  11. Greenland ice sheet mass balance: a review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Aschwanden, Andy; Bjørk, Anders A.;

    2015-01-01

    Over the past quarter of a century the Arctic has warmed more than any other region on Earth, causing a profound impact on the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to the rise in global sea level. The loss of ice can be partitioned into processes related to surface mass balance and to...... and melt-induced mass losses exhibit rapid short-term fluctuations that, when extrapolated into the future, could yield erroneous long-term trends. In this paper we review the GrIS mass loss over more than a century by combining satellite altimetry, airborne altimetry, interferometry, aerial...... photographs and gravimetry data sets together with modelling studies. We revisit the mass loss of different sectors and show that they manifest quite different sensitivities to atmospheric and oceanic forcing. In addition, we discuss recent progress in constructing coupled ice-ocean-atmosphere models required...

  12. Coupled regional climate–ice-sheet simulation shows limited Greenland ice loss during the Eemian

    OpenAIRE

    M. M. Helsen; Van De Berg, W. J.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Van De Broeke, M. R.; J. Oerlemans

    2013-01-01

    During the last interglacial period (Eemian, 130–115 kyr BP) eustatic global sea level likely peaked at > 6 m above the present-day level, but estimates of the contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet vary widely. Here we use an asynchronously two-way-coupled regional climate–ice-sheet model, which includes physically realistic feedbacks between the changing ice sheet topography and climate forcing. Our simulation results in a contribution from the Greenland Ice Sheet to the ...

  13. Extraction of Ice Sheet Layers from Two Intersected Radar Echograms Near Neem Ice Core in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, S.; Muller, J.-P.

    2016-06-01

    Accumulation of snow and ice over time result in ice sheet layers. These can be remotely sensed where there is a contrast in electromagnetic properties, which reflect variations of the ice density, acidity and fabric orientation. Internal ice layers are assumed to be isochronous, deep beneath the ice surface, and parallel to the direction of ice flow. The distribution of internal layers is related to ice sheet dynamics, such as the basal melt rate, basal elevation variation and changes in ice flow mode, which are important parameters to model the ice sheet. Radar echo sounder is an effective instrument used to study the sedimentology of the Earth and planets. Ice Penetrating Radar (IPR) is specific kind of radar echo sounder, which extends studies of ice sheets from surface to subsurface to deep internal ice sheets depending on the frequency utilised. In this study, we examine a study site where folded ice occurs in the internal ice sheet south of the North Greenland Eemian ice drilling (NEEM) station, where two intersected radar echograms acquired by the Multi-channel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS) employed in the NASA's Operation IceBridge (OIB) mission imaged this folded ice. We propose a slice processing flow based on a Radon Transform to trace and extract these two sets of curved ice sheet layers, which can then be viewed in 3-D, demonstrating the 3-D structure of the ice folds.

  14. History of the Greenland Ice Sheet: paleoclimatic insights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alley, Richard B.; Andrews, John Thomas; Brigham-Grette, Julia;

    2010-01-01

    -sheet changes. In contrast, there are no documented major ice-sheet changes that occurred independent of temperature changes. Moreover, snowfall has increased when the climate warmed, but the ice sheet lost mass nonetheless; increased accumulation in the ice sheet's center has not been sufficient to counteract......Paleoclimatic records show that the Greenland Ice Sheet consistently has lost mass in response to warming, and grown in response to cooling. Such changes have occurred even at times of slow or zero sea-level change, so changing sea level cannot have been the cause of at least some of the ice...... increased melting and flow near the edges. Most documented forcings and ice-sheet responses spanned periods of several thousand years, but limited data also show rapid response to rapid forcings. In particular, regions near the ice margin have responded within decades. However, major changes of central...

  15. Climatic Conditions for modelling the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets throughout the ice age cycle

    OpenAIRE

    Abe-Ouchi, A.; Segawa, T; F. Saito

    2007-01-01

    The ice sheet-climate interaction as well as the climatic response to orbital parameters and atmospheric CO2 content are examined in order to drive an ice sheet model throughout an ice age cycle. Feedback processes between ice sheet and atmosphere are analyzed by numerical experiments using a high resolution General Circulation Model (GCM) under different conditions at the Last Glacial Maximum. Among the proposed processes, the ice albedo feedback, the elevation-mass ba...

  16. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. K. Rennermalm

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Greenland ice sheet mass losses have increased in recent decades with more than half of these attributed to surface meltwater runoff. However, the magnitudes of englacial storage, firn retention, internal refreezing and other hydrologic processes that delay or reduce true water export to the global ocean remain less understood, partly due to a scarcity of in situ measurements. Here, ice sheet surface meltwater runoff and proglacial river discharge between 2008 and 2010 near Kangerlussuaq, southwestern Greenland were used to establish sub- and englacial meltwater storage for a small ice sheet watershed (36–64 km2. This watershed lacks significant potential meltwater storage in firn, surface lakes on the ice sheet and in the proglacial area, and receives limited proglacial precipitation. Thus, ice sheet surface runoff not accounted for by river discharge can reasonably be attributed to retention in sub- and englacial storage. Evidence for meltwater storage within the ice sheet includes (1 characteristic dampened daily river discharge amplitudes relative to ice sheet runoff; (2 three cold-season river discharge anomalies at times with limited ice sheet surface melt, demonstrating that meltwater may be retained up to 1–6 months; (3 annual ice sheet watershed runoff is not balanced by river discharge, and while near water budget closure is possible as much as 54% of melting season ice sheet runoff may not escape to downstream rivers; (4 even the large meltwater retention estimate (54% is equivalent to less than 1% of the ice sheet volume, which suggests that storage in en- and subglacial cavities and till is plausible. While this study is the first to provide evidence for meltwater retention and delayed release within the Greenland ice sheet, more information is needed to establish how widespread this is along the Greenland ice sheet perimeter.

  17. Analysis of groundwater flow beneath ice sheets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boulton, G. S.; Zatsepin, S.; Maillot, B. [Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom). Dept. of Geology and Geophysics

    2001-03-01

    The large-scale pattern of subglacial groundwater flow beneath European ice sheets was analysed in a previous report. It was based on a two-dimensional flowline model. In this report, the analysis is extended to three dimensions by exploring the interactions between groundwater and tunnel flow. A theory is developed which suggests that the large-scale geometry of the hydraulic system beneath an ice sheet is a coupled, self-organising system. In this system the pressure distribution along tunnels is a function of discharge derived from basal meltwater delivered to tunnels by groundwater flow, and the pressure along tunnels itself sets the base pressure which determines the geometry of catchments and flow towards the tunnel. The large-scale geometry of tunnel distribution is a product of the pattern of basal meltwater production and the transmissive properties of the bed. The tunnel discharge from the ice margin of the glacier, its seasonal fluctuation and the sedimentary characteristics of eskers are largely determined by the discharge of surface meltwater which penetrates to the bed in the terminal zone. The theory explains many of the characteristics of esker systems and can account for tunnel valleys. It is concluded that the large-scale hydraulic regime beneath ice sheets is largely a consequence of groundwater/tunnel flow interactions and that it is essential similar to non-glacial hydraulic regimes. Experimental data from an Icelandic glacier, which demonstrates measured relationships between subglacial tunnel flow and groundwater flow during the transition from summer to winter seasons for a modern glacier, and which support the general conclusions of the theory is summarised in an appendix.

  18. Analysis of groundwater flow beneath ice sheets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The large-scale pattern of subglacial groundwater flow beneath European ice sheets was analysed in a previous report. It was based on a two-dimensional flowline model. In this report, the analysis is extended to three dimensions by exploring the interactions between groundwater and tunnel flow. A theory is developed which suggests that the large-scale geometry of the hydraulic system beneath an ice sheet is a coupled, self-organising system. In this system the pressure distribution along tunnels is a function of discharge derived from basal meltwater delivered to tunnels by groundwater flow, and the pressure along tunnels itself sets the base pressure which determines the geometry of catchments and flow towards the tunnel. The large-scale geometry of tunnel distribution is a product of the pattern of basal meltwater production and the transmissive properties of the bed. The tunnel discharge from the ice margin of the glacier, its seasonal fluctuation and the sedimentary characteristics of eskers are largely determined by the discharge of surface meltwater which penetrates to the bed in the terminal zone. The theory explains many of the characteristics of esker systems and can account for tunnel valleys. It is concluded that the large-scale hydraulic regime beneath ice sheets is largely a consequence of groundwater/tunnel flow interactions and that it is essential similar to non-glacial hydraulic regimes. Experimental data from an Icelandic glacier, which demonstrates measured relationships between subglacial tunnel flow and groundwater flow during the transition from summer to winter seasons for a modern glacier, and which support the general conclusions of the theory is summarised in an appendix

  19. Reconstructing the last Irish Ice Sheet 2: a geomorphologically-driven model of ice sheet growth, retreat and dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, Sarah L.; Clark, Chris D.

    2009-12-01

    The ice sheet that once covered Ireland has a long history of investigation. Much prior work focussed on localised evidence-based reconstructions and ice-marginal dynamics and chronologies, with less attention paid to an ice sheet wide view of the first order properties of the ice sheet: centres of mass, ice divide structure, ice flow geometry and behaviour and changes thereof. In this paper we focus on the latter aspect and use our new, countrywide glacial geomorphological mapping of the Irish landscape (>39 000 landforms), and our analysis of the palaeo-glaciological significance of observed landform assemblages (article Part 1), to build an ice sheet reconstruction yielding these fundamental ice sheet properties. We present a seven stage model of ice sheet evolution, from initiation to demise, in the form of palaeo-geographic maps. An early incursion of ice from Scotland likely coalesced with local ice caps and spread in a south-westerly direction 200 km across Ireland. A semi-independent Irish Ice Sheet was then established during ice sheet growth, with a branching ice divide structure whose main axis migrated up to 140 km from the west coast towards the east. Ice stream systems converging on Donegal Bay in the west and funnelling through the North Channel and Irish Sea Basin in the east emerge as major flow components of the maximum stages of glaciation. Ice cover is reconstructed as extending to the continental shelf break. The Irish Ice Sheet became autonomous (i.e. separate from the British Ice Sheet) during deglaciation and fragmented into multiple ice masses, each decaying towards the west. Final sites of demise were likely over the mountains of Donegal, Leitrim and Connemara. Patterns of growth and decay of the ice sheet are shown to be radically different: asynchronous and asymmetric in both spatial and temporal domains. We implicate collapse of the ice stream system in the North Channel - Irish Sea Basin in driving such asymmetry, since rapid

  20. Variability in the Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone and Pack Ice in Observations and NCAR CESM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, J. C.; Campbell, G. G.; Holland, M. M.; Landrum, L.

    2015-12-01

    Sea ice around Antarctica reached another record high extent in September 2014, recording a maximum extent of more than 20 million km2 for the first time since the modern satellite data record began in October 1978. This follows previous record maxima in 2012 and 2013, resulting in an overall increase in Antarctic September sea ice extent of 1.3% per decade since 1979. Several explanations have been put forward to explain the increasing trends, such as anomalous short-term wind patterns that both grow and spread out the ice, and freshening of the surface ocean layer from increased melting of floating ice from the continent. These positive trends in Antarctic sea ice are at odds with climate model forecasts that suggest the sea ice should be declining in response to increasing greenhouse gases and stratospheric ozone depletion. While the reasons for the increases in total extent remain poorly understood, it is likely that these changes are not just impacting the total ice extent, but also the distribution of pack ice, the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas, with important ramifications for phytoplankton productivity that in turn impact zooplankton, fish, sea birds and marine mammals. This study evaluates changes in the distribution of the pack ice, polynyas and the marginal ice zone around Antarctica from two sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and the Bootstrap. These results are further compared with climate model simulations from the CESM large ensemble output. Seasonal analysis of the different ice types using NASA Team and Bootstrap shows that during ice advance, the ice advances as pack ice, with a seasonal peak in September (broader peak for Bootstrap), and as the pack ice begins to retreat, it first converts to a wide area of MIZ, that reaches its peak around November (NASA Team) or December (Bootstrap). CESM also shows a similar seasonal cycle, with a peak in the pack ice in August, and a December/January peak in the MIZ. Seasonal variability and trends are

  1. A geoelectrical survey above an Antarctic ice shelf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Pavan

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available A geoelectrical survey was performed on the Hells Gate ice shelf (Victoria Land-Antarctic within the framework of an integrated geophysical and glaciological research program. The resistivity profiles show a similar trend, with resistivity values ranging from about 25000 W · m to 500000 W · m. These results have been interpreted as the effect of a sharp transition from "marine ice" to "continental" ice an interpretation that is consistent with the results of surface mapping. Interpreting the Vertical Electrical Soundings (VES is a complex process. In fact, the alternating layers of ice with different compositions and salt content generate great uncertainty relative to the corresponding electric stratigraphies. To solve these problems of equivalency, all the available constraints were used including the drilling thickness, seismic reflection profiles as well as radar profiles. The results were used to provide what is mainly a qualitative overview that is coherent with the glaciological hypotheses relative to the evolution and structure proposed by some researchers for this ice shelf.

  2. GRACE反演南极冰盖质量变化的高斯与Wiener滤波比较%Comparison of Gaussian and Wiener filter by investigation on mass rates of ice sheet in Antarctic from GRACE

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李军海; 文汉江; 刘焕玲; 朱广彬

    2012-01-01

    本文利用UTCSR 2003年1月到2008年8月间的GRACE Level-2 RL04重力场模型估计了南极冰盖质量变化.计算过程中分别采用高斯和Wiener滤波两种平滑方法,分别采用22、43和65个月重力场模型计算Wiener滤波信号与噪声函数,得出以下结论:在实际的计算过程中需要具体计算Wiener滤波平滑因子值,65个月GRACE重力场模型计算得到的Wiener滤波权值非常接近于平滑半径为540km高斯滤波权值;采用两种不同的滤波方法在相同区域质量变化率基本相同.%Gravity solutions from GRACE level-2 RL04 released by UTCSR for the period January 2003 to August 2008 were used to estimate the rates of Antarctic ice mass change. The Gaussian and Wiener filtering smoothing method were used respectively during the process. The signal and noise function of Wiener filtering were calculated respectively by 22, 43 and 65 months time gravity model, and the result was that the model signal and noise functions relate to the selected time period. Therefore smoothing factor values of Wiener filter need to be calculated during the process. The weights of Gaussian filter and Wiener filter computed by 65 GRACE gravity solutions were computed and it was very close to the Gaussian smoothing radius of 540km. The ice mass rates in the west Antartic Amundsen and the east Antartic Enderby land were computed and the mass rates at the same area were almost the same using the two different filtering methods.

  3. Decadal trends in the Antarctic sea ice extent ultimately controlled by ice-ocean feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Goosse

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The large natural variability of the Antarctic sea ice is a key characteristic of the system that might be responsible for the small positive trend in sea ice extent observed since 1979. In order to gain insight in the processes responsible for this variability, we have analysed in a control simulation performed with a coupled climate model a strong positive ice-ocean feedback that amplifies sea ice variations. When sea ice concentration increases in a region, in particular close to the ice edge, the mixed layer depth tends to decrease. This can be caused by a net inflow of ice and thus of freshwater that stabilizes the water column. Another stabilizing mechanism at interannual time scales that appears more widespread in our simulation is associated with the downward salt transport due to the seasonal cycle of ice formation: brine is released in winter when ice is formed and mixed over a deep layer while the freshwater flux caused by ice melting is included in a shallow layer, resulting in a net vertical transport of salt. Because of this stronger stratification due to the presence of sea ice, more heat is stored at depth in the ocean and the vertical oceanic heat flux is reduced, which contributes to maintain a higher ice extent. This positive feedback is not associated with a particular spatial pattern. Consequently, the spatial distribution of the trend in ice concentration is largely imposed by the wind changes that can provide the initial perturbation. A positive freshwater flux could alternatively be the initial trigger but the amplitude of the final response of the sea ice extent is finally set up by the amplification related to ice-ocean feedback. Initial conditions have also an influence as the chance to have a large increase in ice extent is higher if starting from a state characterized by a low value.

  4. Microwave emissivity of fresh water ice--Lake ice and Antarctic ice pack--Radiative transfer simulations versus satellite radiances

    CERN Document Server

    Mills, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Microwave emissivity models of sea ice are poorly validated empirically. Typical validation studies involve using averaged or stereotyped profiles of ice parameters against averaged radiance measurements. Measurement sites are rarely matched and even less often point-by-point. Because of saline content, complex permittivity of sea ice is highly variable and difficult to predict. Therefore, to check the validity of a typical, plane-parallel, radiative-transfer-based ice emissivity model, we apply it to fresh water ice instead of salt-water ice. Radiance simulations for lake ice are compared with measurements over Lake Superior from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on EOS (AMSR-E). AMSR-E measurements are also collected over Antarctic icepack. For each pixel, a thermodynamic model is driven by four years of European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis data and the resulting temperature profiles used to drive the emissivity model. The results suggest that the relatively simple ...

  5. Experimental design for three interrelated marine ice sheet and ocean model intercomparison projects: MISMIP v. 3 (MISMIP +), ISOMIP v. 2 (ISOMIP +) and MISOMIP v. 1 (MISOMIP1)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asay-Davis, Xylar S.; Cornford, Stephen L.; Durand, Gaël; Galton-Fenzi, Benjamin K.; Gladstone, Rupert M.; Hilmar Gudmundsson, G.; Hattermann, Tore; Holland, David M.; Holland, Denise; Holland, Paul R.; Martin, Daniel F.; Mathiot, Pierre; Pattyn, Frank; Seroussi, Hélène

    2016-07-01

    Coupled ice sheet-ocean models capable of simulating moving grounding lines are just becoming available. Such models have a broad range of potential applications in studying the dynamics of marine ice sheets and tidewater glaciers, from process studies to future projections of ice mass loss and sea level rise. The Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (MISOMIP) is a community effort aimed at designing and coordinating a series of model intercomparison projects (MIPs) for model evaluation in idealized setups, model verification based on observations, and future projections for key regions of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Here we describe computational experiments constituting three interrelated MIPs for marine ice sheet models and regional ocean circulation models incorporating ice shelf cavities. These consist of ice sheet experiments under the Marine Ice Sheet MIP third phase (MISMIP+), ocean experiments under the Ice Shelf-Ocean MIP second phase (ISOMIP+) and coupled ice sheet-ocean experiments under the MISOMIP first phase (MISOMIP1). All three MIPs use a shared domain with idealized bedrock topography and forcing, allowing the coupled simulations (MISOMIP1) to be compared directly to the individual component simulations (MISMIP+ and ISOMIP+). The experiments, which have qualitative similarities to Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf and the adjacent region of the Amundsen Sea, are designed to explore the effects of changes in ocean conditions, specifically the temperature at depth, on basal melting and ice dynamics. In future work, differences between model results will form the basis for the evaluation of the participating models.

  6. Greenland Ice sheet mass balance from satellite and airborne altimetry

    OpenAIRE

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Bevis, M. G.; Wahr, J. M.; Wouters, B.; Sasgen, I.; van Dam, T. M.; Van Den Broeke, M. R.; Hanna, E; Huybrechts, P.; Kjaer, K. H.; N. J. Korsgaard; Bjork, A. A.; Kjeldsen, K.K.

    2013-01-01

    Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is dominated by loss in the marginal areas. Dynamic induced ice loss and its associated ice surface lowering is often largest close to the glacier calving front and may vary from rates of tens of meters per years to a few meters per year over relatively short distances. Hence, high spatial resolution data are required to accurately estimate volume changes. Here, we estimate ice volume change rate of the Greenland ice sheet using data from Ice, Clou...

  7. Ice sheets and sea level: thinking outside the box

    OpenAIRE

    Van Den Broeke, M. R.; Bamber, J.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.; Rignot, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Until quite recently, the mass balance (MB) of the great ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica was poorly known and often treated as a residual in the budget of oceanic mass and sea level change. Recent developments in regional climate modelling and remote sensing, especially altimetry, gravimetry and InSAR feature tracking, have enabled us to specifically resolve the ice sheet mass balance components at a near-annual timescale. The results reveal significant mass losses for both ice sheets,...

  8. Laser altimetry reveals complex pattern of Greenland Ice Sheet dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Csatho, Beata M.; Schenk, Anton F.; van der Veen, Cornelis J.;

    2014-01-01

    Significance We present the first detailed reconstruction of surface elevation changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet from NASA’s laser altimetry data. Time series at nearly 100,000 locations allow the characterization of ice sheet changes at scales ranging from individual outlet glaciers to larger...... to climate forcing, strongly enforcing the need for continued monitoring at high spatial resolution and for improving numerical ice sheet models....

  9. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    A. K. Rennermalm; Smith, L. C.; V. W. Chu; Box, J. E.; Forster, R.R.; van den Broeke, M.

    2012-01-01

    Greenland ice sheet mass losses have increased in recent decades with approximately half of these attributed to increased surface meltwater runoff. However, controls on ice sheet water release, and the magnitude of englacial storage, firn densification, internal refreezing and other hydrologic processes that delay or reduce true water export to the global ocean remain poorly understood. This problem is amplified by scant hydrometerological measurements. Here, ice sheet surface meltwater runof...

  10. Pre-LGM Northern Hemisphere ice sheet topography

    OpenAIRE

    J. Kleman; J. Fastook; K. Ebert; Nilsson, J.; R Caballero

    2013-01-01

    We here reconstruct the paleotopography of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the glacial maxima of marine isotope stages (MIS) 5b and 4.We employ a combined approach, blending geologically based reconstruction and numerical modeling, to arrive at probable ice sheet extents and topographies for each of these two time slices. For a physically based 3-D calculation based on geologically derived 2-D constraints, we use the University of Maine Ice Sheet Model (UMISM) to calcu...

  11. Antarctic winter mercury and ozone depletion events over sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nerentorp Mastromonaco, M.; Gårdfeldt, K.; Jourdain, B.; Abrahamsson, K.; Granfors, A.; Ahnoff, M.; Dommergue, A.; Méjean, G.; Jacobi, H.-W.

    2016-03-01

    During atmospheric mercury and ozone depletion events in the springtime in polar regions gaseous elemental mercury and ozone undergo rapid declines. Mercury is quickly transformed into oxidation products, which are subsequently removed by deposition. Here we show that such events also occur during Antarctic winter over sea ice areas, leading to additional deposition of mercury. Over four months in the Weddell Sea we measured gaseous elemental, oxidized, and particulate-bound mercury, as well as ozone in the troposphere and total and elemental mercury concentrations in snow, demonstrating a series of depletion and deposition events between July and September. The winter depletions in July were characterized by stronger correlations between mercury and ozone and larger formation of particulate-bound mercury in air compared to later spring events. It appears that light at large solar zenith angles is sufficient to initiate the photolytic formation of halogen radicals. We also propose a dark mechanism that could explain observed events in air masses coming from dark regions. Br2 that could be the main actor in dark conditions was possibly formed in high concentrations in the marine boundary layer in the dark. These high concentrations may also have caused the formation of high concentrations of CHBr3 and CH2I2 in the top layers of the Antarctic sea ice observed during winter. These new findings show that the extent of depletion events is larger than previously believed and that winter depletions result in additional deposition of mercury that could be transferred to marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

  12. PHOTOPROTECTION OF SEA-ICE MICROALGAL COMMUNITIES FROM THE EAST ANTARCTIC PACK ICE(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrou, Katherina; Hill, Ross; Doblin, Martina A; McMinn, Andrew; Johnson, Robert; Wright, Simon W; Ralph, Peter J

    2011-02-01

    All photosynthetic organisms endeavor to balance energy supply with demand. For sea-ice diatoms, as with all marine photoautotrophs, light is the most important factor for determining growth and carbon-fixation rates. Light varies from extremely low to often relatively high irradiances within the sea-ice environment, meaning that sea-ice algae require moderate physiological plasticity that is necessary for rapid light acclimation and photoprotection. This study investigated photoprotective mechanisms employed by bottom Antarctic sea-ice algae in response to relatively high irradiances to understand how they acclimate to the environmental conditions presented during early spring, as the light climate begins to intensify and snow and sea-ice thinning commences. The sea-ice microalgae displayed high photosynthetic plasticity to increased irradiance, with a rapid decline in photochemical efficiency that was completely reversible when placed under low light. Similarly, the photoprotective xanthophyll pigment diatoxanthin (Dt) was immediately activated but reversed during recovery under low light. The xanthophyll inhibitor dithiothreitol (DTT) and state transition inhibitor sodium fluoride (NaF) were used in under-ice in situ incubations and revealed that nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) via xanthophyll-cycle activation was the preferred method for light acclimation and photoprotection by bottom sea-ice algae. This study showed that bottom sea-ice algae from the east Antarctic possess a high level of plasticity in their light-acclimation capabilities and identified the xanthophyll cycle as a critical mechanism in photoprotection and the preferred means by which sea-ice diatoms regulate energy flow to PSII. PMID:27021712

  13. Evaluation of Ice sheet evolution and coastline changes from 1960s in Amery Ice Shelf using multi-source remote sensing images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, G.; Ye, W.; Scaioni, M.; Liu, S.; Feng, T.; Liu, Y.; Tong, X.; Li, R.

    2013-12-01

    Global change is one of the major challenges that all the nations are commonly facing, and the Antarctica ice sheet changes have been playing a critical role in the global change research field during the past years. Long time-series of ice sheet observations in Antarctica would contribute to the quantitative evaluation and precise prediction of the effects on global change induced by the ice sheet, of which the remote sensing technology would make critical contributions. As the biggest ice shelf and one of the dominant drainage systems in East Antarctic, the Amery Ice Shelf has been making significant contributions to the mass balance of the Antarctic. Study of Amery Ice shelf changes would advance the understanding of Antarctic ice shelf evolution as well as the overall mass balance. At the same time, as one of the important indicators of Antarctica ice sheet characteristics, coastlines that can be detected from remote sensing imagery can help reveal the nature of the changes of ice sheet evolution. Most of the scientific research on Antarctica with satellite remote sensing dated from 1970s after LANDSAT satellite was brought into operation. It was the declassification of the cold war satellite reconnaissance photographs in 1995, known as Declassified Intelligence Satellite Photograph (DISP) that provided a direct overall view of the Antarctica ice-sheet's configuration in 1960s, greatly extending the time span of Antarctica surface observations. This paper will present the evaluation of ice-sheet evolution and coastline changes in Amery Ice Shelf from 1960s, by using multi-source remote sensing images including the DISP images and the modern optical satellite images. The DISP images scanned from negatives were first interior-oriented with the associated parameters, and then bundle block adjustment technology was employed based on the tie points and control points, to derive the mosaic image of the research region. Experimental results of coastlines generated

  14. Meltwater flood landforms created beneath a Miocene ice sheet, Transantarctic Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugden, D.; Denton, G.

    2005-12-01

    We illustrate spectacular meltwater landforms associated with an ice sheet that overrode the Transantarctic Mountains in southern Victoria Land around 14 million years ago. Subglacial channels systems commonly originate near divides and converge downhill toward the northeast. One channel system in the Convoy Range is more than 30 km long and drops about 1000 m in elevation. High-elevation divides in sandstone cols show ice sculpturing, with flow toward the northeast. Bedrock in leeside slopes and platforms is commonly stripped of unconsolidated deposits and bears corrugations, potholes, plunge pools and scabland. We conclude that a major Antarctic Ice Sheet submerged the area as it flowed northeastward toward the outer Antarctic continental shelf. The meltwater landforms and scabland with preserved patches of regolith are best explained by the breaching of cold-based ice on the mountain rim by subglacial meltwater outbursts. Melt from warm-based ice, along with subglacial lakes trapped upstream of the mountain rim, are possible sources of the meltwater necessary to form the channel systems and scablands.

  15. Capabilities and performance of Elmer/Ice, a new-generation ice sheet model

    OpenAIRE

    O. Gagliardini; Zwinger, T.; Gillet-Chaulet, F; Durand, G.; L. Favier; B. de Fleurian; R. Greve; Malinen, M.; Martín, C.; Råback, P.; Ruokolainen, J.; Sacchettini, M.; M. Schäfer; Seddik, H; Thies, J.

    2013-01-01

    The Fourth IPCC Assessment Report concluded that ice sheet flow models, in their current state, were unable to provide accurate forecast for the increase of polar ice sheet discharge and the associated contribution to sea level rise. Since then, the glaciological community has undertaken a huge effort to develop and improve a new generation of ice flow models, and as a result a significant number of new ice sheet models have emerged. Among them is the parallel f...

  16. Surface elevation changes of the greenland ice sheet - results from ESA'S ice sheet CCI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredenslund Levinsen, Joanna; Khvorostovky, Kirill; Meister, Rakia;

    2013-01-01

    In order to ensure long-term climate data records for the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), ESA have launched the Climate Change Initiative (CCI). This work presents the preliminary steps towards the Ice Sheet CCI's surface elevation change (SEC) derivation using radar altimeter data. In order to find the...... most optimal method, a Round Robin exercise was conducted in which the scientific community was asked to provide their best SEC estimate over the Jakobshavn Isbr drainage basin. The participants used both repeat-track (RT), overlapping footprints, and the cross-over (XO) methods, and both ICESat laser...... and Envisat radar altimeter data were used. Based on this and feedback sheets describing their methods we found that a combination of the RT and XO techniques yielded the best results. In the following, the obtained results will be presented and discussed....

  17. Empirical estimation of present-day Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment and ice mass change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunter, B. C.; Didova, O.; Riva, R. E. M.; Ligtenberg, S. R. M.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.; King, M. A.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Urban, T.

    2014-04-01

    This study explores an approach that simultaneously estimates Antarctic mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) through the combination of satellite gravity and altimetry data sets. The results improve upon previous efforts by incorporating a firn densification model to account for firn compaction and surface processes as well as reprocessed data sets over a slightly longer period of time. A range of different Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) gravity models were evaluated and a new Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) surface height trend map computed using an overlapping footprint approach. When the GIA models created from the combination approach were compared to in situ GPS ground station displacements, the vertical rates estimated showed consistently better agreement than recent conventional GIA models. The new empirically derived GIA rates suggest the presence of strong uplift in the Amundsen Sea sector in West Antarctica (WA) and the Philippi/Denman sectors, as well as subsidence in large parts of East Antarctica (EA). The total GIA-related mass change estimates for the entire Antarctic ice sheet ranged from 53 to 103 Gt yr-1, depending on the GRACE solution used, with an estimated uncertainty of ±40 Gt yr-1. Over the time frame February 2003-October 2009, the corresponding ice mass change showed an average value of -100 ± 44 Gt yr-1 (EA: 5 ± 38, WA: -105 ± 22), consistent with other recent estimates in the literature, with regional mass loss mostly concentrated in WA. The refined approach presented in this study shows the contribution that such data combinations can make towards improving estimates of present-day GIA and ice mass change, particularly with respect to determining more reliable uncertainties.

  18. Grounding line transient response in marine ice sheet models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Drouet

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Marine ice-sheet stability is mostly controlled by the dynamics of the grounding line, i.e. the junction between the grounded ice sheet and the floating ice shelf. Grounding line migration has been investigated within the framework of MISMIP (Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project, which mainly aimed at investigating steady state solutions. Here we focus on transient behaviour, executing short-term simulations (200 yr of a steady ice sheet perturbed by the release of the buttressing restraint exerted by the ice shelf on the grounded ice upstream. The transient grounding line behaviour of four different flowline ice-sheet models has been compared. The models differ in the physics implemented (full Stokes and shallow shelf approximation, the numerical approach, as well as the grounding line treatment. Their overall response to the loss of buttressing is found to be broadly consistent in terms of grounding line position, rate of surface elevation change and surface velocity. However, still small differences appear for these latter variables, and they can lead to large discrepancies (> 100% observed in terms of ice sheet contribution to sea level when cumulated over time. Despite the recent important improvements of marine ice-sheet models in their ability to compute steady state configurations, our results question the capacity of these models to compute short-term reliable sea-level rise projections.

  19. Seasonal climate information preserved in West Antarctic ice core water isotopes: relationships to temperature, large-scale circulation, and sea ice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuettel, Marcel; Steig, Eric J.; Ding, Qinghua [University of Washington, Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Quaternary Research Center, Seattle, WA (United States); Monaghan, Andrew J. [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States); Battisti, David S. [University of Washington, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2012-10-15

    As part of the United States' contribution to the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE), a network of precisely dated and highly resolved ice cores was retrieved from West Antarctica. The ITASE dataset provides a unique record of spatial and temporal variations of stable water isotopes ({delta}{sup 18}O and {delta}D) across West Antarctica. We demonstrate that, after accounting for water vapor diffusion, seasonal information can be successfully extracted from the ITASE cores. We use meteorological reanalysis, weather station, and sea ice data to assess the role of temperature, sea ice, and the state of the large-scale atmospheric circulation in controlling seasonal average water isotope variations in West Antarctica. The strongest relationships for all variables are found in the cores on and west of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide and during austral fall. During this season positive isotope anomalies in the westernmost ITASE cores are strongly related to a positive pressure anomaly over West Antarctica, low sea ice concentrations in the Ross and Amundsen Seas, and above normal temperatures. Analyses suggest that this seasonally distinct climate signal is due to the pronounced meridional oriented circulation and its linkage to enhanced sea ice variations in the adjacent Southern Ocean during fall, both of which also influence local to regional temperatures. (orig.)

  20. Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet over multiple timescales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

    glaciers in response to the onset of the Little Ice Age. Furthermore this thesis shows that the thinning pattern of the last decade in southern Greenland compares well with that of the entire 20th century, thus the present sensitivity distribution will arguably hold for future ice sheet mass loss until......Since the 1990s mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet has accelerated substantially increasing its contribution to global sea level rise, especially during the past decade. Even though the current global sea level budget is well understood, providing better estimates of the mass loss is essential to...... behavior of the Greenland Ice Sheet on multiple timescales is investigated. These range from annual/decadal scale variations of ice surface heights and cyclic drainage patterns of ice-dammed lakes to long-term response of the ice sheet margin during the past 300,000 years. The results presented here show...

  1. Antarctic climate variability from ice core records over the last two millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braida, Martina; Stenni, Barbara; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie; Dreossi, Giuliano; Oerter, Hans; Selmo, Enricomaria; Severi, Mirko; Goosse, Hugues; Mezgec, Karin

    2013-04-01

    The climate of the past can be successfully investigated through the study of polar ice sheets. Paleotemperature reconstructions from Antarctic ice cores are based on water isotope profiles, thanks to the existing relationship between δ18O (or δD) and the temperature at the site. Here we present the climate record of the past 2000 years resulting from the stable isotope analysis of the ice core drilled at Talos Dome in East Antarctica from 2003 to 2007 in the framework of the European TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE) project. Talos Dome (72°49'S, 159°11'E; 2315 m; -41°C) is an ice dome on the edge of the East Antarctic plateau. The snow accumulation rate of the site (80 kg m-2 yr-1) allows extracting high-resolution data for the past millennia. The main moisture sources of snow precipitation at this near-coastal site are located in the Indian Ocean and the Ross Sea. Isotopic analyses of TALDICE detailed (10 cm) samples have been performed in the framework of the ESF-HOLOCLIP project, whose main objective is to integrate the ice core, the marine core and the modeling data to investigate the climate variability of the high latitude southern hemisphere over the Holocene. The isotopic record obtained from the TALDICE ice core is here compared with a shallow firn core (89 m long) previously drilled at Talos Dome, at a 5 km distance, and covering the past 800 years. The two isotopic records are stacked to reduce the stratigraphic noise and compared with other available isotopic records from Antarctica to highlight common trends and regional variability in the climatic signal over the past two millennia. We compare the data with a simulation performed with a three-dimensional earth system model of intermediate complexity (LOVECLIM) with and without data assimilation. Considering the δ18O profile from the TALDICE ice core and comparing it with the ones from the other available records we can observe common negative isotopic anomalies in the period from about 1450 to

  2. A moving point approach to model shallow ice sheets: a study case with radially-symmetrical ice sheets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Bonan

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Predicting the evolution of ice sheets requires numerical models able to accurately track the migration of ice sheet continental margins or grounding lines. We introduce a physically-based moving point approach for the flow of ice sheets based on the conservation of local masses. This allows the ice sheet margins to be tracked explicitly and the waiting time behaviours to be modelled efficiently. A finite difference moving point scheme is derived and applied in a simplified context (continental radially-symmetrical shallow ice approximation. The scheme, which is inexpensive, is validated by comparing the results with moving-margin exact solutions and steady states. In both cases the scheme is able to track the position of the ice sheet margin with high precision.

  3. Ice-age Ice-sheet Rheology: Constraints from the Last Glacial Maximum Form of the Laurentide Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltier, W. Richard; Goldsby, David L.; Kohlstedt, David L.; Tarasov, Lev

    2000-01-01

    State-ot-the-art thermomechanical models of the modern Greenland ice and the ancient Laurenticle ice sheet that covered Canada at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) are not able to explain simultaneously the observed forms of these cryospheric structures when the same, anisotropy-enhanced, version of the conventional Glen flow law is employed to describe their rheology. The LGM Laurenticle ice sheet. predicted to develop in response to orbital climate forcing, is such that the ratio of its thickness to its horizontal extent is extremely large compared to the aspect ratio inferred on the basis of surface-geomorphological and solid-earth-geophysical constraints. We show that if the Glen flow law representation of the rheology is replaced with a new rheology based upon very high quality laboratory measurements of the stress-strain-rate relation, then the aspect ratios of both the modern Greenland ice sheet and the Laurenticle ice sheet, that existed at the LGM, are simultaneously explained with little or no retuning of the flow law.

  4. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. K. Rennermalm

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Greenland ice sheet mass losses have increased in recent decades with approximately half of these attributed to increased surface meltwater runoff. However, controls on ice sheet water release, and the magnitude of englacial storage, firn densification, internal refreezing and other hydrologic processes that delay or reduce true water export to the global ocean remain poorly understood. This problem is amplified by scant hydrometerological measurements. Here, ice sheet surface meltwater runoff and proglacial river discharge determined between 2008 and 2010 for three sites near Kangerlussuaq, western Greenland were used to establish the water budget for a small ice sheet watershed. The water budget could not be closed in the three years, even when uncertainty ranges were considered. Instead between 12% and 53% of ice sheet surface runoff is retained within the glacier each melt year (time between onset of ice sheet runoff in two consecutive years. Evidence of the ice sheet summer meltwater escaping during the cold-season suggests that the Greenland ice sheet cryo-hydrologic system may remain active year round.

  5. Response of thermohaline circulation to higher atmospheric CO2 concentration and absence of ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motoi, T.; Chan, W.-L.; Yih, H.

    2003-04-01

    Response of thermohaline circulation to higher CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and absence of large ice sheets are investigated by using a coupled ocean-atmosphere model. Two runs, named C run and x4CNIS run are carried out. The C run is control run with standard atmospheric CO2 concentration of 300 ppm and Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The x4CNIS run has atmospheric CO2 concentration of 1200 ppm, which is 4 times that of the standard value, and no ice sheet. Both the C run and x4CNIS run are integrated for more than 10000 years until equilibrium response is completed. The intensity of thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean in x4CNIS run decreases to 3 Sv from 17 Sv during the first two hundred years and turns to gradually increasing phase from 3 Sv to 8 Sv for about 2000 years. It then increases rapidly from 8 Sv to 30 Sv within 200 years and reaches stable level of 24 Sv, which is larger than that of 17 Sv at begining, with larger oscillations. The temperatures of surface and deep waters in the sub-antarctic region and of deep tropical water are about 6.5 deg. warmer in the x4CNIS run than in the C run.

  6. Ice sheets as a significant source of highly reactive nanoparticulate iron to the oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkings, Jon R; Wadham, Jemma L; Tranter, Martyn; Raiswell, Rob; Benning, Liane G; Statham, Peter J; Tedstone, Andrew; Nienow, Peter; Lee, Katherine; Telling, Jon

    2014-01-01

    The Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets cover ~ 10% of global land surface, but are rarely considered as active components of the global iron cycle. The ocean waters around both ice sheets harbour highly productive coastal ecosystems, many of which are iron limited. Measurements of iron concentrations in subglacial runoff from a large Greenland Ice Sheet catchment reveal the potential for globally significant export of labile iron fractions to the near-coastal euphotic zone. We estimate that the flux of bioavailable iron associated with glacial runoff is 0.40-2.54 Tg per year in Greenland and 0.06-0.17 Tg per year in Antarctica. Iron fluxes are dominated by a highly reactive and potentially bioavailable nanoparticulate suspended sediment fraction, similar to that identified in Antarctic icebergs. Estimates of labile iron fluxes in meltwater are comparable with aeolian dust fluxes to the oceans surrounding Greenland and Antarctica, and are similarly expected to increase in a warming climate with enhanced melting. PMID:24845560

  7. On underwater sound reflection from layered ice sheets

    CERN Document Server

    Hobæk, Halvor

    2016-01-01

    Reflection of sound from ice sheets floating on water is simulated using Thomson and Haskell's method of matrix propagation. The reflection coefficient is computed as a function of incidence angle and frequency for selected ice parameters of a uniform sheet and two layered ice sheets. At some incidence angles and frequencies the reflection coefficient has very low values. It is shown that this is related to generation of Lamb waves in the ice. The matrix propagation method also provides a dispersion equation for a plate loaded with fluid on one side and vacuum on the other. Finally the concept of beam displacement is briefly discussed.

  8. Isostasy in Greenland - deglaciation of an ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Funder, Svend Visby

    subsequent cooling where such factors as local climate, topography, and general drainage conditions modified the effect of the overall temperature signal. We present an updated model of the Holocene isostatic uplift in Greenland based on a compilation of c.700 field observations from all parts of the country......The large continental ice sheets left a legacy of isostatic upheaval, which is generally aligned in a rather simple pattern consisting of a dome of uplift with its maximum at the centre of the former ice sheet. Owing to the incomplete deglaciation the isostatic signal left by the LGM ice sheet in...... Greenland is not simple, but composed of several domes with high uplift separated by swales with low uplift. This pattern, which reflects both unloading after LGM and reloading during Neoglacial ice sheet growth, shows that different sectors of the ice sheet responded differently to Holocene warming and...

  9. Elevation Change Measurements of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, R.; Keller, K.; Nielsen, C. S.; Gundestrup, N.; Tscherning, C. C.; Madsen, Søren Nørvang; Dall, Jørgen

    2000-01-01

    Repeated GPS measurements have been performed at the centre of the Greenland Ice Sheet since 1992. Results have shown that the ice sheet is essentially stable at this location, with GPS-determined strain and elevation change rates in good accordance with yearly snow accumulation and glaciological....... The paper outlines the surveys carried out, some preliminary results, and intercomparisons of GPS, laser altimetry and SAR techniques.......Repeated GPS measurements have been performed at the centre of the Greenland Ice Sheet since 1992. Results have shown that the ice sheet is essentially stable at this location, with GPS-determined strain and elevation change rates in good accordance with yearly snow accumulation and glaciological...... flow models. In a local ice cap in East Greenland (Geikie Plateau) repeated GPS, airborne laser altimetry and SAR interferometry have been used to study ice movements in the more climatically variable coastal zone, where meter-level annual elevation changes are possible due to the high precipitation...

  10. Fully coupled ice sheet-earth system model: How does the Greenlandic ice sheet interact in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodehacke, C.; Mikolajewicz, U.; Vizcaino, M.

    2012-04-01

    As ice sheets belong to the slowest climate components, they are usually not interactively coupled in current climate models. Therefore, long-term climate projections are incomplete and only the consideration of ice sheet interactions allows tackling fundamental questions, such as how do ice sheets modify the reaction of the climate systems under a strong CO2 forcing? The earth system model MPI-ESM, with the atmosphere model ECHAM6 and ocean model MPIOM, is coupled to the modified ice sheet model PISM. This ice sheet model, which is developed at the University of Fairbanks, represents the ice sheet of Greenland at a horizontal resolution of 10 km. The coupling is performed by calculating the surface mass balance based on 6-hourly atmospheric data to determine the boundary condition for the ice sheet model. The response of the ice sheet to this forcing, which includes orographic changes and fresh water fluxes, are passed back to the ESM. In contrast to commonly used strategies, we use a mass conserving scheme and do therefore neither apply flux corrections nor utilize anomaly coupling. Under a strong CO2 forcing a disintegrating Greenlandic ice sheet contributes to a rising sea level and has the potential to alter the formation of deep water masses in the adjacent formation sites Labrador Sea and Nordic Seas. We will present results for an idealized forcing with a growing atmospheric CO2 concentration that rises by 1% per year until four-times the pre-industrial level has been reached. We will discuss the reaction of the ice sheet and immediate responses of the ocean to ice loss.

  11. Self-inhibiting growth of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Langen, Peter Lang; Solgaard, Anne Munck; Hvidberg, Christine Schøtt

    2012-01-01

    The build-up of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) from ice-free conditions is studied in an ice sheet model (ISM) driven by fields from an atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) to demonstrate the importance of coupling between the two components. Experiments where the two are coupled off-line ...... large scale conditions cooler than those of today may be necessary for the GrIS to regrow to the present volume...

  12. Empirical estimation of present-day Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment and ice mass change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. C. Gunter

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This study explores an approach that simultaneously estimates Antarctic mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA through the combination of satellite gravity and altimetry data sets. The results improve upon previous efforts by incorporating reprocessed data sets over a longer period of time, and now include a firn densification model to account for firn compaction and surface processes. A range of different GRACE gravity models were evaluated, as well as a new ICESat surface height trend map computed using an overlapping footprint approach. When the GIA models created from the combination approach were compared to in-situ GPS ground station displacements, the vertical rates estimated showed consistently better agreement than existing GIA models. In addition, the new empirically derived GIA rates suggest the presence of strong uplift in the Amundsen Sea and Philippi/Denman sectors, as well as subsidence in large parts of East Antarctica. The total GIA mass change estimates for the entire Antarctic ice sheet ranged from 53 to 100 Gt yr−1, depending on the GRACE solution used, and with an estimated uncertainty of ±40 Gt yr−1. Over the time frame February 2003–October 2009, the corresponding ice mass change showed an average value of −100 ± 44 Gt yr−1 (EA: 5 ± 38, WA: −105 ± 22, consistent with other recent estimates in the literature, with the mass loss mostly concentrated in West Antarctica. The refined approach presented in this study shows the contribution that such data combinations can make towards improving estimates of present day GIA and ice mass change, particularly with respect to determining more reliable uncertainties.

  13. Monitoring southwest Greenland's ice sheet melt with ambient seismic noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordret, Aurélien; Mikesell, T Dylan; Harig, Christopher; Lipovsky, Bradley P; Prieto, Germán A

    2016-05-01

    The Greenland ice sheet presently accounts for ~70% of global ice sheet mass loss. Because this mass loss is associated with sea-level rise at a rate of 0.7 mm/year, the development of improved monitoring techniques to observe ongoing changes in ice sheet mass balance is of paramount concern. Spaceborne mass balance techniques are commonly used; however, they are inadequate for many purposes because of their low spatial and/or temporal resolution. We demonstrate that small variations in seismic wave speed in Earth's crust, as measured with the correlation of seismic noise, may be used to infer seasonal ice sheet mass balance. Seasonal loading and unloading of glacial mass induces strain in the crust, and these strains then result in seismic velocity changes due to poroelastic processes. Our method provides a new and independent way of monitoring (in near real time) ice sheet mass balance, yielding new constraints on ice sheet evolution and its contribution to global sea-level changes. An increased number of seismic stations in the vicinity of ice sheets will enhance our ability to create detailed space-time records of ice mass variations. PMID:27386524

  14. Pattern and timing of retreat of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Chris D.; Hughes, Anna L. C.; Greenwood, Sarah L.; Jordan, Colm; Sejrup, Hans Petter

    2012-06-01

    . Considerable dynamic-thinning occurred during this phase. Final collapse of all marine sectors occurred by 17 ka BP and with most margins beginning to back-step onshore. Disintegration of the North Sea 'ice bridge' between Britain and Norway remains loosely constrained in time but the possibility of catastrophic collapse of this sector is highlighted. The North Channel and Irish Sea ice streams had finally cleaved the ice sheet into separate Irish and Scottish ice sheets by 16 ka BP. Rates of ice loss were found to vary widely over space and time (e.g., 65-260 km3 per year). The role of ice streams and calving losses of marine-based sectors are examined. Retreat rates of up to ca 150 ma-1 were found for some ice stream margins. That large parts (2/3) of the BIIS were marine-based, drained by ice streams, and possibly with fringing ice shelves in places, makes it a useful analogue for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). This is especially so because the BIIS deglaciated in response to rising temperatures and a rising sea level (driven by melting of other ice masses) which are the current forcings that might cause collapse of the WAIS. Our reconstruction, when viewed from the opposite perspective, documents when fresh land became exposed for exploitation by plants, animals and Man, and records for how long such land has been available for soil and geochemical development and ecological succession.

  15. Challenges faced by ice sheet projections: lessons from the SeaRISE effort

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowicki, S.

    2013-12-01

    Projecting the future evolution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets is a problem of enormous societal importance, as ice sheet influence our future sea levels. This crucial issue is however a non trivial task, as demonstrated by the Sea level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE) effort: prescribing simple external forcings to a group of ice sheet models results in a spread in responses. Understanding the source of the diversity in the model results is therefore crucial in order to reduce the uncertainty in the projection. Just as in any future climate simulation, the analysis presented here demonstrates that the model spread in the SeaRISE effort is due to a number of factors. First is the problem of obtaining an initial configuration for the projection. The two commonly used methods, interglacial spin-up or data assimilation, have both advantages and drawbacks, and will affect the determination of fields that cannot be measured (such as basal slipperiness). Second is the uncertainty in actual observations, which includes but is not limited to surface mass balance, basal topography, ice thickness, and surface velocities. An additional issue with these observations is that they can be transient quantities which are not measured at the same time, but ice sheet models require them to be simultaneous. Third is the uncertainty in the models' physics and discretization, which is limited by our understanding (or lack of understanding) of crucial processes that often occur at subgrid scale relative to the resolution used by continental ice sheet models, and thus require parameterization. Grounding line migration and sliding laws are such an example. Fourth is the determination of the future forcing scenarios and their implementation as the external forcing. Unfortunately, as demonstrated in this analysis, all ice sheet models face these limitations to some degree, so that it is extremely difficult to identify a set of models and projections that should be

  16. Climate variability and ice-sheet dynamics during the last three glaciations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obrochta, Stephen P.; Crowley, Thomas J.; Channell, James E. T.; Hodell, David A.; Baker, Paul A.; Seki, Arisa; Yokoyama, Yusuke

    2014-11-01

    A composite North Atlantic record from DSDP Site 609 and IODP Site U1308 spans the past 300,000 years and shows that variability within the penultimate glaciation differed substantially from that of the surrounding two glaciations. Hematite-stained grains exhibit similar repetitive down-core variations within the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 8 and 4-2 intervals, but little cyclic variability within the MIS 6 section. There is also no petrologic evidence, in terms of detrital carbonate-rich (Heinrich) layers, for surging of the Laurentide Ice Sheet through the Hudson Strait during MIS 6. Rather, very high background concentration of iceberg-rafted debris (IRD) indicates near continuous glacial meltwater input that likely increased thermohaline disruption sensitivity to relatively weak forcing events, such as expanded sea ice over deepwater formation sites. Altered (sub)tropical precipitation patterns and Antarctic warming during high orbital precession and low 65°N summer insolation appear related to high abundance of Icelandic glass shards and southward sea ice expansion. Differing European and North American ice sheet configurations, perhaps aided by larger variations in eccentricity leading to cooler summers, may have contributed to the relative stability of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in the Hudson Strait region during MIS 6.

  17. Observational Evidence of a Hemispheric-wide Ice-ocean Albedo Feedback Effect on Antarctic Sea-ice Decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nihashi, Sohey; Cavalieri, Donald J.

    2007-01-01

    The effect of ice-ocean albedo feedback (a kind of ice-albedo feedback) on sea-ice decay is demonstrated over the Antarctic sea-ice zone from an analysis of satellite-derived hemispheric sea ice concentration and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ERA-40) atmospheric data for the period 1979-2001. Sea ice concentration in December (time of most active melt) correlates better with the meridional component of the wind-forced ice drift (MID) in November (beginning of the melt season) than the MID in December. This 1 month lagged correlation is observed in most of the Antarctic sea-ice covered ocean. Daily time series of ice , concentration show that the ice concentration anomaly increases toward the time of maximum sea-ice melt. These findings can be explained by the following positive feedback effect: once ice concentration decreases (increases) at the beginning of the melt season, solar heating of the upper ocean through the increased (decreased) open water fraction is enhanced (reduced), leading to (suppressing) a further decrease in ice concentration by the oceanic heat. Results obtained fi-om a simple ice-ocean coupled model also support our interpretation of the observational results. This positive feedback mechanism explains in part the large interannual variability of the sea-ice cover in summer.

  18. Phase relationships between orbital forcing and the composition of air trapped in Antarctic ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazin, Lucie; Landais, Amaelle; Capron, Emilie; Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Ritz, Catherine; Picard, Ghislain; Jouzel, Jean; Dumont, Marie; Leuenberger, Markus; Prié, Frédéric

    2016-03-01

    Orbital tuning is central for ice core chronologies beyond annual layer counting, available back to 60 ka (i.e. thousands of years before 1950) for Greenland ice cores. While several complementary orbital tuning tools have recently been developed using δ18Oatm, δO2⁄N2 and air content with different orbital targets, quantifying their uncertainties remains a challenge. Indeed, the exact processes linking variations of these parameters, measured in the air trapped in ice, to their orbital targets are not yet fully understood. Here, we provide new series of δO2/N2 and δ18Oatm data encompassing Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 5 (between 100 and 160 ka) and the oldest part (340-800 ka) of the East Antarctic EPICA Dome C (EDC) ice core. For the first time, the measurements over MIS 5 allow an inter-comparison of δO2/N2 and δ18Oatm records from three East Antarctic ice core sites (EDC, Vostok and Dome F). This comparison highlights some site-specific δO2/N2 variations. Such an observation, the evidence of a 100 ka periodicity in the δO2/N2 signal and the difficulty to identify extrema and mid-slopes in δO2/N2 increase the uncertainty associated with the use of δO2/N2 as an orbital tuning tool, now calculated to be 3-4 ka. When combining records of δ18Oatm and δO2/N2 from Vostok and EDC, we find a loss of orbital signature for these two parameters during periods of minimum eccentricity (˜ 400 ka, ˜ 720-800 ka). Our data set reveals a time-varying offset between δO2/N2 and δ18Oatm records over the last 800 ka that we interpret as variations in the lagged response of δ18Oatm to precession. The largest offsets are identified during Terminations II, MIS 8 and MIS 16, corresponding to periods of destabilization of the Northern polar ice sheets. We therefore suggest that the occurrence of Heinrich-like events influences the response of δ18Oatm to precession.

  19. Insights into Spatial Sensitivities of Ice Mass Response to Environmental Change from the SeaRISE Ice Sheet Modeling Project I: Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowicki, Sophie; Bindschadler, Robert A.; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Aschwanden, Andy; Bueler, Ed; Choi, Hyengu; Fastook, Jim; Granzow, Glen; Greve, Ralf; Gutowski, Gail; Herzfeld, Ute; Jacskon, Charles; Johnson, Jesse; Khroulev, Constantine; Larour, Eric; Levermann, Anders; Lipscomb, William H.; Martin, Maria A.; Morlighem, Mathieu; Parizek, Byron R; Pollard, David; Price, Stephen F.; Seroussi, Helene; Walker, Ryan; Wang, Wei Li

    2013-01-01

    Atmospheric, oceanic, and subglacial forcing scenarios from the Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE) project are applied to six three-dimensional thermomechanical ice-sheet models to assess Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity over a 500 year timescale and to inform future modeling and field studies. Results indicate (i) growth with warming, except within low-latitude basins (where inland thickening is outpaced by marginal thinning); (ii) mass loss with enhanced sliding (with basins dominated by high driving stresses affected more than basins with low-surface-slope streaming ice); and (iii) mass loss with enhanced ice shelf melting (with changes in West Antarctica dominating the signal due to its marine setting and extensive ice shelves; cf. minimal impact in the Terre Adelie, George V, Oates, and Victoria Land region of East Antarctica). Ice loss due to dynamic changes associated with enhanced sliding and/or sub-shelf melting exceeds the gain due to increased precipitation. Furthermore, differences in results between and within basins as well as the controlling impact of sub-shelf melting on ice dynamics highlight the need for improved understanding of basal conditions, grounding-zone processes, ocean-ice interactions, and the numerical representation of all three.

  20. Modeling the Fracture of Ice Sheets on Parallel Computers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waisman, Haim [Columbia University; Tuminaro, Ray [Sandia National Labs

    2013-10-10

    The objective of this project was to investigate the complex fracture of ice and understand its role within larger ice sheet simulations and global climate change. This objective was achieved by developing novel physics based models for ice, novel numerical tools to enable the modeling of the physics and by collaboration with the ice community experts. At the present time, ice fracture is not explicitly considered within ice sheet models due in part to large computational costs associated with the accurate modeling of this complex phenomena. However, fracture not only plays an extremely important role in regional behavior but also influences ice dynamics over much larger zones in ways that are currently not well understood. To this end, our research findings through this project offers significant advancement to the field and closes a large gap of knowledge in understanding and modeling the fracture of ice sheets in the polar regions. Thus, we believe that our objective has been achieved and our research accomplishments are significant. This is corroborated through a set of published papers, posters and presentations at technical conferences in the field. In particular significant progress has been made in the mechanics of ice, fracture of ice sheets and ice shelves in polar regions and sophisticated numerical methods that enable the solution of the physics in an efficient way.

  1. The Influence of Glacial Ice Sheets on Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation Through Atmospheric Circulation Change under Glacial Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherriff-Tadano, S.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Yoshimori, M.; Oka, A.; Chan, W. L.

    2014-12-01

    It is well known that glacial ice sheets (Laurentide, Fennoscandian and Antarctic ice sheets) exert a large influence on the climate including the atmospheric circulation. Moreover, recent climate modeling studies suggest that glacial ice sheets have a large impact on the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). However, the process by which the ice sheets impact on the AMOC is not yet fully understood. On the other hand, recent studies showed that surface wind changes play a crucial role on changes to the AMOC under glacial climate. Therefore, in this study, we investigate in detail, the process by which the ice sheet modifies the AMOC through surface wind change. Here we conduct numerical experiments using an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) and an ocean general circulation model (OGCM) separately. Our method consists of 2 steps. First, from AGCM experiments, we evaluate the effect of glacial ice sheets on the surface wind. Second, from OGCM experiments, we evaluate the influence of the wind stress change on the AMOC by applying the surface wind change as a boundary condition, while leaving other boundary conditions (surface heat and water fluxes) unchanged. In addition, we conduct several sensitivity experiments. Using the AGCM, we explore individual ice sheet effect, ice sheet topography effect and albedo effect on surface wind change. Moreover, using the OGCM, we change the surface wind gradually or apply the surface wind change only at a specific region in order to explore the wind change effect in detail. We find that glacial ice sheets largely intensify the AMOC by surface wind change under glacial climate. Compare to other regions, it reveals that the wind change at the North Atlantic (NA) is a key region. There, the northern glacial ice sheet topography intensifies the Icelandic Low and anti-cyclonic circulation over the Laurentide ice sheet. However, this wind effect is effective only when the NA is not widely covered by sea ice

  2. The Ice Core Data Gateway: The one stop gateway to ice core data held at the Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC), the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, and the Arctic System Science's Data Coordination Center (ADCC).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, R.; Scambos, T.; Eakin, M.; Anderson, D.; McNeave, C.

    2002-12-01

    The Ice Core Data Gateway archives and distributes physical and geochemical data from ice cores collected in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Typical data sets include age-depth relationships, oxygen and hydrogen isotope concentrations, major element chemistry, accumulation rates and pollen. The data are in general presented as ASCII files with a short text metadata description. The archive is designed to provide access to ice core data sets over the long term, thereby making them available for comparison with future data: a critical component of change detection studies. By facilitating broad data access, the center promotes interdisciplinary scientific research. Investigators are encouraged to contribute data sets derived from ice cores to the Ice Core Data Gateway. Data center staff will work with you to compile data set documentation prior to making the data available to users. Contributing scientists are given prominent recognition in the documentation, and while the data center answers technical questions about format, citations for usage, etc., it can refer scientific questions to contributors if requested. Contributing your data to the Ice Core Data Gateway and associated data centers directly supports to NSF Office of Polar Programs Guidelines and Award Conditions for Scientific Data (http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?opp991). This effort is being coordinated with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Initiative and U.S. component of the International Trans Antarctic Science Expedition (ITASE), and includes data from the Arctic System Science Program's Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) ice core.

  3. The signature analysis of summer Antarctic sea-ice distribution by ship-based sea-ice observation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Based on the Chinese 19th National Antarctic Research Expedition,we carried out ship-based Antarctic sea-ice observa-tion on icebreaker Xue Long using Antarctic sea-ice process and climate (ASPeCt) criteria during austral summer.Sea-ice distribution data were obtained along nearly 6,500 km of the ship’s track.The measurement parameters included sea-ice thickness,sea-ice concentration,snow thickness,and floe size.Analysis showed the presence of the large spatial varia-tions of the observed sea-ice characteristics.Sea-ice concentration varied between 0 and 80 percent and reached its peak value in Weddell Sea because of the specific dynamical process affecting in summer sea-ice melting.There are large areas of open water along the study section.Sea ice and the upper snow thickness of the section varied between 10 cm and 210 cm and 2 cm and 80 cm,respectively,and each reaches its peak values near Amery ice shelf.The floe size varied from less than 10 cm and the maximum of more than 2,000 km along the section.

  4. Ice age aerosol content from east Antarctic ice core samples and past wind strength

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The possible link between the aerosol content from the 905 deep Dome C ice core (East Antartica) which spans some 32,000 yr (Lorius et al. Nature; 280:644 (1979)) and climate, is considered. No evidence of major global or local volcanic activity was found though large marine and continental inputs (respectively 5 and 20 times higher than present) were observed at the end of the last Glacial stage. It is considered that they reflect glacial age climate with stronger atmospheric circulation, enhanced aridity and faster aerosol transport towards the Antarctic continent. (U.K.)

  5. The climate - Greenland ice sheet Feedback as simulated by the coupled ice sheet/climate model EC-EARTH - PISM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shuting; Madsen, Marianne S.; Rodehacke, Christian; Svendsen, Synne H.

    2014-05-01

    Recent observations show that mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet has increased during the past decades, in line with the warming trend in the Arctic. Studies have suggested that the ice sheet mass discharge through fast moving outlet glaciers and ice streams may be triggered by intrusions of warm seawater into fjords, implying the possibility for fjord-terminating glaciers to respond to ocean and atmospheric changes on annual to decadal time scales. Meanwhile, the rapid changes in ice sheet topography and surface runoff could alter the atmospheric and ocean circulation. To understand the interactions of ice sheet and atmosphere and ocean, process based, climate - ice sheet coupled models are needed. Recently a fully coupled global climate model with a dynamical ice sheet model for the Greenland ice sheet, EC-EARTH - PISM, has been developed. The model system consists of the atmosphere, ocean and sea ice model system, EC-EARTH, and the Parallel Ice Sheet Model, PISM. The coupling of the PISM includes a modified surface physical parameterization in EC-EARTH adapted to the land ice surface over glaciated regions in Greenland. The PISM ice sheet model is forced with the surface mass balance (SMB) directly computed inside the EC-EARTH atmospheric module and accounting for the precipitation, the surface evaporation, and the melting of snow and ice over land ice. PISM returns the simulated basal melt, ice discharge and ice cover (extent and thickness) as boundary conditions to EC-EARTH. This coupled system is mass and energy conserving without being constrained by any anomaly correction or flux adjustment, and hence is suitable for investigation of ice sheet - climate feedbacks. PISM is initialized with the standard paleo-climatological spin-up followed by forcing with the EC-EARTH preindustrial climate to reach an equilibrium state with the model preindustrial climate. The EC-EARTH - PISM system is then integrated under preindustrial conditions until it has reached a

  6. Seasonal Greenland Ice Sheet ice flow variations in regions of differing bed and surface topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sole, A. J.; Livingstone, S. J.; Rippin, D. M.; Hill, J.; McMillan, M.; Quincey, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    The contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) to future sea-level rise is uncertain. Observations reveal the important role of basal water in controlling ice-flow to the ice sheet margin. In Greenland, drainage of large volumes of surface meltwater to the ice sheet bed through moulins and hydrofracture beneath surface lakes dominates the subglacial hydrological system and provides an efficient means of moving mass and heat through the ice sheet. Ice surface and bed topography influence where meltwater can access the bed, and the nature of its subsequent flow beneath the ice. However, no systematic investigation into the influence of topographic variability on Greenland hydrology and dynamics exists. Thus, physical processes controlling storage and drainage of surface and basal meltwater, and the way these affect ice flow are not comprehensively understood. This presents a critical obstacle in efforts to predict the future evolution of the GrIS. Here we present high-resolution satellite mapping of the ice-surface drainage network (e.g. lakes, channels and moulins) and measurements of seasonal variations in ice flow in south west Greenland. The region is comprised of three distinct subglacial terrains which vary in terms of the amplitude and wavelength and thus the degree to which basal topography is reflected in the ice sheet surface. We find that the distribution of surface hydrological features is related to the transfer of bed topography to the ice sheet surface. For example, in areas of thinner ice and high bed relief, moulins occur more frequently and are more uniformly dispersed, indicating a more distributed influx of surface-derived meltwater to the ice sheet bed. We investigate the implications of such spatial variations in surface hydrology on seasonal ice flow rates.

  7. Reconstructing the temperature regime of the Weichselian ice sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holmlund, P. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Physical Geography

    1997-04-01

    Areas in Sweden are described, where the ice could have been at the pressure melting point during the last ice age. In order to calculate probable degrees of glacial erosion, estimates on the time of ice coverage and the temperature distribution in time are combined data on erosion rates from present day glaciers. An estimate of the extent of ice cover can be made using the proxy temperature record from the Greenland ice cores and a model of the ice sheet. Adding the estimations on climate and ice sheet shape outlined in this contribution, to erosion figures we may conclude that the crucial areas for glaciation erosion are within the mountains and where the present Baltic and the Gulf of Bothnia are situated. At these sites erosion rates of some tens of meters may have occurred. In inland northern Sweden and inland southern Sweden the potential for glacial erosion seems to be small. 14 refs.

  8. Detailed ice loss pattern in the northern Antarctic Peninsula: widespread decline driven by ice front retreats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. A. Scambos

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The northern Antarctic Peninsula (nAP, 3 a−1 and 24.9 ± 7.8 Gt a−1. This mass loss is compatible with recent gravimetric assessments, but it implies that almost all the gravimetry-inferred loss lies in the nAP sector. Mass loss is highest for eastern glaciers affected by major ice shelf collapses in 1995 and 2002, where twelve glaciers account for 60% of the total imbalance. However, losses at smaller rates occur throughout the nAP, and at high and low elevation, despite increased snow accumulation along the western coast and at high elevations. We interpret the widespread mass loss to be driven by decades of ice front retreats on both sides of the nAP, and by the propagation of kinematic waves triggered at the fronts into the interior.

  9. Evidence for the former existence of a thicker ice sheet on the Vestfjella nunataks in western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lintinen, P.

    1996-06-01

    Full Text Available Vestfjella (73-74°S, 13-16°W is a 130 km long nunatak range in western Dronning Maud Land in East Antarctica, and its northern and southern ends are situated close to the present ice sheet grounding-line. Striations and lodgement till on nunatak Basen indicate that the northernmost Vestfjella nunataks were formerly covered by a thicker Antarctic ice sheet. Striations on the summit ridge of nunatak Plogen indicate that the minimum change in ice thickness has been 700 m at the present ice sheet grounding-line. The relatively uniform oldest striation direction on different nunatak summits and the altitude of Plogen, which is less than 200 m lower than the highest Vestfjella summits, indicates that the whole of Vestfjella may have been covered by an ice sheet. Oxidation of till surface stones and an increased clay fraction in the upper part of the till layer were the only indications of soil formation on Basen. The unweathered nature of the Basen lodgement till indicate a relatively young age for deglaciation. This conclusion is also supported by age determinations and sedimentological data obtained from Weddell Sea sediments by Norwegian researchers, suggesting that a grounded ice sheet extended to the shelf edge at around 21 ka B.P. However the age of the glaciation which covered Basen and Plogen and the subsequent deglaciation is not based on precise dates and therefore the late Wisconsinan/Weichselian age is only a working hypothesis.

  10. Uncertainty Quantification for Large-Scale Ice Sheet Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghattas, Omar [Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)

    2016-02-05

    This report summarizes our work to develop advanced forward and inverse solvers and uncertainty quantification capabilities for a nonlinear 3D full Stokes continental-scale ice sheet flow model. The components include: (1) forward solver: a new state-of-the-art parallel adaptive scalable high-order-accurate mass-conservative Newton-based 3D nonlinear full Stokes ice sheet flow simulator; (2) inverse solver: a new adjoint-based inexact Newton method for solution of deterministic inverse problems governed by the above 3D nonlinear full Stokes ice flow model; and (3) uncertainty quantification: a novel Hessian-based Bayesian method for quantifying uncertainties in the inverse ice sheet flow solution and propagating them forward into predictions of quantities of interest such as ice mass flux to the ocean.

  11. Ice-sheet contributions to future sea-level change

    OpenAIRE

    Gregory, J. M.; Huybrechts, P

    2006-01-01

    Accurate simulation of ice-sheet surface mass balance requires higher spatial resolution than is afforded by typical atmosphere–ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs), owing, in particular, to the need to resolve the narrow and steep margins where the majority of precipitation and ablation occurs. We have developed a method for calculating mass balance changes by combining ice-sheet average time-series from AOGCM projections for future centuries, both with information from high-resolution ...

  12. Greenland ice sheet albedo feedback: thermodynamics and atmospheric drivers

    OpenAIRE

    Box, J. E.; X. Fettweis; J. C. Stroeve; Tedesco, M.; Hall, D.K.; Steffen, K.

    2012-01-01

    Greenland ice sheet mass loss has accelerated in the past decade responding to combined glacier discharge and surface melt water runoff increases. During summer, absorbed solar energy, modulated at the surface primarily by albedo, is the dominant factor governing surface melt variability in the ablation area. Using satellite observations of albedo and melt extent with calibrated regional climate model output, we determine the spatial dependence and quantitative impact of the ice sheet...

  13. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    A. K. Rennermalm; Smith, L. C.; V. W. Chu; Box, J. E.; Forster, R.R.; Van De Broeke, M. R.; van As, D.; S. E. Moustafa

    2013-01-01

    Greenland ice sheet mass losses have increased in recent decades with more than half of these attributed to surface meltwater runoff. However, the magnitudes of englacial storage, firn retention, internal refreezing and other hydrologic processes that delay or reduce true water export to the global ocean remain less understood, partly due to a scarcity of in situ measurements. Here, ice sheet surface meltwater runoff and proglacial river discharge between 2008 and 2010 near Kangerlussuaq, sou...

  14. Impact of the El Nino on the Variability of the Antarctic Sea Ice Extent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈锦年; 褚健婷; 徐兰英

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, the spreading way in the southern hemisphere that anomalous warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific is analysed and then impact of El Nino on the variability of the Antarctic sea ice extent is investigated by using a dataset from 1970 to 2002. The analysis result show that in El Nino event the anomalous warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific is poleward propagation yet the westward propagation along southern equator current hasn 't been discovered . The poleward propagation time of the anomalous warm water is about 1 year or so. El Nino event has a close relationship with the sea ice extent in the Amundsen sea , Bellingshausen sea and Antarctic peninsula. After El Nino appears , there is a lag of two years that the sea ice in the Amundsen sea , Bellingshausea sea, especially in the Antarctic peninsula decreases obviously. The processes that El Nino has influence with Antarctic sea ice extent is the warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific poleward propagation along off the coast of southern America and cause the anomalous temperature raise in near pole and then lead the sea ice in Amundsen sea , Bellingshausen sea and Antarctic peninsula to decrease where the obvious decrease of the sea ice since 80 'decade has close relation to the frequently appearance of El Nino.

  15. Changes in atmospheric carbonyl sulfide over the last 54,000 years inferred from measurements in Antarctic ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydin, M.; Campbell, J. E.; Fudge, T. J.; Cuffey, K. M.; Nicewonger, M. R.; Verhulst, K. R.; Saltzman, E. S.

    2016-02-01

    We measured carbonyl sulfide (COS) in air extracted from ice core samples from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide, Antarctica, with the deepest sample dated to 54,300 years before present. These are the first ice core COS measurements spanning the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the last glacial/interglacial transition, and the early Holocene. The WAIS Divide measurements from the LGM and the last transition are the first COS measurements in air extracted from full clathrate (bubble-free) ice. This study also includes new COS measurements from Taylor Dome, Antarctica, including some in bubbly glacial ice that are concurrent with the WAIS Divide data from clathrate glacial ice. COS hydrolyzes in ice core air bubbles, and the recovery of an atmospheric record requires correcting for this loss. The data presented here suggest that the in situ hydrolysis of COS is significantly slower in clathrate ice than in bubbly ice. The clathrate ice measurements are corrected for the hydrolysis loss during the time spent as bubbly ice only. The corrected WAIS Divide record indicates that atmospheric COS was 250-300 parts per trillion (ppt) during the LGM and declined by 80-100 ppt during the last glacial/interglacial transition to a minimum of 160-210 ppt at the beginning of the Holocene. This decline was likely caused by an increase in the gross primary productivity of terrestrial plants, with a possible contribution from a reduction in ocean sources. COS levels were above 300 ppt in the late Holocene, indicating that large changes in the COS biogeochemical cycle occurred during the Holocene.

  16. Changes in Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice as a Microcosm of Global Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is a key element of the climate system and has now been monitored through satellite observations for over three and a half decades. The satellite observations reveal considerable information about polar ice and its changes since the late 1970s, including a prominent downward trend in Arctic sea ice coverage and a much lesser upward trend in Antarctic sea ice coverage, illustrative of the important fact that climate change entails spatial contrasts. The decreasing ice coverage in the Arctic corresponds well with contemporaneous Arctic warming and exhibits particularly large decreases in the summers of 2007 and 2012, influenced by both preconditioning and atmospheric conditions. The increasing ice coverage in the Antarctic is not as readily explained, but spatial differences in the Antarctic trends suggest a possible connection with atmospheric circulation changes that have perhaps been influenced by the Antarctic ozone hole. The changes in the polar ice covers and the issues surrounding those changes have many commonalities with broader climate changes and their surrounding issues, allowing the sea ice changes to be viewed in some important ways as a microcosm of global climate change.

  17. Ice calving and deformation from Antarctic Ice margins using RISAT-1 circular polarization SAR data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayaprasad, P.; Rajak, D. R.; Singh, R. K.; Oza, S. R.; Sharma, R.; Kumar, R.

    2014-11-01

    In the present study, quantification of spatial and temporal changes has been carried out between Indian Antarctic Research station Bharati and Amery ice shelf by monitoring the ice margins using RISAT-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. Spatio-temporal change detection was carried out by comparing the feature's geographic locations from geometrically rectified SAR data from RISAT-1 (Dec. 2013), Radarsat-2 (Feb. 2013), and Antarctic Mapping Mission products of Radarsat-1 (1997 & 2000). We report large scale disintegrations at two prominent glacier tongues namely Polar Record Glacier (PRG) and Polar Times Glacier(PTG). The results are verified against in-situ ground observations made during Summer period of 33rd ISEA (Dec. 2013-Feb. 2014) and MODIS images from NSIDC archive. Polar Record Glacier Tongue (PRGT) was drastically deformed by 135.8 km2 and Polar Times Glacier Tongue (PTGT) was partly calved by ~195.6 km2 and moved away by ~23 km especially between February and December 2013.

  18. Role of Ice Sheets in Thermohaline Circulation Changes Under High Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yih, H.; Oh, I. S.; Chan, W.; Motoi, T.

    2007-12-01

    Thermohaline circulation (THC) changes are considered for two experimental settings of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets with the atmospheric carbon dioxide of 1200 ppm in GFDL atmosphere-ocean coupled model. The experimental settings are to figure out the role of the ice sheets in global climate system, in which they are present and completely removed. The coupled model consists of the atmosphere and oceans, as well as simple models of land surfaces and sea ice. Atmospheric distribution of predicted variables is represented by Rhomboidal 15 configuration and nine vertical levels. Oceanic variables in 12 vertical levels have horizontal resolution of 4.5 degree latitude and 3.75 degree longitude. Streamfunctions of zonal mean meridional circulation in model oceans are used as representing fields of the THC, which are constructed after reaching statistical equilibrium state at 3000 model years. Same restart file is used for the two runs, which is at approximately 10000 model years of integration with atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of 300 ppm provided from GFDL/NOAA. The THC appears again, after weakening, strengthening, and rapid-increasing during the first 3000 model years. Analysis periods of the equilibrium state are from 3000 to 10000 model years. Streamfunctions of the two runs show in general similar pattern of circulation cells of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) and Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW). The cell of NADW occupies upper 2000 m mainly in north of 10 degree South, but the cell of AABW extends up to 50 degree North from the Antarctic continent in the layer below the deeper part of the NADW, while covering up to the surface in the south of 60 degree South. Difference-field of streamfunction between the two runs shows two core-regions. One core is located in the deeper part of Southern Ocean (i.e., the depth range of 2500-4000 m), and the other in the upper part, 500-2000 m depths, in the Northern Hemisphere. Latitudinal ranges of the two cores

  19. Layer disturbances and the radio-echo free zone in ice sheets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Drews

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Radio-echo sounding of the Antarctic and Greenlandic ice sheets often reveals a layer in the lowest hundreds of meters above bedrock more or less free of radio echoes, known as the echo-free zone (EFZ. The cause of this feature is unclear, so far lacking direct evidence for its origin. We compare echoes around the EPICA drill site in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, with the microstructural and dielectrical properties of the EPICA-DML ice core. We find that echoes disappear in the depth range, where the coherency of the layers is lost due to disturbances caused by the ice flow. At the drill site, the EFZ onset at ~2100 m marks a boundary, below which the ice core may have experienced flow induced disturbances on various scales. The dating of the climate record becomes increasingly difficult below 1900 m, until correlation with the Dome C record is lost below 2417 m depth. The onset also indicates changing rheology which needs to be accounted for in the modeling of ice sheet dynamics.

  20. Interpretation of Ice Sheet Stratigraphy: a Radio - Sounding Study of the Dyer Plateau, Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weertman, Bruce Randall

    Determining the flow history of ice sheets is an issue central to glaciology. Stratigraphic ice horizons provide the only known natural markers for inferring velocity at depth. Stratigraphy can be detected by radio-echo sounding (RES, also called radar) and dated by coring, which together determine the age field in the ice. In this thesis it is shown for the first time how ice flow can be deduced from stratigraphy. As a first step a method is given for the deduction of the spatial pattern of accumulation from shallow dated stratigraphy. The effects of densification and horizontal divergence are determined. It is then shown how, and when, internal motion can be deduced from dated stratigraphy. A theory is developed to deduce streamlines assuming steady-state flow and mass conservation. The theory does not require rheological assumptions or a spatial accumulation rate pattern. The theory can be used to determine internal deformation rates, accumulation rate history and whether or not observed stratigraphy is consistent with steady-state flow. As part of a collaborative program involving the British Antarctic Survey, the Byrd Polar Research Center, the Polar Ice Coring Office and the University of Washington, the author has used a newly devised RES system to measure the geometry of internal stratigraphy and ice thickness on the Dyer Plateau Ice Sheet, Antarctic Peninsula. RES -determined stratigraphy was dated by comparison to ice core stratigraphy. A prominent shallow RES horizon probably associated with the eruption of Tambora (1815) was used for estimating the spatial accumulation rate pattern. The estimated pattern is consistent with the pattern measured from burial markers indicating that the new method is accurate and that the recent accumulation rate pattern is not different from the 175 year average. An analysis of ice core stratigraphy indicates that over the past 500 years the accumulation rate has varied and over the past 50 years has had an increasing

  1. Greenland ice sheet contribution to sea level rise during the last interglacial period: a modelling study driven and constrained by ice core data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Quiquet

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available As pointed out by the forth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC-AR4 (Meehl et al., 2007, the contribution of the two major ice sheets, Antarctica and Greenland, to global sea level rise, is a subject of key importance for the scientific community. By the end of the next century, a 3–5 °C warming is expected in Greenland. Similar temperatures in this region were reached during the last interglacial (LIG period, 130–115 ka BP, due to a change in orbital configuration rather than to an anthropogenic forcing. Ice core evidence suggests that the Greenland ice sheet (GIS survived this warm period, but great uncertainties remain about the total Greenland ice reduction during the LIG. Here we perform long-term simulations of the GIS using an improved ice sheet model. Both the methodologies chosen to reconstruct palaeoclimate and to calibrate the model are strongly based on proxy data. We suggest a relatively low contribution to LIG sea level rise from Greenland melting, ranging from 0.7 to 1.5 m of sea level equivalent, contrasting with previous studies. Our results suggest an important contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to the LIG highstand.

  2. Elevation Change of the Southern Greenland Ice Sheet from Satellite Radar Altimeter Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haines, Bruce J.

    1999-01-01

    Long-term changes in the thickness of the polar ice sheets are important indicators of climate change. Understanding the contributions to the global water mass balance from the accumulation or ablation of grounded ice in Greenland and Antarctica is considered crucial for determining the source of the about 2 mm/yr sea-level rise in the last century. Though the Antarctic ice sheet is much larger than its northern counterpart, the Greenland ice sheet is more likely to undergo dramatic changes in response to a warming trend. This can be attributed to the warmer Greenland climate, as well as a potential for amplification of a global warming trend in the polar regions of the Northern Hemisphere. In collaboration with Drs. Curt Davis and Craig Kluever of the University of Missouri, we are using data from satellite radar altimeters to measure changes in the elevation of the Southern Greenland ice sheet from 1978 to the present. Difficulties with systematic altimeter measurement errors, particularly in intersatellite comparisons, beset earlier studies of the Greenland ice sheet thickness. We use altimeter data collected contemporaneously over the global ocean to establish a reference for correcting ice-sheet data. In addition, the waveform data from the ice-sheet radar returns are reprocessed to better determine the range from the satellite to the ice surface. At JPL, we are focusing our efforts principally on the reduction of orbit errors and range biases in the measurement systems on the various altimeter missions. Our approach emphasizes global characterization and reduction of the long-period orbit errors and range biases using altimeter data from NASA's Ocean Pathfinder program. Along-track sea-height residuals are sequentially filtered and backwards smoothed, and the radial orbit errors are modeled as sinusoids with a wavelength equal to one revolution of the satellite. The amplitudes of the sinusoids are treated as exponentially-correlated noise processes with a

  3. The last Scandinavian ice sheet in northwestern Russia: ice flow patterns and decay dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Demidov, L.; Houmark-Nielsen, Michael; Kjær, Kurt Henrik; Larsen, E.

    2006-01-01

    dynamics of the ice sheet and guided the direction of flow. We advocate that, while reaching the maximum extent, lobe-shaped glaciers protruded eastward from SIS and moved along the path of water-filled lowland basins. Ice-sheet collapse and deglaciation in the region commenced when ice lobes were detached...... successively detached ice lobes. Deglaciation led to the development of hummocky moraine landscapes with scattered periglacial and ice-dammed lakes, while a sub-arctic flora invaded the region. Udgivelsesdato: August 2006...

  4. Extent of Low-accumulation 'Wind Glaze' Areas on the East Antarctic Plateau: Implications for Continental Ice Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scambos, Theodore A.; Frezzotti, Massimo; Haran, T.; Bohlander, J.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.; Van Den Broeke, M. R.; Jezek, K.; Long, D.; Urbini, S.; Farness, K.; Neumann, T.; Albert, M.; Winther, J.-G.

    2012-01-01

    Persistent katabatic winds form widely distributed localized areas of near-zero net surface accumulation on the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) plateau. These areas have been called 'glaze' surfaces due to their polished appearance. They are typically 2-200 square kilometers in area and are found on leeward slopes of ice-sheet undulations and megadunes. Adjacent, leeward high-accumulation regions (isolated dunes) are generally smaller and do not compensate for the local low in surface mass balance (SMB). We use a combination of satellite remote sensing and field-gathered datasets to map the extent of wind glaze in the EAIS above 1500m elevation. Mapping criteria are derived from distinctive surface and subsurface characteristics of glaze areas resulting from many years of intense annual temperature cycling without significant burial. Our results show that 11.2 plus or minus 1.7%, or 950 plus or minus 143 x 10(exp 3) square kilometers, of the EAIS above 1500m is wind glaze. Studies of SMB interpolate values across glaze regions, leading to overestimates of net mass input. Using our derived wind-glaze extent, we estimate this excess in three recent models of Antarctic SMB at 46-82 Gt. The lowest-input model appears to best match the mean in regions of extensive wind glaze.

  5. Model studies of the effects of global warming and Antarctic sea ice changes on Antarctic and global climates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The authors discuss the results obtained in three experiments by changing the global ocean temperatures and the concentration and distribution of Antarctic sea ice in a General Circulation Model of July climate, with a view to determining the local and global impacts of Antarctic sea ice variations alone, as distinct with those coupled with global scale temperature changes which may be associated with global warming. In all cases there were significant changes in the upward flux of sensible heat over the sea ice zone associated with the reductions of sea ice. The response of weaker westerlies between 40 and 65 degree S was common to all three experiments. Their analyses suggest that a significant proportion of this is a response to the change in sea ice concentration alone. (Not surprisingly, further north of this region most of the changes induced in the wind structure in the global forcing experiment can be seen as due unambiguously to the differential changes in ocean temperatures.). This weakening of the westerlies means there is less mechanical forcing of the ocean in this region. From this they suggest that when consideration is given to the possible impact of feedbacks not considered in these experiments, sea ice changes alone, and particularly those in the Southern Hemisphere, have the potential to induce changes on a hemispheric scale

  6. In-situ aircraft observations of ice concentrations within clouds over the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice Shelf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. P. Grosvenor

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In-situ aircraft observations of ice crystal concentrations in Antarctic clouds are presented for the first time. Orographic, layer and wave clouds around the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice shelf regions were penetrated by the British Antarctic Survey's Twin Otter aircraft, which was equipped with modern cloud physics probes. The clouds studied were mostly in the free troposphere and hence ice crystals blown from the surface are unlikely to have been a major source for the ice phase. The temperature range covered by the experiments was 0 to −21 °C. The clouds were found to contain supercooled liquid water in most regions and at heterogeneous ice formation temperatures ice crystal concentrations (60 s averages were often less than 0.07 l−1, although values up to 0.22 l−1 were observed. Estimates of observed aerosol concentrations were used as input into the DeMott et al. (2010 ice nuclei (IN parameterisation. The observed ice crystal number concentrations were generally in broad agreement with the IN predictions, although on the whole the predicted values were higher. Possible reasons for this are discussed and include the lack of IN observations in this region with which to characterise the parameterisation, and/or problems in relating ice concentration measurements to IN concentrations. Other IN parameterisations significantly overestimated the number of ice particles. Generally ice particle concentrations were much lower than found in clouds in middle latitudes for a given temperature.

    Higher ice crystal concentrations were sometimes observed at temperatures warmer than −9 °C, with values of several per litre reached. These were attributable to secondary ice particle production by the Hallett Mossop process. Even in this temperature range it was observed that there were regions with little or no ice that were dominated by supercooled liquid water. It is likely that in some cases this was due to a

  7. A record of Antarctic sea ice extent in the Southern Indian Ocean for the past 300 yr and its relationship with global mean temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Xiao

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The differing response of ice extent in the Arctic and Antarctic to global average temperature change, over approximately the last three decades, highlights the importance of reconstructing long-term sea ice history. Here, using high-resolution ice core records of methanesulfonate (MS− from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in Princess Elizabeth Land, we reconstruct southern Indian Ocean sea ice extent (SIE for the sector 70° E–100° E for the period 1708–2000 A.D. Annual MS− concentration positively correlates in this sector with satellite-derived SIE for the period 1973–2000 (P − record of proxy SIE shows multi-decadal variations, with large decreases occurring in two warm intervals during the Little Ice Age, and during the 1940s. However, after the 1980s there is a change in phase between Antarctic SIE and global temperature change, with both increasing. This paradox is probably attributable to the strong anomaly in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM in the recent three decades.

  8. Cryosphere Science Outreach using the Ice Sheet System Model and a Virtual Ice Sheet Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, D. L. C.; Halkides, D. J.; Larour, E. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the role of Cryosphere Science within the larger context of Sea Level Rise is both a technical and educational challenge that needs to be addressed if the public at large is to trulyunderstand the implications and consequences of Climate Change. Within this context, we propose a new approach in which scientific tools are used directly inside a mobile/website platform geared towards Education/Outreach. Here, we apply this approach by using the Ice Sheet System Model, a state of the art Cryosphere model developed at NASA, and integrated within a Virtual Ice Sheet Laboratory, with the goal is to outreach Cryospherescience to K-12 and College level students. The approach mixes laboratory experiments, interactive classes/lessons on a website, and a simplified interface to a full-fledged instance of ISSM to validate the classes/lessons. This novel approach leverages new insights from the Outreach/Educational community and the interest of new generations in web based technologies and simulation tools, all of it delivered in a seamlessly integrated web platform. This work was performed at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory undera contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cryosphere Science Program.

  9. A spurious jump in the satellite record: is Antarctic sea ice really expanding?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Eisenman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent estimates indicate that the Antarctic sea ice cover is expanding at a statistically significant rate with a magnitude one third as large as the rapid rate of sea ice retreat in the Arctic. However, during the mid-2000s, with several fewer years in the observational record, the trend in Antarctic sea ice extent was reported to be considerably smaller and statistically indistinguishable from zero. Here, we show that the increase in the reported trend occurred primarily due to the effect of a previously undocumented change in the way the satellite sea ice observations are processed for the widely-used Bootstrap algorithm dataset, rather than a physical increase in the rate of ice advance. Although our analysis does not definitively identify whether this undocumented change introduced an error or removed one, the resulting difference in the trends suggests that a substantial error exists in either the current dataset or the version that was used prior to the mid-2000s, and numerous studies that have relied on these observations should be reexamined to determine the sensitivity of their results to this change in the dataset. Furthermore, a number of recent studies have investigated physical mechanisms for the observed expansion of the Antarctic sea ice cover. The results of this analysis raise the possibility that this expansion may be a spurious artifact of an error in the satellite observations, and that the actual Antarctic sea ice cover may not be expanding at all.

  10. Coupling of climate models and ice sheet models by surface mass balance gradients: application to the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. M. Helsen

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available It is notoriously difficult to couple surface mass balance (SMB results from climate models to the changing geometry of an ice sheet model. This problem is traditionally avoided by using only accumulation from a climate model, and parameterizing the meltwater run-off as a function of temperature, which is often related to surface elevation (Hs. In this study, we propose a new strategy to calculate SMB, to allow a direct adjustment of SMB to a change in ice sheet topography and/or a change in climate forcing. This method is based on elevational gradients in the SMB field as computed by a regional climate model. Separate linear relations are derived for ablation and accumulation, using pairs of Hs and SMB within a minimum search radius. The continuously adjusting SMB forcing is consistent with climate model forcing fields, also for initially non-glaciated areas in the peripheral areas of an ice sheet. When applied to an asynchronous coupled ice sheet – climate model setup, this method circumvents traditional temperature lapse rate assumptions. Here we apply it to the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS. Experiments using both steady-state forcing and glacial-interglacial forcing result in realistic ice sheet reconstructions.

  11. Measurements beneath an Antarctic ice shelf using an autonomous underwater vehicle

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholls, K.W.; Abrahamsen, E.P.; Buck, J.J.H.; P. A. Dodd; Goldblatt, C.; Griffiths, G; K. J. Heywood; Hughes, N.E.; Kaletzky, A.; Lane-Serff, G.F.; McPhail, S.D.; Millard, N. W.; Oliver, K. I. C.; Perrett, J; Price, M. R.

    2006-01-01

    The cavities beneath Antarctic ice shelves are among the least studied regions of the World Ocean, yet they are sites of globally important water mass transformations. Here we report results from a mission beneath Fimbul Ice Shelf of an autonomous underwater vehicle. The data reveal a spatially complex oceanographic environment, an ice base with widely varying roughness, and a cavity periodically exposed to water with a temperature significantly above the surface freezing point. The result...

  12. Impacts of unusually high sea ice cover on Antarctic coastal benthic food web structure

    OpenAIRE

    Michel, Loïc; Dubois, Philippe; Eleaume,Marc; Fournier, Jérôme; Gallut, Cyril; Jane, Philip; Lepoint, Gilles

    2016-01-01

    Antarctica currently undergoes strong and contrasted impacts linked with climate change. While the West Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions in the world, resulting in sea ice cover decrease, the sea ice cover of East Antarctica unexpectedly tends to increase, possibly in relation with changes in atmospheric circulation. Changes in sea ice cover are likely to influence benthic food web structure through modifications of benthic-pelagic coupling, disruption of benthic...

  13. Biodiversity change after climate-induced ice-shelf collapse in the Antarctic

    OpenAIRE

    Gutt, J.; Barratt, I.; Domack, E.; d'Acoz, C. D.; Dimmler, W.; Gremare, A.; Heilmayer, O.; Isla, E.; Janussen, D.; E. ; Jorgensen; Kock, K.H.; Lehnert, L. S.; Lopez-Gonzales, P.; Langner, S; Linse, K

    2011-01-01

    The marine ecosystem on the eastern shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula was surveyed 5 and 12 years after the climate-induced collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves. An impoverished benthic fauna was discovered, that included deep-sea species presumed to be remnants from ice-covered conditions. The current structure of various ecosystem components appears to result from extremely different response rates to the change from an oligotrophic sub-ice-shelf ecosystem to a productive shelf ecosyst...

  14. Halogen species record Antarctic sea ice extent over glacial–interglacial periods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Spolaor

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice is an integral part of the earth's climate system because it affects planetary albedo, sea-surface salinity, and the atmosphere–ocean exchange of reactive gases and aerosols. Bromine and iodine chemistry is active at polar sea ice margins with the occurrence of bromine explosions and the biological production of organoiodine from sea ice algae. Satellite measurements demonstrate that concentrations of bromine oxide (BrO and iodine oxide (IO decrease over sea ice toward the Antarctic interior. Here we present speciation measurements of bromine and iodine in the TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE ice core (159°11' E, 72°49' S; 2315 m a.s.l. spanning the last 215 ky. The Talos Dome ice core is located 250 km inland and is sensitive to marine air masses intruding onto the Antarctic Plateau. Talos Dome bromide (Br− is positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with sodium (Na. Based on the Br−/Na seawater ratio, bromide is depleted in the ice during glacial periods and enriched during interglacial periods. Total iodine, consisting of iodide (I− and iodate (IO3−, peaks during glacials with lower values during interglacial periods. Although IO3− is considered the most stable iodine species in the atmosphere it was only observed in the TALDICE record during glacial maxima. Sea ice dynamics are arguably the primary driver of halogen fluxes over glacial–interglacial timescales, by altering the distance between the sea ice edge and the Antarctic plateau and by altering the surface area of sea ice available to algal colonization. Based on our results we propose the use of both halogens for examining Antarctic variability of past sea ice extent.

  15. Halogen species record Antarctic sea ice extent over glacial-interglacial periods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Spolaor

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice is an integral part of the Earth's climate system because it affects planetary albedo, sea surface salinity, and the atmosphere-ocean exchange of reactive gases and aerosols. Bromine and iodine chemistry is active at polar sea ice margins with the occurrence of bromine explosions and the biological production of organo-iodine from sea ice algae. Satellite measurements demonstrate that concentrations of bromine oxide (BrO and iodine oxide (IO decrease over sea ice toward the Antarctic interior. Here we present speciation measurements of bromine and iodine in the TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE ice core (159°11' E, 72°49' S, 2315 m a.s.l. spanning the last 215 ky. The Talos Dome ice core is located 250 km inland and is sensitive to marine air masses intruding onto the Antarctic Plateau. Talos Dome bromide (Br is positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with sodium (Na. Based on the Br/Na seawater ratio, bromide is depleted in the ice during glacial periods and enriched during interglacial periods. Total iodine, consisting of iodide (I and iodate (IO3, peaks during glacials with lower values during interglacial periods. Although IO3 is considered the most stable iodine species in the atmosphere it was only observed in the TALDICE record during glacial maxima. Sea ice dynamics are arguably the primary driver of halogen fluxes over glacial-interglacial timescales, by altering the distance between the sea ice edge and the Antarctic plateau and by altering the surface area of sea ice available to algal colonization. Based on our results we propose the use of both halogens for examining Antarctic variability of past sea ice extent.

  16. Impacts of the north and tropical Atlantic Ocean on the Antarctic Peninsula and sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xichen; Holland, David M; Gerber, Edwin P; Yoo, Changhyun

    2014-01-23

    In recent decades, Antarctica has experienced pronounced climate changes. The Antarctic Peninsula exhibited the strongest warming of any region on the planet, causing rapid changes in land ice. Additionally, in contrast to the sea-ice decline over the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice has not declined, but has instead undergone a perplexing redistribution. Antarctic climate is influenced by, among other factors, changes in radiative forcing and remote Pacific climate variability, but none explains the observed Antarctic Peninsula warming or the sea-ice redistribution in austral winter. However, in the north and tropical Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (a leading mode of sea surface temperature variability) has been overlooked in this context. Here we show that sea surface warming related to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation reduces the surface pressure in the Amundsen Sea and contributes to the observed dipole-like sea-ice redistribution between the Ross and Amundsen-Bellingshausen-Weddell seas and to the Antarctic Peninsula warming. Support for these findings comes from analysis of observational and reanalysis data, and independently from both comprehensive and idealized atmospheric model simulations. We suggest that the north and tropical Atlantic is important for projections of future climate change in Antarctica, and has the potential to affect the global thermohaline circulation and sea-level change. PMID:24451542

  17. Incorporation of iron and organic matter into young Antarctic sea ice during its initial growth stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Janssens

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This study reports concentrations of iron (Fe and organic matter in young Antarctic pack ice and during its initial growth stages in situ. Although the importance of sea ice as an Fe reservoir for oceanic waters of the Southern Ocean has been clearly established, the processes leading to the enrichment of Fe in sea ice have yet to be investigated and quantified. We conducted two in situ sea-ice growth experiments during a winter cruise in the Weddell Sea. Our aim was to improve the understanding of the processes responsible for the accumulation of dissolved Fe (DFe and particulate Fe (PFe in sea ice, and of particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon, extracellular polymeric substances, inorganic macro-nutrients (silicic acid, nitrate and nitrite, phosphate and ammonium, chlorophyll a and bacteria. Enrichment indices, calculated for natural young ice and ice newly formed in situ, indicate that during Antarctic winter all of the measured forms of particulate matter were enriched in sea ice compared to underlying seawater, and that enrichment started from the initial stages of sea-ice formation. Some dissolved material (DFe and ammonium was also enriched in the ice but at lower enrichment indices than the particulate phase, suggesting that size is a key factor for the incorporation of impurities in sea ice. Low chlorophyll a concentrations and the fit of the macro-nutrients (with the exception of ammonium with their theoretical dilution lines indicated low biological activity in the ice. From these and additional results we conclude that physical processes are the dominant mechanisms leading to the enrichment of DFe, PFe, organic matter and bacteria in young sea ice, and that PFe and DFe are decoupled during sea-ice formation. Our study thus provides unique quantitative insight into the initial incorporation of impurities, in particular DFe and PFe, into Antarctic sea ice.

  18. Effect of Cd on GSH and GSH-related enzymes of Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L existing in Antarctic ice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DING Yu; MIAO Jin-lai; LI Guang-you; WANG Quan-fu; KAN Guang-feng; WANG Guo-dong

    2005-01-01

    Glutathione(GSH) and GSH-related enzymes play a great role in protecting organisms from oxidative damage. The GSH level and GSH-related enzymes activities were investigated as well as the growth yield and malonyldialdehyde(MDA) content in the Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L exposure to the different cadmium concentration in this paper. The results showed that the higher concentration Cd inhibited the growth of ICE-L significantly and Cd would induce formation of MDA. At the same time, it is clear that GSH level, glutathione peroxidases(GPx) activity and glutathione S-transferases(GST), activity were higher in ICE-L exposed to Cd than the control. But GR activity dropped notably when ICE-L were cultured in the medium containing Cd. Increase of GSH level, GPx and GST activities acclimate to oxidative stress induced by Cd and protect Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L from toxicity caused by Cd exposure. These parameters may be used to assess the biological impact of Cd in the Antarctic pole region environment.

  19. Representing grounding-line dynamics in Antarctic ice-sheet models/Représentation de la dynamique de la ligne d’ancrage dans les modèles cryosphériques antarctiques

    OpenAIRE

    Docquier, David

    2013-01-01

    Since the mid-20th century, global average temperatures have dramatically risen mostly due to the increasing amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The effects of this recent global warming are already evident and could be exacerbated in the near future if no real action is taken. Recent ice loss in West Antarctica, monitored by satellite measurements and other techniques, gives cause for concern in such a warming world. A major part of this loss has been driven by warm water m...

  20. Late Quaternary Advance and Retreat of an East Antarctic Ice Shelf System: Insights from Sedimentary Beryllium-10 Concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guitard, M. E.; Shevenell, A.; Domack, E. W.; Rosenheim, B. E.; Yokoyama, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Observed retreat of Antarctica's marine-based glaciers and the presence of warm (~2°C) modified Circumpolar Deep Water on Antarctica's continental shelves imply ocean temperatures may influence Antarctic cryosphere stability. A paucity of information regarding Late Quaternary East Antarctic cryosphere-ocean interactions makes assessing the variability, timing, and style of deglacial retreat difficult. Marine sediments from Prydz Bay, East Antarctica contain hemipelagic siliceous mud and ooze units (SMO) alternating with glacial marine sediments. The record suggests Late Quaternary variability of local outlet glacier systems, including the Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf system that drains 15% of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. We present a refined radiocarbon chronology and beryllium-10 (10Be) record of Late Quaternary depositional history in Prydz Channel, seaward of the Amery Ice Shelf system, which provides insight into the timing and variability of this important outlet glacier system. We focus on three piston cores (NBP01-01, JPC 34, 35, 36; 750 m water depth) that contain alternating SMO and granulated units uninterrupted by glacial till; the record preserves a succession of glacial marine deposits that pre-date the Last Glacial Maximum. We utilize the ramped pyrolysis preparatory method to improve the bulk organic carbon 14C-based chronology for Prydz Channel. To determine if the SMO intervals reflect open water conditions or sub-ice shelf advection, we measured sedimentary 10Be concentrations. Because ice cover affects 10Be pathways through the water column, sedimentary concentrations should provide information on past depositional environments in Prydz Channel. In Prydz Channel sediments, 10Be concentrations are generally higher in SMO units and lower in glacial units, suggesting Late Quaternary fluctuations in the Amery Ice Shelf. Improved chronologic constraints indicate that these fluctuations occurred on millennial timescales during the Last Glacial

  1. A new coupled ice sheet/climate model: description and sensitivity to model physics under Eemian, Last Glacial Maximum, late Holocene and modern climate conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. Fyke

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The need to better understand long-term climate/ice sheet feedback loops is motivating efforts to couple ice sheet models into Earth System models which are capable of long-timescale simulations. In this paper we describe a coupled model that consists of the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM and the Pennsylvania State University Ice model (PSUI. The climate model generates a surface mass balance (SMB field via a sub-gridded surface energy/moisture balance model that resolves narrow ice sheet ablation zones. The ice model returns revised elevation, surface albedo and ice area fields, plus coastal fluxes of heat and moisture. An arbitrary number of ice sheets can be simulated, each on their own high-resolution grid and each capable of synchronous or asynchronous coupling with the overlying climate model. The model is designed to conserve global heat and moisture. In the process of improving model performance we developed a procedure to account for modelled surface air temperature (SAT biases within the energy/moisture balance surface model and improved the UVic ESCM snow surface scheme through addition of variable albedos and refreezing over the ice sheet.

    A number of simulations for late Holocene, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, and Eemian climate boundary conditions were carried out to explore the sensitivity of the coupled model and identify model configurations that best represented these climate states. The modelled SAT bias was found to play a significant role in long-term ice sheet evolution, as was the effect of refreezing meltwater and surface albedo. The bias-corrected model was able to reasonably capture important aspects of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, including modern SMB and ice distribution. The simulated northern Greenland ice sheet was found to be prone to ice margin retreat at radiative forcings corresponding closely to those of the Eemian or the present-day.

  2. A new coupled ice sheet-climate model: description and sensitivity to model physics under Eemian, Last Glacial Maximum, late Holocene and modern climate conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. Fyke

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The need to better understand long-term climate/ice sheet feedback loops is motivating efforts to couple ice sheet models into Earth System models which are capable of long-timescale simulations. In this paper we describe a coupled model, that consists of the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM and the Pennsylvania State University Ice model (PSUI. The climate model generates a surface mass balance (SMB field via a sub-gridded surface energy/moisture balance model that resolves narrow ice sheet ablation zones. The ice model returns revised elevation, surface albedo and ice area fields, plus coastal fluxes of heat and moisture. An arbitrary number of ice sheets can be simulated, each on their own high-resolution grid and each capable of synchronous or asynchronous coupling with the overlying climate model. The model is designed to conserve global heat and moisture. In the process of improving model performance we developed a procedure to account for modelled surface air temperature (SAT biases within the energy/moisture balance surface model and improved the UVic ESCM snow surface scheme through addition of variable albedos and refreezing over the ice sheet.

    A number of simulations for late Holocene, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, and Eemian climate boundary conditions were carried out to explore the sensitivity of the coupled model and identify model configurations that best represented these climate states. The modelled SAT bias was found to play a significant role in long-term ice sheet evolution, as was the effect of refreezing meltwater and surface albedo. The bias-corrected model was able to reasonably capture important aspects of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, including modern SMB and ice distribution. The simulated northern Greenland ice sheet was found to be prone to ice margin retreat at radiative forcings corresponding closely to those of the Eemian or the present-day.

  3. A new coupled ice sheet-climate model: description and sensitivity to model physics under Eemian, Last Glacial Maximum, late Holocene and modern climate conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fyke, J. G.; Weaver, A. J.; Pollard, D.; Eby, M.; Carter, L.; Mackintosh, A.

    2010-08-01

    The need to better understand long-term climate/ice sheet feedback loops is motivating efforts to couple ice sheet models into Earth System models which are capable of long-timescale simulations. In this paper we describe a coupled model, that consists of the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM) and the Pennsylvania State University Ice model (PSUI). The climate model generates a surface mass balance (SMB) field via a sub-gridded surface energy/moisture balance model that resolves narrow ice sheet ablation zones. The ice model returns revised elevation, surface albedo and ice area fields, plus coastal fluxes of heat and moisture. An arbitrary number of ice sheets can be simulated, each on their own high-resolution grid and each capable of synchronous or asynchronous coupling with the overlying climate model. The model is designed to conserve global heat and moisture. In the process of improving model performance we developed a procedure to account for modelled surface air temperature (SAT) biases within the energy/moisture balance surface model and improved the UVic ESCM snow surface scheme through addition of variable albedos and refreezing over the ice sheet. A number of simulations for late Holocene, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and Eemian climate boundary conditions were carried out to explore the sensitivity of the coupled model and identify model configurations that best represented these climate states. The modelled SAT bias was found to play a significant role in long-term ice sheet evolution, as was the effect of refreezing meltwater and surface albedo. The bias-corrected model was able to reasonably capture important aspects of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, including modern SMB and ice distribution. The simulated northern Greenland ice sheet was found to be prone to ice margin retreat at radiative forcings corresponding closely to those of the Eemian or the present-day.

  4. A new coupled ice sheet/climate model: description and sensitivity to model physics under Eemian, Last Glacial Maximum, late Holocene and modern climate conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fyke, J. G.; Weaver, A. J.; Pollard, D.; Eby, M.; Carter, L.; Mackintosh, A.

    2011-03-01

    The need to better understand long-term climate/ice sheet feedback loops is motivating efforts to couple ice sheet models into Earth System models which are capable of long-timescale simulations. In this paper we describe a coupled model that consists of the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM) and the Pennsylvania State University Ice model (PSUI). The climate model generates a surface mass balance (SMB) field via a sub-gridded surface energy/moisture balance model that resolves narrow ice sheet ablation zones. The ice model returns revised elevation, surface albedo and ice area fields, plus coastal fluxes of heat and moisture. An arbitrary number of ice sheets can be simulated, each on their own high-resolution grid and each capable of synchronous or asynchronous coupling with the overlying climate model. The model is designed to conserve global heat and moisture. In the process of improving model performance we developed a procedure to account for modelled surface air temperature (SAT) biases within the energy/moisture balance surface model and improved the UVic ESCM snow surface scheme through addition of variable albedos and refreezing over the ice sheet. A number of simulations for late Holocene, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and Eemian climate boundary conditions were carried out to explore the sensitivity of the coupled model and identify model configurations that best represented these climate states. The modelled SAT bias was found to play a significant role in long-term ice sheet evolution, as was the effect of refreezing meltwater and surface albedo. The bias-corrected model was able to reasonably capture important aspects of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, including modern SMB and ice distribution. The simulated northern Greenland ice sheet was found to be prone to ice margin retreat at radiative forcings corresponding closely to those of the Eemian or the present-day.

  5. Improving Surface Mass Balance Over Ice Sheets and Snow Depth on Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Lora Suzanne; Box, Jason; Kurtz, Nathan

    2013-01-01

    Surface mass balance (SMB) over ice sheets and snow on sea ice (SOSI) are important components of the cryosphere. Large knowledge gaps remain in scientists' abilities to monitor SMB and SOSI, including insufficient measurements and difficulties with satellite retrievals. On ice sheets, snow accumulation is the sole mass gain to SMB, and meltwater runoff can be the dominant single loss factor in extremely warm years such as 2012. SOSI affects the growth and melt cycle of the Earth's polar sea ice cover. The summer of 2012 saw the largest satellite-recorded melt area over the Greenland ice sheet and the smallest satellite-recorded Arctic sea ice extent, making this meeting both timely and relevant.

  6. Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlstrom, A. P.; Andersen, M. L.; Andersen, S. B.; Boncori, J. M.; Citterio, M.; Dall, J.; Fausto, R. S.; Forsberg, R.; Kristensen, S. S.; Petersen, D.; Skourup, H.; van As, D.

    2011-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is currently experiencing a dramatic mass loss, with a contribution to sea level rise that is causing concern globally. In order to increase our understanding of the processes leading to this mass loss and to better quantify the contribution to sea level rise, the Danish government initiated the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) in 2007. The aim of PROMICE is to quantify the mass loss from surface melting and iceberg calving through a combination of observation and modelling. Data on the surface climate and melting is collected from a comprehensive network of automatic weather stations (AWS) spanning all regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet margin. In-situ GPS instruments on the ice margin as well as on selected outlet glaciers provide velocity observations. The in-situ data will be merged with satellite-derived velocity maps over large parts of the Greenland Ice Sheet and repeated airborne surveys of elevation and ice thickness along the entire margin to obtain the annual ice flux towards the ocean. We present results from these comprehensive observation campaigns and demonstrate the use of our online database system for public access to near real-time AWS data. Additionally, we present an estimate of the total area covered by glaciers and ice caps surrounding the ice sheet that is not based on extrapolation from partial inventories. The area estimate is derived using topographic maps from GEUS covering the entirety of Greenland at scales of 1:100.000 or 1:250.000.

  7. Laurentide Ice Sheet meltwater and abrupt climate change during the last glaciation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, H W; Flower, B P; Quinn, T M; Hollander, D J; Guilderson, T P

    2005-10-02

    A leading hypothesis to explain abrupt climate change during the last glacial cycle calls on fluctuations in the margin of the North American Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS), which may have routed freshwater between the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and North Atlantic, affecting North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) variability and regional climate. Paired measurements of {delta}O and Mg/Ca of foraminiferal calcite from GOM sediments reveal five episodes of LIS meltwater input from 28-45 thousand years ago (ka) that do not match the millennial-scale Dansgaard-Oeschger (D/O) warmings recorded in Greenland ice. We suggest that summer melting of the LIS may occur during Antarctic warming and likely contributed to sea-level variability during Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3).

  8. The Brazilian research contribution to knowledge of the plant communities from Antarctic ice free areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Antonio B; Putzke, Jair

    2013-09-01

    This work aims to summarize the results of research carried out by Brazilian researchers on the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas during the last twenty five years. Since 1988 field work has been carried out in Elephant Island, King George Island, Nelson Island and Deception Island. During this period six papers were published on the chemistry of lichens, seven papers on plant taxonomy, five papers on plant biology, two studies on UVB photoprotection, three studies about the relationships between plant communities and bird colonies and eleven papers on plant communities from ice free areas. At the present, Brazilian botanists are researching the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas in order to understand their relationships to soil microbial communities, the biodiversity, the distribution of the plants populations and their relationship with birds colonies. In addition to these activities, a group of Brazilian researchers are undertaking studies related to Antarctic plant genetic diversity, plant chemistry and their biotechnological applications. PMID:24068084

  9. Effect of the glacial rebound on elevation changes deduced from the ice core records in Greenland ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    It is important to investigate the behavior of the Greenland ice sheet in Quaternary for elucidating the future sea-level rise due to glacial melting. In order to reconstruct the elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet throughout the Holocene, δ18O data obtained from ice cores were recently used (Vinther et al., 2009). Vinther et al. (2009) also indicated that the Greenland ice sheet elevation changes inferred from ice core records show a significantly greater elevation reduction than th...

  10. Linear sea-level response to abrupt ocean warming of major West Antarctic ice basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mengel, M.; Feldmann, J.; Levermann, A.

    2016-01-01

    Antarctica's contribution to global sea-level rise has recently been increasing. Whether its ice discharge will become unstable and decouple from anthropogenic forcing or increase linearly with the warming of the surrounding ocean is of fundamental importance. Under unabated greenhouse-gas emissions, ocean models indicate an abrupt intrusion of warm circumpolar deep water into the cavity below West Antarctica's Filchner-Ronne ice shelf within the next two centuries. The ice basin's retrograde bed slope would allow for an unstable ice-sheet retreat, but the buttressing of the large ice shelf and the narrow glacier troughs tend to inhibit such instability. It is unclear whether future ice loss will be dominated by ice instability or anthropogenic forcing. Here we show in regional and continental-scale ice-sheet simulations, which are capable of resolving unstable grounding-line retreat, that the sea-level response of the Filchner-Ronne ice basin is not dominated by ice instability and follows the strength of the forcing quasi-linearly. We find that the ice loss reduces after each pulse of projected warm water intrusion. The long-term sea-level contribution is approximately proportional to the total shelf-ice melt. Although the local instabilities might dominate the ice loss for weak oceanic warming, we find that the upper limit of ice discharge from the region is determined by the forcing and not by the marine ice-sheet instability.

  11. Capabilities and performance of Elmer/Ice, a new-generation ice sheet model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Gagliardini

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The Fourth IPCC Assessment Report concluded that ice sheet flow models, in their current state, were unable to provide accurate forecast for the increase of polar ice sheet discharge and the associated contribution to sea level rise. Since then, the glaciological community has undertaken a huge effort to develop and improve a new generation of ice flow models, and as a result a significant number of new ice sheet models have emerged. Among them is the parallel finite-element model Elmer/Ice, based on the open-source multi-physics code Elmer. It was one of the first full-Stokes models used to make projections for the evolution of the whole Greenland ice sheet for the coming two centuries. Originally developed to solve local ice flow problems of high mechanical and physical complexity, Elmer/Ice has today reached the maturity to solve larger-scale problems, earning the status of an ice sheet model. Here, we summarise almost 10 yr of development performed by different groups. Elmer/Ice solves the full-Stokes equations, for isotropic but also anisotropic ice rheology, resolves the grounding line dynamics as a contact problem, and contains various basal friction laws. Derived fields, like the age of the ice, the strain rate or stress, can also be computed. Elmer/Ice includes two recently proposed inverse methods to infer badly known parameters. Elmer is a highly parallelised code thanks to recent developments and the implementation of a block preconditioned solver for the Stokes system. In this paper, all these components are presented in detail, as well as the numerical performance of the Stokes solver and developments planned for the future.

  12. Evaluating Antarctic sea ice predictability at seasonal to interannual timescales in global climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchi, Sylvain; Fichefet, Thierry; Goosse, Hugues; Zunz, Violette; Tietsche, Steffen; Day, Jonny; Hawkins, Ed

    2016-04-01

    Unlike the rapid sea ice losses reported in the Arctic, satellite observations show an overall increase in Antarctic sea ice extent over recent decades. Although many processes have already been suggested to explain this positive trend, it remains the subject of current investigations. Understanding the evolution of the Antarctic sea ice turns out to be more complicated than for the Arctic for two reasons: the lack of observations and the well-known biases of climate models in the Southern Ocean. Irrespective of those issues, another one is to determine whether the positive trend in sea ice extent would have been predictable if adequate observations and models were available some decades ago. This study of Antarctic sea ice predictability is carried out using 6 global climate models (HadGEM1.2, MPI-ESM-LR, GFDL CM3, EC-Earth V2, MIROC 5.2 and ECHAM 6-FESOM) which are all part of the APPOSITE project. These models are used to perform hindcast simulations in a perfect model approach. The predictive skill is estimated thanks to the PPP (Potential Prognostic Predictability) and the ACC (Anomaly Correlation Coefficient). The former is a measure of the uncertainty of the ensemble while the latter assesses the accuracy of the prediction. These two indicators are applied to different variables related to sea ice, in particular the total sea ice extent and the ice edge location. This first model intercomparison study about sea ice predictability in the Southern Ocean aims at giving a general overview of Antarctic sea ice predictability in current global climate models.

  13. Improved ice loss estimate of the northwestern Greenland ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Kjeldsen, K. K.; Khan, S. A.; van den Broeke, M.R.; van Angelen, J.H.

    2013-01-01

    We estimate ice volume change rates in the northwest Greenland drainage basin during 2003–2009 using Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Elevation changes are often reported to be largest near the frontal portion of outlet glaciers. To improve the volume change estimate, we supplement the ICESat data with altimeter surveys from NASA’s Airborne Topographic Mapper from 2002 to 2010 and NASA’s Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor from 2010. The Airborne data are mai...

  14. Improved ice loss estimate of the northwestern Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, K. K.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Wahr, J.;

    2013-01-01

    We estimate ice volume change rates in the northwest Greenland drainage basin during 2003–2009 using Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Elevation changes are often reported to be largest near the frontal portion of outlet glaciers. To improve the volume change...... estimate, we supplement the ICESat data with altimeter surveys from NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper from 2002 to 2010 and NASA's Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor from 2010. The Airborne data are mainly concentrated along the ice margin and thus have a significant impact on the estimate of the volume...

  15. OSL ages in central Norway support a MIS 2 interstadial (25-20 ka) and a dynamic Scandinavian ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnsen, Timothy F.; Olsen, Lars; Murray, Andrew

    2012-06-01

    Recent work has suggested that the Scandinavian ice sheet was much more dynamic than previously believed, and its western marine-based margin can provide an analogue to the rapid-paced fluctuations and deglaciation observed at the margins of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. In this study we used a complimentary dating technique, OSL (Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating), to support the existence of the Trofors interstadial in central Norway; an ice-free period that existed from ˜25 to 20 ka recorded at multiple sites throughout Norway (cf. Andøya interstadial) and that divides the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) into two stadials. OSL signal component analysis was used to optimize data analysis, and internal (methodological) tests show the results to be of good quality. Both large and small aliquots gave consistent OSL ages (22.3 ± 1.7 ka, n = 7) for sub-till glaciofluvial/fluvial sediments at the Langsmoen stratigraphic site, and an apparent old age (˜100 ka) for a poorly-bleached sample of glaciolacustrine sediment at the nearby stratigraphically-related Flora site. Eight radiocarbon ages of sediment from the Flora site gave consistent ages (20.9 ± 1.6 cal ka BP) that overlap within 1σ with OSL ages from the nearby Langsmoen site. The similarity in age within and between these stratigraphically-related sites and using different geochronological techniques strongly suggests that this area was ice-free around ˜21 or 22 ka. The existence of the Trofors interstadial along with other interstadials during the Middle and Late Weichselian (MIS 3 and MIS 2) indicates that not only the western margin, but the whole western part of the Scandinavian ice sheet, from the ice divide to the ice margin was very dynamic. These large changes in the ice margin and accompanying drawdown of the ice surface would have affected the eastern part of the ice sheet as well.

  16. Spring–summer albedo variations of Antarctic sea ice from 1982 to 2009

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study examined the spring–summer (November, December, January and February) albedo averages and trends using a dataset consisting of 28 years of homogenized satellite data for the entire Antarctic sea ice region and for five longitudinal sectors around Antarctica: the Weddell Sea (WS), the Indian Ocean sector (IO), the Pacific Ocean sector (PO), the Ross Sea (RS) and the Bellingshausen–Amundsen Sea (BS). Time series data of the sea ice concentrations and sea surface temperatures were used to analyse their relations to the albedo. The results indicated that the sea ice albedo increased slightly during the study period, at a rate of 0.314% per decade, over the Antarctic sea ice region. The sea ice albedos in the PO, the IO and the WS increased at rates of 2.599% per decade (confidence level 99.86%), 0.824% per decade and 0.413% per decade, respectively, and the steepest increase occurred in the PO. However, the sea ice albedo in the BS decreased at a rate of −1.617% per decade (confidence level 95.05%) and was near zero in the RS. The spring–summer average albedo over the Antarctic sea ice region was 50.24%. The highest albedo values were mainly found on the continental coast and in the WS; in contrast, the lowest albedo values were found on the outer edge of the sea ice, the RS and the Amery Ice Shelf. The average albedo in the western Antarctic sea ice region was distinctly higher than that in the east. The albedo was significantly positively correlated with sea ice concentration (SIC) and was significantly negatively correlated with sea surface temperature (SST); these scenarios held true for all five longitudinal sectors. Spatially, the higher surface albedos follow the higher SICs and lower SST patterns. The increasing albedo means that Antarctic sea ice region reflects more solar radiation and absorbs less, leading to a decrease in temperature and much snowfall on sea ice, and further resulted in an increase in albedo. Conversely, the decreasing

  17. Automated mapping of glacial overdeepenings beneath contemporary ice sheets: Approaches and potential applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, Henry; Swift, Darrel A.; Clark, Chris D.; Livingstone, Stephen J.; Cook, Simon J.; Hubbard, Alun

    2015-03-01

    Awareness is growing on the significance of overdeepenings in ice sheet systems. However, a complete understanding of overdeepening formation is lacking, meaning observations of overdeepening location and morphometry are urgently required to motivate process understanding. Subject to the development of appropriate mapping approaches, high resolution subglacial topography data sets covering the whole of Antarctica and Greenland offer significant potential to acquire such observations and to relate overdeepening characteristics to ice sheet parameters. We explore a possible method for mapping overdeepenings beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and illustrate a potential application of this approach by testing a possible relationship between overdeepening elongation ratio and ice sheet flow velocity. We find that hydrological and terrain filtering approaches are unsuited to mapping overdeepenings and develop a novel rule-based GIS methodology that delineates overdeepening perimeters by analysis of closed-contour properties. We then develop GIS procedures that provide information on overdeepening morphology and topographic context. Limitations in the accuracy and resolution of bed-topography data sets mean that application to glaciological problems requires consideration of quality-control criteria to (a) remove potentially spurious depressions and (b) reduce uncertainties that arise from the inclusion of depressions of nonglacial origin, or those in regions where empirical data are sparse. To address the problem of overdeepening elongation, potential quality control criteria are introduced; and discussion of this example serves to highlight the limitations that mapping approaches - and applications of such approaches - must confront. We predict that improvements in bed-data quality will reduce the need for quality control procedures and facilitate increasingly robust insights from empirical data.

  18. Antarctic icebergs melt over the Southern Ocean : Climatology and impact on sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Nacho; Le Sommer, Julien; Durand, Gael; Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Madec, Gurvan; Mathiot, Pierre; Tournadre, Jean

    2016-08-01

    Recent increase in Antarctic freshwater release to the Southern Ocean is suggested to contribute to change in water masses and sea ice. However, climate models differ in their representation of the freshwater sources. Recent improvements in altimetry-based detection of small icebergs and in estimates of the mass loss of Antarctica may help better constrain the values of Antarctic freshwater releases. We propose a model-based seasonal climatology of iceberg melt over the Southern Ocean using state-of-the-art observed glaciological estimates of the Antarctic mass loss. An improved version of a Lagrangian iceberg model is coupled with a global, eddy-permitting ocean/sea ice model and compared to small icebergs observations. Iceberg melt increases sea ice cover, about 10% in annual mean sea ice volume, and decreases sea surface temperature over most of the Southern Ocean, but with distinctive regional patterns. Our results underline the importance of improving the representation of Antarctic freshwater sources. This can be achieved by forcing ocean/sea ice models with a climatological iceberg fresh-water flux.

  19. Improved ice loss estimate of the northwestern Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kjeldsen, K.K.; Khan, S.A.; van den Broeke, M.R.; van Angelen, J.H.

    2013-01-01

    We estimate ice volume change rates in the northwest Greenland drainage basin during 2003–2009 using Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Elevation changes are often reported to be largest near the frontal portion of outlet glaciers. To improve the volume change est

  20. In situ expression of eukaryotic ice-binding proteins in microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhlig, Christiane; Kilpert, Fabian; Frickenhaus, Stephan; Kegel, Jessica U; Krell, Andreas; Mock, Thomas; Valentin, Klaus; Beszteri, Bánk

    2015-11-01

    Ice-binding proteins (IBPs) have been isolated from various sea-ice organisms. Their characterisation points to a crucial role in protecting the organisms in sub-zero environments. However, their in situ abundance and diversity in natural sea-ice microbial communities is largely unknown. In this study, we analysed the expression and phylogenetic diversity of eukaryotic IBP transcripts from microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. IBP transcripts were found in abundances similar to those of proteins involved in core cellular processes such as photosynthesis. Eighty-nine percent of the IBP transcripts grouped with known IBP sequences from diatoms, haptophytes and crustaceans, but the majority represented novel sequences not previously characterized in cultured organisms. The observed high eukaryotic IBP expression in natural eukaryotic sea ice communities underlines the essential role of IBPs for survival of many microorganisms in communities living under the extreme conditions of polar sea ice. PMID:25885562

  1. Generation of a new Greenland Ice Sheet Digital Elevation Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nagarajan, Sudhagar; Csatho, Beata M; Schenk, Anton F;

    m)), a high resolution, consistent DEM of GrIS is not yet available. This is due to various problems, such as different error sources in the data and different dates of data acquisition. In order to overcome these difficulties, we generated a multi-resolution DEM of GrIS, reflecting June 2008...... conditions, by fusing a photoclinometry DEM, SPOT and ASTER DEMs as well as elevations from ICESat, ATM and LVIS laser altimetry. The new multi-resolution DEM has a resolution of 40 m x 40 m in the marginal ice sheet regions and 250 m elsewhere. The ice sheet margin is mapped from SPOT and Landsat imagery...

  2. Groundwater flow modelling under ice sheet conditions. Scoping calculations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaquet, O.; Namar, R. (In2Earth Modelling Ltd (Switzerland)); Jansson, P. (Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm Univ., Stockholm (Sweden))

    2010-10-15

    The potential impact of long-term climate changes has to be evaluated with respect to repository performance and safety. In particular, glacial periods of advancing and retreating ice sheet and prolonged permafrost conditions are likely to occur over the repository site. The growth and decay of ice sheets and the associated distribution of permafrost will affect the groundwater flow field and its composition. As large changes may take place, the understanding of groundwater flow patterns in connection to glaciations is an important issue for the geological disposal at long term. During a glacial period, the performance of the repository could be weakened by some of the following conditions and associated processes: - Maximum pressure at repository depth (canister failure). - Maximum permafrost depth (canister failure, buffer function). - Concentration of groundwater oxygen (canister corrosion). - Groundwater salinity (buffer stability). - Glacially induced earthquakes (canister failure). Therefore, the GAP project aims at understanding key hydrogeological issues as well as answering specific questions: - Regional groundwater flow system under ice sheet conditions. - Flow and infiltration conditions at the ice sheet bed. - Penetration depth of glacial meltwater into the bedrock. - Water chemical composition at repository depth in presence of glacial effects. - Role of the taliks, located in front of the ice sheet, likely to act as potential discharge zones of deep groundwater flow. - Influence of permafrost distribution on the groundwater flow system in relation to build-up and thawing periods. - Consequences of glacially induced earthquakes on the groundwater flow system. Some answers will be provided by the field data and investigations; the integration of the information and the dynamic characterisation of the key processes will be obtained using numerical modelling. Since most of the data are not yet available, some scoping calculations are performed using the

  3. Groundwater flow modelling under ice sheet conditions. Scoping calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The potential impact of long-term climate changes has to be evaluated with respect to repository performance and safety. In particular, glacial periods of advancing and retreating ice sheet and prolonged permafrost conditions are likely to occur over the repository site. The growth and decay of ice sheets and the associated distribution of permafrost will affect the groundwater flow field and its composition. As large changes may take place, the understanding of groundwater flow patterns in connection to glaciations is an important issue for the geological disposal at long term. During a glacial period, the performance of the repository could be weakened by some of the following conditions and associated processes: - Maximum pressure at repository depth (canister failure). - Maximum permafrost depth (canister failure, buffer function). - Concentration of groundwater oxygen (canister corrosion). - Groundwater salinity (buffer stability). - Glacially induced earthquakes (canister failure). Therefore, the GAP project aims at understanding key hydrogeological issues as well as answering specific questions: - Regional groundwater flow system under ice sheet conditions. - Flow and infiltration conditions at the ice sheet bed. - Penetration depth of glacial meltwater into the bedrock. - Water chemical composition at repository depth in presence of glacial effects. - Role of the taliks, located in front of the ice sheet, likely to act as potential discharge zones of deep groundwater flow. - Influence of permafrost distribution on the groundwater flow system in relation to build-up and thawing periods. - Consequences of glacially induced earthquakes on the groundwater flow system. Some answers will be provided by the field data and investigations; the integration of the information and the dynamic characterisation of the key processes will be obtained using numerical modelling. Since most of the data are not yet available, some scoping calculations are performed using the

  4. GREENLAND ICE SHEET CHANGES FROM SPACE USING LASER, RADAR AND

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Stenseng, Lars; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard;

    2010-01-01

    The Greenland cryosphere is undergoing rapid changes, and these are documented by remote sensing from space. In this paper, an inversion scheme is used to derive mass changes from gravity changes observed by GRACE, and to derive the mean annual mass loss for the Greenland Ice Sheet, which is...... estimated to be 204 Gt/yr for the period 2002-2010. NASA’s laser altimetry satellite ICESat has provided elevation estimates of the ice sheet since January 2003. In order to be able to compare GRACE and ICESat derived results, the ICESat volume change must be converted into a mass change estimate. Therefore...

  5. The sub-ice platelet layer and its influence on freeboard to thickness conversion of Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, D.; Rack, W.; Langhorne, P. J.; Haas, C.; Leonard, G.; Barnsdale, K.

    2014-06-01

    This is an investigation to quantify the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer on satellite measurements of total freeboard and their conversion to thickness of Antarctic sea ice. The sub-ice platelet layer forms as a result of the seaward advection of supercooled ice shelf water from beneath ice shelves. This ice shelf water provides an oceanic heat sink promoting the formation of platelet crystals which accumulate at the sea ice-ocean interface. The build-up of this porous layer increases sea ice freeboard, and if not accounted for, leads to overestimates of sea ice thickness from surface elevation measurements. In order to quantify this buoyant effect, the solid fraction of the sub-ice platelet layer must be estimated. An extensive in situ data set measured in 2011 in McMurdo Sound in the southwestern Ross Sea is used to achieve this. We use drill-hole measurements and the hydrostatic equilibrium assumption to estimate a mean value for the solid fraction of this sub-ice platelet layer of 0.16. This is highly dependent upon the uncertainty in sea ice density. We test this value with independent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) surface elevation data to estimate sea ice thickness. We find that sea ice thickness can be overestimated by up to 19%, with a mean deviation of 12% as a result of the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer. It is concluded that within 100 km of an ice shelf this influence might need to be considered when undertaking sea ice thickness investigations using remote sensing surface elevation measurements.

  6. The extreme melt across the Greenland ice sheet in 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Hall, D. K.; Mote, T. L.; Tedesco, M.; Albert, M. R.; Keegan, K.; Shuman, C. A.; DiGirolamo, N. E.; Neumann, G.

    2012-10-01

    The discovery of the 2012 extreme melt event across almost the entire surface of the Greenland ice sheet is presented. Data from three different satellite sensors - including the Oceansat-2 scatterometer, the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder - are combined to obtain composite melt maps, representing the most complete melt conditions detectable across the ice sheet. Satellite observations reveal that melt occurred at or near the surface of the Greenland ice sheet across 98.6% of its entire extent on 12 July 2012, including the usually cold polar areas at high altitudes like Summit in the dry snow facies of the ice sheet. This melt event coincided with an anomalous ridge of warm air that became stagnant over Greenland. As seen in melt occurrences from multiple ice core records at Summit reported in the published literature, such a melt event is rare with the last significant one occurring in 1889 and the next previous one around seven centuries earlier in the Medieval Warm Period. Given its rarity, the 2012 extreme melt across Greenland provides an exceptional opportunity for new studies in broad interdisciplinary geophysical research.

  7. connecting the dots between Greenland ice sheet surface melting and ice flow dynamics (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Box, J. E.; Colgan, W. T.; Fettweis, X.; Phillips, T. P.; Stober, M.

    2013-12-01

    This presentation is of a 'unified theory' in glaciology that first identifies surface albedo as a key factor explaining total ice sheet mass balance and then surveys a mechanistic self-reinforcing interaction between melt water and ice flow dynamics. The theory is applied in a near-real time total Greenland mass balance retrieval based on surface albedo, a powerful integrator of the competing effects of accumulation and ablation. New snowfall reduces sunlight absorption and increases meltwater retention. Melting amplifies absorbed sunlight through thermal metamorphism and bare ice expansion in space and time. By ';following the melt'; we reveal mechanisms linking existing science into a unified theory. Increasing meltwater softens the ice sheet in three ways: 1.) sensible heating given the water temperature exceeds that of the ice sheet interior; 2.) Some infiltrating water refreezes, transferring latent heat to the ice; 3.) Friction from water turbulence heats the ice. It has been shown that for a point on the ice sheet, basal lubrication increases ice flow speed to a time when an efficient sub-glacial drainage network develops that reduces this effect. Yet, with an increasing melt duration the point where the ice sheet glides on a wet bed increases inland to a larger area. This effect draws down the ice surface elevation, contributing to the ';elevation feedback'. In a perpetual warming scenario, the elevation feedback ultimately leads to ice sheet loss reversible only through much slower ice sheet growth in an ice age environment. As the inland ice sheet accelerates, the horizontal extension pulls cracks and crevasses open, trapping more sunlight, amplifying the effect of melt accelerated ice. As the bare ice area increases, the direct sun-exposed crevassed and infiltration area increases further allowing the ice warming process to occur more broadly. Considering hydrofracture [a.k.a. hydrofracking]; surface meltwater fills cracks, attacking the ice integrity

  8. Footprints of the Newly-Discovered Vela Supernova in Antarctic Ice Cores?

    OpenAIRE

    Burgess, C.P.; Zuber, K.

    1999-01-01

    The recently-discovered, nearby young supernova remnant in the southeast corner of the older Vela supernova remnant may have been seen in measurements of nitrate abundances in Antarctic ice cores. Such an interpretation of this twenty-year-old ice-core data would provide a more accurate dating of this supernova than is possible purely using astrophysical techniques. It permits an inference of the supernova4s ${}^{44}$Ti yield purely on an observational basis, without reference to supernova mo...

  9. Bio-optical properties of Antarctic pack ice in the early austral spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritsen, Christian H.; Wirthlin, Eric D.; Momberg, Diane K.; Lewis, Michael J.; Ackley, Stephen F.

    2011-05-01

    Pack ice in the Bellingshausen Sea contained moderate to high stocks of microalgal biomass (3-10 mg Chl a m -2) spanning the range of general sea-ice microalgal microhabitats (e.g., bottom, interior and surface) during the International Polar Year (IPY) Sea Ice Mass Balance in the Antarctic (SIMBA) studies. Measurements of irradiance above and beneath the ice as well as optical properties of the microalgae therein demonstrated that absorption of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) by particulates (microalgae and detritus) had a substantial influence on attenuation of PAR and irradiance transmission in areas with moderate snow covers (0.2-0.3 m) and more moderate effects in areas with low snow cover. Particulates contributed an estimated 25 to 90% of the attenuation coefficients for the first-year sea ice at wavelengths less than 500 nm. Strong ultraviolet radiation (UVR) absorption by particulates was prevalent in the ice habitats where solar radiation was highest—with absorption coefficients by ice algae often being as large as that of the sea ice. Strong UVR-absorption features were associated with an abundance of dinoflagellates and a general lack of diatoms—perhaps suggesting UVR may be influencing the structure of some parts of the sea-ice microbial communities in the pack ice during spring. We also evaluated the time-varying changes in the spectra of under-ice irradiances in the austral spring and showed dynamics associated with changes that could be attributed to coupled changes in the ice thickness (mass balance) and microalgal biomass. All results are indicative of radiation-induced changes in the absorption properties of the pack ice and highlight the non-linear, time-varying, bio-physical interactions operating within the Antarctic pack ice ecosystem.

  10. Acclimation of Antarctic Chlamydomonas to the sea-ice environment: a transcriptomic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chenlin; Wang, Xiuliang; Wang, Xingna; Sun, Chengjun

    2016-07-01

    The Antarctic green alga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L was isolated from sea ice. As a psychrophilic microalga, it can tolerate the environmental stress in the sea-ice brine, such as freezing temperature and high salinity. We performed a transcriptome analysis to identify freezing stress responding genes and explore the extreme environmental acclimation-related strategies. Here, we show that many genes in ICE-L transcriptome that encoding PUFA synthesis enzymes, molecular chaperon proteins, and cell membrane transport proteins have high similarity to the gens from Antarctic bacteria. These ICE-L genes are supposed to be acquired through horizontal gene transfer from its symbiotic microbes in the sea-ice brine. The presence of these genes in both sea-ice microalgae and bacteria indicated the biological processes they involved in are possibly contributing to ICE-L success in sea ice. In addition, the biological pathways were compared between ICE-L and its closely related sister species, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Volvox carteri. In ICE-L transcripome, many sequences homologous to the plant or bacteria proteins in the post-transcriptional, post-translational modification, and signal-transduction KEGG pathways, are absent in the nonpsychrophilic green algae. These complex structural components might imply enhanced stress adaptation capacity. At last, differential gene expression analysis at the transcriptome level of ICE-L indicated that genes that associated with post-translational modification, lipid metabolism, and nitrogen metabolism are responding to the freezing treatment. In conclusion, the transcriptome of Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L is very useful for exploring the mutualistic interaction between microalgae and bacteria in sea ice; and discovering the specific genes and metabolism pathways responding to the freezing acclimation in psychrophilic microalgae. PMID:27161450

  11. The sub-ice platelet layer and its influence on freeboard to thickness conversion of Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Price

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This is an investigation to quantify the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer on satellite measurements of total freeboard and their conversion to thickness of Antarctic sea ice. The sub-ice platelet layer forms as a result of the seaward advection of supercooled ice shelf water from beneath ice shelves. This ice shelf water provides an oceanic heat sink promoting the formation of platelet crystals which accumulate at the sea ice–ocean interface. The build-up of this porous layer increases sea ice freeboard, and if not accounted for, leads to overestimates of sea ice thickness from surface elevation measurements. In order to quantify this buoyant effect, the solid fraction of the sub-ice platelet layer must be estimated. An extensive in situ data set measured in 2011 in McMurdo Sound in the south-western Ross Sea is used to achieve this. We use drill-hole measurements and the hydrostatic equilibrium assumption to estimate a mean value for the solid fraction of this sub-ice platelet layer of 0.16. This is highly dependent upon the uncertainty in sea ice density. We test this value with independent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS surface elevation data to estimate sea ice thickness. We find that sea ice thickness can be overestimated by up to 19%, with a mean deviation of 12% as a result of the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer. It is concluded that in close proximity to ice shelves this influence should be considered universally when undertaking sea ice thickness investigations using remote sensing surface elevation measurements.

  12. 36Cl and 53Mn in Antarctic meteorites and 10Be-36Cl dating of Antarctic ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cosmic-ray-produced 53Mn (tsub(1/2)=3.7x106 years) has been measured in twenty Antarctic meteorites by neutron activation analysis. 36Cl (tsub(1/2)=3.0x105 years) has been measured in fourteen of these objects by tandem accelerator mass spectrometry. Cosmic ray exposure ages and terrestrial ages of the meteorites are calculated from these results and from gases. 14C (tsub(1/2)=5740 years) and 26Al(tsub(1/2)=7.2x105 years) data. The terrestrial ages range from 3x104 to 5x105 years. Many of the L3-Allan Hills chrondrites seem to be a single fall based on these results. In addition, 10Be (tsub(1/2)=1.6x106 years) and 36Cl have been measured in six Antarctic ice samples. The first measurements of 10Be/36Cl ratios in the ice core samples demonstrate a new dating method for ice. (orig.)

  13. Anomalously high arsenic concentration in a West Antarctic ice core and its relationship to copper mining in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwanck, Franciele; Simões, Jefferson C.; Handley, Michael; Mayewski, Paul A.; Bernardo, Ronaldo T.; Aquino, Francisco E.

    2016-01-01

    Arsenic variability records are preserved in snow and ice cores and can be utilized to reconstruct air pollution history. The Mount Johns ice core (79°55‧S; 94°23‧W and 91.2 m depth) was collected from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the 2008/09 austral summer. Here, we report the As concentration variability as determined by 2137 samples from the upper 45 m of this core using ICP-SFMS (CCI, University of Maine, USA). The record covers approximately 125 years (1883-2008) showing a mean concentration of 4.32 pg g-1. The arsenic concentration in the core follows global copper mining evolution, particularly in Chile (the largest producer of Cu). From 1940 to 1990, copper-mining production increased along with arsenic concentrations in the MJ core, from 1.92 pg g-1 (before 1900) to 7.94 pg g-1 (1950). In the last two decades, environmental regulations for As emissions have been implemented, forcing smelters to treat their gases to conform to national and international environmental standards. In Chile, decontamination plants required by the government started operating from 1993 to 2000. Thereafter, Chilean copper production more than doubled while As emission levels declined, and the same reduction was observed in the Mount Johns ice core. After 1999, arsenic concentrations in our samples decreased to levels comparable to the period before 1900.

  14. Invited Article: SUBGLACIOR: An optical analyzer embedded in an Antarctic ice probe for exploring the past climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grilli, R.; Marrocco, N.; Desbois, T. [CNRS, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Guillerm, C. [DT INSU CNRS, Bât. IPEV BP 74, Technopole Brest Iroise, 29280 Plouzané (France); Triest, J. [CNRS, LGGE, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Kerstel, E.; Romanini, D. [CNRS, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France)

    2014-11-15

    This article describes the advances made in the development of a specific optical spectrometer based on the Optical Feedback-Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy technique for exploring past climate by probing the original composition of the atmosphere stored in the ice sheet of a glacier. Based on significant technological progresses and unconventional approaches, SUBGLACIOR will be a revolutionary tool for ice-core research: the optical spectrometer, directly embedded in the drilling probe, will provide in situ real-time measurements of deuterium isotopic variations (δ{sup 2}H ) and CH{sub 4} concentrations down to 3500 m of ice depth within a single Antarctic season. The instrument will provide simultaneous and real-time vertical profiles of these two key climate signatures in order to evaluate if a target site can offer ice cores as old as 1.5 million years by providing direct insight into past temperatures and climate cycles. The spectrometer has a noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 2.8 × 10{sup −10} cm{sup −1} Hz{sup −1/2}, corresponding to a detection limit of 0.2 ppbv for CH{sub 4} and a precision of 0.2‰ on the δ{sup 2}H of H{sub 2}O within 1 min acquisition time.

  15. Invited Article: SUBGLACIOR: An optical analyzer embedded in an Antarctic ice probe for exploring the past climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This article describes the advances made in the development of a specific optical spectrometer based on the Optical Feedback-Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy technique for exploring past climate by probing the original composition of the atmosphere stored in the ice sheet of a glacier. Based on significant technological progresses and unconventional approaches, SUBGLACIOR will be a revolutionary tool for ice-core research: the optical spectrometer, directly embedded in the drilling probe, will provide in situ real-time measurements of deuterium isotopic variations (δ2H ) and CH4 concentrations down to 3500 m of ice depth within a single Antarctic season. The instrument will provide simultaneous and real-time vertical profiles of these two key climate signatures in order to evaluate if a target site can offer ice cores as old as 1.5 million years by providing direct insight into past temperatures and climate cycles. The spectrometer has a noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 2.8 × 10−10 cm−1 Hz−1/2, corresponding to a detection limit of 0.2 ppbv for CH4 and a precision of 0.2‰ on the δ2H of H2O within 1 min acquisition time

  16. Invited article: SUBGLACIOR: an optical analyzer embedded in an Antarctic ice probe for exploring the past climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grilli, R; Marrocco, N; Desbois, T; Guillerm, C; Triest, J; Kerstel, E; Romanini, D

    2014-11-01

    This article describes the advances made in the development of a specific optical spectrometer based on the Optical Feedback-Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy technique for exploring past climate by probing the original composition of the atmosphere stored in the ice sheet of a glacier. Based on significant technological progresses and unconventional approaches, SUBGLACIOR will be a revolutionary tool for ice-core research: the optical spectrometer, directly embedded in the drilling probe, will provide in situ real-time measurements of deuterium isotopic variations (δ(2)H ) and CH4 concentrations down to 3500 m of ice depth within a single Antarctic season. The instrument will provide simultaneous and real-time vertical profiles of these two key climate signatures in order to evaluate if a target site can offer ice cores as old as 1.5 million years by providing direct insight into past temperatures and climate cycles. The spectrometer has a noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 2.8 × 10(-10) cm(-1) Hz(-1/2), corresponding to a detection limit of 0.2 ppbv for CH4 and a precision of 0.2‰ on the δ(2)H of H2O within 1 min acquisition time. PMID:25430089

  17. Consistent dating for Antarctic and Greenland ice cores

    OpenAIRE

    Lemieux-Dudon, Bénédicte; Blayo, Eric; Petit, Jean-Robert; Waelbroeck, Claire; Svensson, Anders; Ritz, Catherine; Barnola, Jean-Marc; Narcisi, Bianca Maria; Parrenin, Frédéric

    2010-01-01

    We are hereby presenting a new dating method based on inverse techniques, which aims at calculating consistent gas and ice chronologies for several ice cores. The proposed method yields new dating scenarios simultaneously for several cores by making a compromise between the chronological information brought by glaciological modeling (i.e., ice flow model, firn densification model, accumulation rate model), and by gas and ice stratigraphic constraints. This method enables us to gather widespre...

  18. Antarctic Sea Ice-a Habitat for Extremophiles

    OpenAIRE

    D. Thomas; Dieckmann, Gerhard

    2002-01-01

    The pack ice of Earth's polar oceans appears to be frozen white desert, devoid of life. However, beneath the snow lies a unique habitat for a group of bacteria and microscopic plants and animals that are encased in an ice matrix at low temperatures and light levels, with the only liquid being pockets of concentrated brines. Survival in these conditions requires a complex suite of physiological and metabolic adaptations, but sea-ice organisms thrive in the ice, and their prolific growth ensure...

  19. Organic compounds and suspended matter in the marine ice of the Eastern Antarctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Data on the composition of organic compounds in Antarctic sea ice are virtually non-existent, as most works concentrate on the structure, physical composition and biological properties of the ice. Data is needed for the study of the global carbon cycle and the estimation of background values and anthropogenic compounds. Specific features of the hydrometeorological regime near Antarctica affect the structure of the ice cover and its properties. The transportation of large volumes of snow to the ocean results in the formation of a snow sludge layer which gradually accumulates on the sea surface and freezes into young slush ice. The irregular distribution of snow at the ice surface and seawater infiltration results in the formation of ice with a specific crystalline structure and physiochemical properties. This paper discussed the dissolved and suspended lipids and hydrocarbons, as well as suspended matter (SM) concentrations in snow, sea ice and sub-ice water in coastal zones of the East Antarctic. The data was obtained during the Russian Antarctic Expedition in 2003. Variations in the concentration and distribution of the various substances suggest that they are related to ice forming conditions and to the processes that occur when ice forms, as well as in the interaction of the substances with ice, snow and sub-ice water. The SM and organic compounds are accumulated in layers characterized by intense autochthonous processes. It was noted that the zones stay biogeochemically active even under low temperature conditions. The highest concentrations of organic compounds, along with the biggest variations in their proportions have been discovered in the areas surrounded by penguin colonies near Buromsky Island and Haswell Island's Lake. The presence of significant quantities of PAHs in both pack and seasonal ice of high latitudes indicates that their formation is relatively rapid even at low temperatures. Many biochemical processes are intense under the influence of ice

  20. An Interferometric Ka-band Synthetic Aperture Radar: A New Technique for Glacier and Ice- sheet Topography Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moller, D. K.; Aaron, K.; Gim, Y.; Heavey, B.; Hodges, R.; Nicolson, A.; Rengarajan, S.; Rignot, E.; Rogez, F.; Sadowy, G.; Simard, M.; Zawadzki, M.

    2006-12-01

    The estimation of the mass balance of ice sheets and glaciers on Earth is a problem of considerable scientific and societal importance. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets together hold enough ice to raise global sea level by 80 m. The annual exchange of mass on the ice sheets is equivalent to 8mm/yr sea level, so that any fluctuation in that level of exchange is significant on the global scale. A key measurement to understanding, monitoring and forecasting these changes is ice-surface topography, both for ice-sheet and glacial regions. As such NASA identified "ice topographic mapping instruments capable of providing precise elevation and detailed imagery data for measurements on glacial scales for detailed monitoring of ice sheet, and glacier changes" as a science priority for the most recent ESTO- Instrument Incubator Program (IIP) opportunities. Funded under this opportunity is the technological development for a Ka-Band (35GHz) single-pass digitally beamformed interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). Unique to this concept is the ability to map a significant swath impervious of cloud cover with measurement accuracies comparable to lidar altimeters but with variable resolution as appropriate to the differing scales-of-interest over ice-sheets and glaciers. By diverging from the more traditional profiling measurements employed to date (ie radar altimeters and lidars) we are able to offer the potential to significantly advance the spaciotemporal observational capabilities of both ice sheets and glaciers. Dubbed the Glacier and Land Ice Surface Topography Interferometer (GLISTIN), the instrument and mission presents several significant challenges. In particular, under the IIP program we are designing, building and demonstrating a large Ka-band antenna array with integrated digital receivers and utilizing digital beamforming to preserve both antenna gain and swath. These technology items will ultimately be integrated into a complete interferometric

  1. The impact of the North American ice sheet on the evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet during the last glacial cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liakka, J.; Löfverström, M.; Colleoni, F.

    2015-11-01

    Modeling studies show that the massive ice sheet expanding over the North American and Eurasian continents in the last glacial cycle has a large impact on the atmospheric stationary waves and thus yielded a glacial climate distinctly different from the present. However, to what extent the two ice sheets influenced each others growth trajectories remains largely unexplored. In this study we investigate how ice sheets in North America influence the downstream evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet, using a thermomechanical ice-sheet model forced by climate data from snapshot simulations of three distinctly different phases of the last glacial cycle: the Marine Isotope Stages 5b, 4 and 2 (LGM). Our results suggest that changes in the North American paleo-topography may have had a large influence on evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet. In the MIS4 and LGM experiments, the Eurasian ice sheet migrates westward towards the Atlantic sector - largely consistent with geological data and contemporary ice-sheet reconstructions - due to a low wavenumber stationary wave response, which yields a cooling in Europe and a warming in northeastern Siberia. The expansion of the North American ice sheet between MIS4 and LGM amplifies the Siberian warm anomaly, which limits the glaciation there and may therefore help to explain the progressive westward migration of the Eurasian ice sheet over this time period. While the Eurasian ice sheet in the MIS4 and LGM experiments appears to be in equilibrium with the simulated climate conditions, the MIS5b climate forcing is too warm to grow an ice sheet. First-order sensitivity experiments suggest that most of the MIS5b ice sheet was established during preceding colder stages.

  2. The impact of the North American ice sheet on the evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet during the last glacial cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Liakka

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Modeling studies show that the massive ice sheet expanding over the North American and Eurasian continents in the last glacial cycle has a large impact on the atmospheric stationary waves and thus yielded a glacial climate distinctly different from the present. However, to what extent the two ice sheets influenced each others growth trajectories remains largely unexplored. In this study we investigate how ice sheets in North America influence the downstream evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet, using a thermomechanical ice-sheet model forced by climate data from snapshot simulations of three distinctly different phases of the last glacial cycle: the Marine Isotope Stages 5b, 4 and 2 (LGM. Our results suggest that changes in the North American paleo-topography may have had a large influence on evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet. In the MIS4 and LGM experiments, the Eurasian ice sheet migrates westward towards the Atlantic sector – largely consistent with geological data and contemporary ice-sheet reconstructions – due to a low wavenumber stationary wave response, which yields a cooling in Europe and a warming in northeastern Siberia. The expansion of the North American ice sheet between MIS4 and LGM amplifies the Siberian warm anomaly, which limits the glaciation there and may therefore help to explain the progressive westward migration of the Eurasian ice sheet over this time period. While the Eurasian ice sheet in the MIS4 and LGM experiments appears to be in equilibrium with the simulated climate conditions, the MIS5b climate forcing is too warm to grow an ice sheet. First-order sensitivity experiments suggest that most of the MIS5b ice sheet was established during preceding colder stages.

  3. Potential groundwater and heterogeneous heat source contributions to ice sheet dynamics in critical submarine basins of East Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooch, Brad T.; Young, Duncan A.; Blankenship, Donald D.

    2016-02-01

    We present the results of two numerical models describing contributions of groundwater and heterogeneous heat sources to ice dynamics directly relevant to basal processes in East Antarctica. A two-phase, one-dimensional hydrothermal model demonstrates the importance of groundwater flow in vertical heat flux advection near the ice-bed interface. Typical, conservative vertical components of groundwater volume fluxes (from either topographical gradients or vertically channeled flow) on the order of ±1-10 mm/yr can alter vertical heat flux by ±50-500 mW/m2 given parameters typical for the interior of East Antarctica. This heat flux has the potential to produce considerable volumes of meltwater depending on basin geometry and geothermal heat production. A one-dimensional hydromechanical model demonstrates that groundwater is mainly recharged into saturated, partially poroelastic (i.e., vertical stress only; not coupled to a deformation equation) sedimentary aquifers during ice advance. During ice retreat, groundwater discharges into the ice-bed interface, which may contribute to water budgets on the order of 0.1-1 mm/yr. We also present an estimated map of potentially heterogeneous heat flow provinces using radiogenic heat production data from East Antarctica and southern Australia, calculated sedimentary basin depths, and radar-derived bed roughness. These are overlaid together to delineate the areas of greatest potential effect from these modeled processes on the ice sheet dynamics of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  4. Snow depth on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice derived from autonomous (Snow Buoy) measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolaus, Marcel; Arndt, Stefanie; Hendricks, Stefan; Heygster, Georg; Huntemann, Marcus; Katlein, Christian; Langevin, Danielle; Rossmann, Leonard; Schwegmann, Sandra

    2016-04-01

    The snow cover on sea ice received more and more attention in recent sea ice studies and model simulations, because its physical properties dominate many sea ice and upper ocean processes. In particular; the temporal and spatial distribution of snow depth is of crucial importance for the energy and mass budgets of sea ice, as well as for the interaction with the atmosphere and the oceanic freshwater budget. Snow depth is also a crucial parameter for sea ice thickness retrieval algorithms from satellite altimetry data. Recent time series of Arctic sea ice volume only use monthly snow depth climatology, which cannot take into account annual changes of the snow depth and its properties. For Antarctic sea ice, no such climatology is available. With a few exceptions, snow depth on sea ice is determined from manual in-situ measurements with very limited coverage of space and time. Hence the need for more consistent observational data sets of snow depth on sea ice is frequently highlighted. Here, we present time series measurements of snow depths on Antarctic and Arctic sea ice, recorded by an innovative and affordable platform. This Snow Buoy is optimized to autonomously monitor the evolution of snow depth on sea ice and will allow new insights into its seasonality. In addition, the instruments report air temperature and atmospheric pressure directly into different international networks, e.g. the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) and the International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP). We introduce the Snow Buoy concept together with technical specifications and results on data quality, reliability, and performance of the units. We highlight the findings from four buoys, which simultaneously drifted through the Weddell Sea for more than 1.5 years, revealing unique information on characteristic regional and seasonal differences. Finally, results from seven snow buoys co-deployed on Arctic sea ice throughout the winter season 2015/16 suggest the great importance of local

  5. The present evolution of the Greenland ice sheet: an assessment by modelling

    OpenAIRE

    Huybrechts, Philippe

    1994-01-01

    The present state of balance of the Greenland ice sheet is an important initial condition to assess the ice sheet's contribution to future sea levels. In this paperthis problem is investigated by first simulating the evolution of the ice sheet during the last glacial-interglacial cycle and subsequently analyzing the localthickness change which results for the present time. The 3-D, time-dependent ice sheet model includes thermomechanical coupling and the effect of thestiffness contrast betwee...

  6. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Loss from GRACE Monthly Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Forsberg, René

    2010-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet is currently experiencing a net mass loss. There are however large discrepancies between the published qualitative mass loss estimates, based on different data sets and methods. There are even large differences between the results based on the same data sources, as is the ...

  7. The Greenland ice sheet in a warming climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Angelen, J.H.

    2013-01-01

    In this thesis we assess multiple aspects of the Greenland climate, including the surface energy and mass balance of the ice sheet for the contemporary and near future climate. For these purposes we used output of the extensively and well-evaluated regional atmospheric climate model RACMO2. The rela

  8. A reconciled estimate of ice-sheet mass balance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shepherd, Andrew; Ivins, Erik R; A, Geruo;

    2012-01-01

    We combined an ensemble of satellite altimetry, interferometry, and gravimetry data sets using common geographical regions, time intervals, and models of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment to estimate the mass balance of Earth's polar ice sheets. We find that there is good agre...

  9. Greenland ice sheet melt from MODIS and associated atmospheric variability

    OpenAIRE

    Häkkinen, Sirpa; Hall, Dorothy K; Shuman, Christopher A; Worthen, Denise L; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E

    2014-01-01

    Daily June-July melt fraction variations over the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) (2000–2013) are associated with atmospheric blocking forming an omega-shape ridge over the GIS at 500 hPa height. Blocking activity with a range of time scales, from synoptic waves breaking poleward (

  10. Microbial nitrogen cycling on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Telling

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Nitrogen inputs and microbial nitrogen cycling were investigated along a 79 km transect into the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS during the main ablation season in summer 2010. The depletion of dissolved nitrate and production of ammonium (relative to icemelt in cryoconite holes on Leverett Glacier, within 7.5 km of the ice sheet margin, suggested microbial uptake and ammonification respectively. Positive in situ acetylene assays indicated nitrogen fixation both in a debris-rich 100 m marginal zone and up to 5.7 km upslope on Leverett Glacier (with rates up to 16.3 μmoles C2H4 m−2 day−1. No positive acetylene assays were detected > 5.7 km into the ablation zone of the ice sheet. Potential nitrogen fixation only occurred when concentrations of dissolved and sediment-bound inorganic nitrogen were undetectable. Estimates of nitrogen fluxes onto the transect suggest that nitrogen fixation is likely of minor importance to the overall nitrogen budget of Leverett Glacier and of negligible importance to the nitrogen budget on the main ice sheet itself. Nitrogen fixation is however potentially important as a source of nitrogen to microbial communities in the debris-rich marginal zone close to the terminus of the glacier, where nitrogen fixation may aid the colonization of subglacial and moraine-derived debris.

  11. Supraglacial meltwater runoff from the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, L. C.; Chu, V.; Yang, K.; Rennermalm, A. K.; Legleiter, C. J.; Gleason, C. J.; Pitcher, L. H.; Moustafa, S.; Overstreet, B. T.; Behar, A.; Tedesco, M.; Forster, R. R.

    2013-12-01

    This presentation summarizes collaborative field and remote sensing research studying Greenland ice sheet meltwater flux through supraglacial rivers flowing over its surface and in proglacial rivers that emerge along its edge. High-resolution visible/near-infrared WorldView-2 satellite images were acquired simultaneously with in situ measurements of river hydraulic properties, including flow velocities from autonomous GPS drifters and ADCP, bathymetric depth soundings, water surface slopes, and hydraulic roughness. High-resolution mapping of supraglacial lake and river depths across the ablation zone were enabled through calibration of WorldView-2 images with in situ field spectra and water depth soundings collected from an unmanned autonomous watercraft. Fusion of these satellite and in situ datasets permits quantitative estimation of meltwater flux flowing over the ice sheet surface and entering moulins, and in situ proglacial measurements enable estimation of total meltwater export leaving the ice sheet. Analysis suggests that these supra- and pro-glacial rivers represent critical pathways for transport of meltwater runoff from the ice sheet surface to the global ocean.

  12. Detection of temperature and sea ice extent changes in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Some global climate models indicate that future global warming from increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases may be greatest in the polar regions, over areas where the sea ice cover is reduced. The reduction of sea ice area in the models also gives rise to a strong positive feedback to the warming. From the increase of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration to date and the results of transient climate models, an estimate of the expected change in the Antarctic temperatures and sea ice extent can be made. The existing data for observed changes in temperatures of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean (extending back to ∼1956 and ∼1945 respectively) are analyzed along with the data of sea ice cover (commencing in 1973) to examine the extent to which the anticipated warming trends and sea ice decrease are being realized. In spite of high temporal and spatial variability, the data does support small significant trends of temperature increase and sea ice cover decrease compatible in magnitude to those expected as a consequence of atmospheric greenhouse gas increase. The seasonal cycle shows a delayed period of autumn-winter sea ice growth with a longer period of open water. This supports a mechanism for positive feedback between decreasing sea ice cover and increasing temperature

  13. Anchor ice and benthic disturbance in shallow Antarctic waters: interspecific variation in initiation and propagation of ice crystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denny, Mark; Dorgan, Kelly M; Evangelista, Dennis; Hettinger, Annaliese; Leichter, James; Ruder, Warren C; Tuval, Idan

    2011-10-01

    Sea ice typically forms at the ocean's surface, but given a source of supercooled water, an unusual form of ice--anchor ice--can grow on objects in the water column or at the seafloor. For several decades, ecologists have considered anchor ice to be an important agent of disturbance in the shallow-water benthic communities of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, and potentially elsewhere in polar seas. Divers have documented anchor ice in the McMurdo communities, and its presence coincides with reduced abundance of the sponge Homaxinella balfourensis, which provides habitat for a diverse assemblage of benthic organisms. However, the mechanism of this disturbance has not been explored. Here we show interspecific differences in anchor-ice formation and propagation characteristics for Antarctic benthic organisms. The sponges H. balfourensis and Suberites caminatus show increased incidence of formation and accelerated spread of ice crystals compared to urchins and sea stars. Anchor ice also forms readily on sediments, from which it can grow and adhere to organisms. Our results are consistent with, and provide a potential first step toward, an explanation for disturbance patterns observed in shallow polar benthic communities. Interspecific differences in ice formation raise questions about how surface tissue characteristics such as surface area, rugosity, and mucus coating affect ice formation on invertebrates. PMID:22042434

  14. Results of the Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project, MISMIP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Pattyn

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Predictions of marine ice-sheet behaviour require models that are able to robustly simulate grounding line migration. We present results of an intercomparison exercise for marine ice-sheet models. Verification is effected by comparison with approximate analytical solutions for flux across the grounding line using simplified geometrical configurations (no lateral variations, no effects of lateral buttressing. Unique steady state grounding line positions exist for ice sheets on a downward sloping bed, while hysteresis occurs across an overdeepened bed, and stable steady state grounding line positions only occur on the downward-sloping sections. Models based on the shallow ice approximation, which does not resolve extensional stresses, do not reproduce the approximate analytical results unless appropriate parameterizations for ice flux are imposed at the grounding line. For extensional-stress resolving "shelfy stream" models, differences between model results were mainly due to the choice of spatial discretization. Moving grid methods were found to be the most accurate at capturing grounding line evolution, since they track the grounding line explicitly. Adaptive mesh refinement can further improve accuracy, including fixed grid models that generally perform poorly at coarse resolution. Fixed grid models, with nested grid representations of the grounding line, are able to generate accurate steady state positions, but can be inaccurate over transients. Only one full-Stokes model was included in the intercomparison, and consequently the accuracy of shelfy stream models as approximations of full-Stokes models remains to be determined in detail, especially during transients.

  15. Results of the Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project, MISMIP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Pattyn

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Predictions of marine ice-sheet behaviour require models that are able to robustly simulate grounding line migration. We present results of an intercomparison exercise for marine ice-sheet models. Verification is effected by comparison with approximate analytical solutions for flux across the grounding line using simplified geometrical configurations (no lateral variations, no effects of lateral buttressing. Unique steady-state grounding line positions exist for ice sheets on a downward sloping bed, while hysteresis occurs across an overdeepened bed, and stable steady state grounding line positions only occur on the downward-sloping sections. Models based on the shallow ice approximation, which does not resolve extensional stresses, do not reproduce the approximate analytical results unless appropriate parameterizations for ice flux are imposed at the grounding line. For extensional-stress resolving "shelfy stream" models, differences between model results were mainly due to the choice of spatial discretization. Moving grid methods were found to be the most accurate at capturing grounding line evolution, since they track the grounding line explicitly. Adaptive mesh refinement can further improve accuracy, including in fixed-grid models that generally perform poorly at coarse resolution. Fixed grid models with nested grid representations of the grounding line are able to generate accurate steady-state positions, but can be inaccurate over transients. Only one full Stokes model was included in the intercomparison, and consequently the accuracy of shelfy stream models as approximations of full Stokes models remains to be determined in detail, especially during transients.

  16. Hindcasting to measure ice sheet model sensitivity to initial states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Aschwanden

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent observations of the Greenland ice sheet indicate rapid mass loss at an accelerating rate with an increasing contribution to global mean sea level. Ice sheet models are used for projections of such future contributions of ice sheets to sea level, but the quality of projections is difficult to measure directly. Realistic initial states are crucial for accurate simulations. To test initial states we use hindcasting, i.e. forcing a model with known or closely-estimated inputs for past events to see how well the output matches observations. By simulating the recent past of Greenland, and comparing to observations of ice thickness, ice discharge, surface speeds, mass loss and surface elevation changes for validation, we find that the short term model response is strongly influenced by the initial state. We show that the dynamical state can be mis-represented despite a good agreement with some observations, stressing the importance of using multiple observations. Some initial states generate good agreement with measured mass time series in the hindcast period, and good agreement with present-day kinematic fields. We suggest hindcasting as a methodology for careful validation of initial states that can be done before making projections on decadal to century time-scales.

  17. Effect of microorganism on Greenland ice sheet surface temperature change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, R.; Takeuchi, N.; Aoki, T.

    2012-12-01

    Greenland ice sheet holds approximately 10% of the fresh water on earth. If it melts all, sea level rises about 7.2meter. It is reported that mass of Greenland ice sheet is decreasing with temperature rising of climate change. Melting of the coastal area is particularly noticeable. It is established that 4 to 23% of the sea level rising from 1993 to 2005 is caused by the melting of Greenland ice sheet. In 2010, amount of melting per year became the largest than the past. However many climate models aren't able to simulate the recent melting of snow and ice in the Arctic including Greenland. One of the possible causes is albedo reduction of snow and ice surface by light absorbing snow impurities such as black carbon and dust and by glacial microorganisms. But there are few researches for effect of glacial microorganism in wide area. So it is important to clarify the impact of glacial microorganisms in wide area. The purpose of this study is to clarify the effect of microorganism on Greenland ice sheet surface temperature change using satellite images of visible, near infrared and thermal infrared wavelength range and observation carried out in northwestern Greenland. We use MODIS Land Surface Temperature Product as ice sheet surface temperature. It estimates land surface temperature based on split window method using thermal infrared bands. MODIS data is bound to cover the whole of Greenland, and calculated the ratio of the temperature change per year. Analysis period is from December 2002 to November 2010. Results of calculating Greenland ice sheet surface temperature change using the MODIS data, our analysis shows that it is upward trend in the whole region. We find a striking upward trend in northern and western part of Greenland. The rate is 0.33±0.03 degree Celsius per a year from 47.5°W to 49°W. While in the coastal area from 49°W to 50.7°W, the rate is 0.26±0.06 degree Celsius per a year. This large upward trend area is the same area as dark region

  18. Sedimentary record of ice divide migration and ice streams in the Keewatin core region of the Laurentide Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodder, Tyler J.; Ross, Martin; Menzies, John

    2016-06-01

    The Aberdeen Lake region of central mainland Nunavut is a former core region of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that is characterized by streamlined glacial landforms classified into multiple crosscutting flow sets and near continuous till blanket. The presence of widespread till near the centre of the Keewatin Ice Dome raises questions about its origin. Detailed drillcore logging revealed a complex stratigraphy consisting of at least 6 till units, variably preserved across the study area. Till provenance analysis indicates deposition by near opposite-trending ice flow phases, interpreted as evidence of reconfiguration of the Keewatin Ice Divide. At the surface, large north-northwesterly aligned landforms are present across the study area. The till stratigraphy within these landforms indicates the same NNW ice flow phase is responsible for considerable till production. This ice flow phase is also correlated to a long regional dispersal train of erratics toward the Gulf of Boothia. The production of an extensive, thick (~ 12 m), till sheet during the NNW-trending ice flow phase occurred far from the ice margin at a time of extensive ice cover of mainland Nunavut, likely from an east-west oriented ice divide. A deglacial westerly trending ice flow phase formed small drumlins atop the larger NNW streamlined till ridges and deposited a surficial till unit that is too thin to mask the NNW flow set across the study area. It is proposed that the Boothia paleo-ice stream catchment area propagated deep into the Laurentide Ice Sheet and contributed to significant till production in this core region of the Keewatin Sector prior to the westerly ice flow shift. The apparent relationship between till thickness and the size of the associated or correlated drumlins, flow sets, and dispersal trains indicates complex erosion/deposition interplay is involved in the formation of streamlined subglacial landforms.

  19. Mountain building and the initiation of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne Munck; Bonow, Johan; Langen, Peter Lang;

    2013-01-01

    km-scale uplift in the late Miocene and in the latest Miocene–Pliocene (beginning at 10 and ~5 Ma, respectively) initiated the formation of the present-day mountains. The topography of Greenland, prior to these uplift events is reconstructed from the present-day, isostatically compensated bedrock by...... mapping the two main steps in the landscape that resulted from the two uplift phases. Ice sheet initiation is studied using the topography before uplift and after each phase of uplift by applying different forcing conditions relevant for the late Cenozoic, which was characterised by long-term cooling...... superimposed by cold and warm excursions. The modelling results show that no ice initiates in the case of the low-lying and almost flat topography prior to the uplifts. However, the results demonstrate a significant ice sheet growth in response to the orographically induced increase in precipitation and the...

  20. Achieving Textbook Multigrid Efficiency for Hydrostatic Ice Sheet Flow

    KAUST Repository

    Brown, Jed

    2013-03-12

    The hydrostatic equations for ice sheet flow offer improved fidelity compared with the shallow ice approximation and shallow stream approximation popular in today\\'s ice sheet models. Nevertheless, they present a serious bottleneck because they require the solution of a three-dimensional (3D) nonlinear system, as opposed to the two-dimensional system present in the shallow stream approximation. This 3D system is posed on high-aspect domains with strong anisotropy and variation in coefficients, making it expensive to solve with current methods. This paper presents a Newton--Krylov multigrid solver for the hydrostatic equations that demonstrates textbook multigrid efficiency (an order of magnitude reduction in residual per iteration and solution of the fine-level system at a small multiple of the cost of a residual evaluation). Scalability on Blue Gene/P is demonstrated, and the method is compared to various algebraic methods that are in use or have been proposed as viable approaches.

  1. Recession of Thwaites Glacier: inferring relevant processes using the ice sheet model Elmer/Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Nacho; Durand, Gael; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Gourmelen, Noel; Stumpf, Andre; Lampert, Thomas; Gagliardini, Olivier

    2014-05-01

    Numerous studies focusing on ice sheets mass balance clearly show an increasing ice discharge mainly induced by the acceleration of ice flow through coastal outlet glaciers. As a crucial impact, imbalance of both Greenland and Antarctica is today an essential driver of the current sea level rise. In the specific case of West Antarctica, the Amundsen Sea sector is the most impacted region and current recession may be the first sign of a large, unstable and irrevocable retreat of the whole region. Projecting the forthcoming behavior of that sector in general, and the most out of balance Pine Island and Thwaites Glacier is therefore a large matter of concern. Using notably the 3D full-Stokes ice sheet model Elmer/Ice, a recent study has shown that the Pine Island Glacier retreat is currently driven by marine ice sheet instability. Here, we use similar methodologies to investigate the condition of stability of the neighboring Thwaites glacier. In particular, we focus on the effect of ice rises and induced crevasses onto the ice flow and show that their impact is of crucial importance prior to any attempt of projecting the short term response of Twaites glacier.

  2. Proteomic Alterations of Antarctic Ice Microalga Chlamydomonas sp. Under Low-Temperature Stress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guang-Feng Kan; Jin-Lai Miao; Cui-Juan Shi; Guang-You Li

    2006-01-01

    Antarctic ice microalga can survive and thrive in cold channels or pores in the Antarctic ice layer. In order to understand the adaptive mechanisms to low temperature, in the present study we compared two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE) profiles of normal and low temperature-stressed Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. cells. In addition, new protein spots induced by low temperature were identified with peptide mass fingerprinting based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) and database searching. Well-resolved and reproducible 2-DE patterns of both normal and low temperature-stressed cells were acquired. A total of 626 spots was detected in control cells and 652 spots were detected in the corresponding low temperature-stressed cells. A total of 598 spots was matched between normal and stressed cells. Two newly synthesized proteins (a and b) in low temperature-stressed cells were characterized. Protein spot A (53 kDa, pI 6.0) was similar to isopropylmalate/homocitrate/citramalate synthases, which act in the transport and metabolism of amino acids. Protein spot b (25 kDa, pI 8.0) was related to glutathione S-transferase, which functions as a scavenger of active oxygen, free radicals, and noxious metabolites. The present study is valuable for the application of ice microalgae, establishing an ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. proteome database, and screening molecular biomarkers for further studies.

  3. Greenland ice sheet albedo feedback: thermodynamics and atmospheric drivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. E. Box

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Greenland ice sheet mass loss has accelerated in the past decade responding to combined glacier discharge and surface melt water runoff increases. During summer, absorbed solar energy, modulated at the surface primarily by albedo, is the dominant factor governing surface melt variability in the ablation area. Using satellite-derived surface albedo with calibrated regional climate modeled surface air temperature and surface downward solar irradiance, we determine the spatial dependence and quantitative impact of the ice sheet albedo feedback over 12 summer periods beginning in 2000. We find that, while albedo feedback defined by the change in net solar shortwave flux and temperature over time is positive over 97% of the ice sheet, when defined using paired annual anomalies, a second-order negative feedback is evident over 63% of the accumulation area. This negative feedback damps the accumulation area response to warming due to a positive correlation between snowfall and surface air temperature anomalies. Positive anomaly-gauged feedback concentrated in the ablation area accounts for more than half of the overall increase in melting when satellite-derived melt duration is used to define the timing when net shortwave flux is sunk into melting. Abnormally strong anticyclonic circulation, associated with a persistent summer North Atlantic Oscillation extreme since 2007, enabled three amplifying mechanisms to maximize the albedo feedback: (1 increased warm (south air advection along the western ice sheet increased surface sensible heating that in turn enhanced snow grain metamorphic rates, further reducing albedo; (2 increased surface downward shortwave flux, leading to more surface heating and further albedo reduction; and (3 reduced snowfall rates sustained low albedo, maximizing surface solar heating, progressively lowering albedo over multiple years. The summer net infrared and solar radiation for the high elevation accumulation area approached

  4. How might the North American ice sheet influence the Northwestern Eurasian climate?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Beghin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available During the last glacial period (∼21 000 years ago, two continental-scale ice sheets covered the Canada and northern Europe. It is now widely acknowledged that these past ice sheets exerted a strong influence on climate by causing changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulations. In turn, these changes may have impacted the development of the ice sheets themselves through a combination of different feedback mechanisms. The present study is designed to investigate the potential impact of the North American ice sheet on the surface mass balance (SMB of the Eurasian ice sheet through simulated changes in the past glacial atmospheric circulation. Using the LMDz5 atmospheric circulation model, we carried out twelve experiments run under constant Last Glacial Maximum (LGM conditions for insolation, greenhouse gases and ocean. In the all experiments, the Eurasian ice sheet is removed. The twelve experiments differ in the North American ice-sheet topography, ranging from a white and flat (present-day topography ice sheet to a full-size LGM ice sheet. This experimental design allows to disentangle the albedo and the topographic impacts of the North American ice sheet onto the climate. The results are compared to our baseline experiment where both the North American and the Eurasian ice sheets have been removed. In summer, we show that the only albedo effect of the American ice sheet modifies the pattern of planetary waves with respect to the no-ice sheet case, causing a cooling of the Eurasian region. By contrast, the atmospheric circulation changes induced by the topography of the North American ice sheet imply summer warming in Northwestern Eurasia. In winter, the Scandinavian and the Barents–Kara regions respond differently to the albedo effect: in response to atmospheric circulation changes, Scandinavia is warmed up and precipitation is more abundant whereas Barents–Kara area is cooled down, decreasing convection process and thus leading to less

  5. Glaciological investigations on ice-sheet response in South Greenland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayer, C.; Boeggild, C.E.; Podlech, S.; Olesen, O.B.; Ahlstroem, A.P. [Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen (Denmark); Krabill, W. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Lab. for Hydrospheric Processes, Wallops Island, VA (United States)

    2002-07-01

    The reaction of the world's large ice sheets to global climate change is still in the focus of scientific debate. Recent investigations have shown pronounced thinning in the southern part of the Greenland ice sheet (Inland Ice). In order to investigate the cause of the observed thinning and to judge the sensitivity of this part of the ice sheet a combined fieldwork, remote sensing and modelling project was designed. A glaciological transect was established in may 2001 on one of the main outlet glaciers in South Greenland, and the first data are now available. In addition, the history of the glacier variations during the last 40 years has been reconstructed. The conclusion of the investigations is that glacier variations in southern Greenland do not seem to be related only to climatic influence on the surface mass balance. Dynamic changes in ice-sheet geometry and basal conditions connected to climatic variations on a much longer timescale appear also to be significant. With the mass-balance transect in place, and also surveyed with laser altimetry, future changes in the study area can be mapped accurately and compared with the actual climatic and surface mass-balance data, which will allow discrimination between mass-balance effects and dynamic reactions. Climatic conditions during periods of recession of the past 40 years need to be investigated using climate data from nearby weather stations, or from climate proxy data. This compiled glacier history can be used as a benchmark for testing of the ice-dynamic model. (BA)

  6. Antarctic Sea Ice-a Habitat for Extremophiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, D. N.; Dieckmann, G. S.

    2002-01-01

    The pack ice of Earth's polar oceans appears to be frozen white desert, devoid of life. However, beneath the snow lies a unique habitat for a group of bacteria and microscopic plants and animals that are encased in an ice matrix at low temperatures and light levels, with the only liquid being pockets of concentrated brines. Survival in these conditions requires a complex suite of physiological and metabolic adaptations, but sea-ice organisms thrive in the ice, and their prolific growth ensures they play a fundamental role in polar ecosystems. Apart from their ecological importance, the bacterial and algae species found in sea ice have become the focus for novel biotechnology, as well as being considered proxies for possible life forms on ice-covered extraterrestrial bodies.

  7. Antarctic Sea ice--a habitat for extremophiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, D N; Dieckmann, G S

    2002-01-25

    The pack ice of Earth's polar oceans appears to be frozen white desert, devoid of life. However, beneath the snow lies a unique habitat for a group of bacteria and microscopic plants and animals that are encased in an ice matrix at low temperatures and light levels, with the only liquid being pockets of concentrated brines. Survival in these conditions requires a complex suite of physiological and metabolic adaptations, but sea-ice organisms thrive in the ice, and their prolific growth ensures they play a fundamental role in polar ecosystems. Apart from their ecological importance, the bacterial and algae species found in sea ice have become the focus for novel biotechnology, as well as being considered proxies for possible life forms on ice-covered extraterrestrial bodies. PMID:11809961

  8. Energy exchange over Antarctic sea ice in late winter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In September and October 1989 during the Winter Weddell Gyre Study energy balance measurements were performed from the Soviet ice-breaker Akademik Fedorov. The average radiation balance of the sea ice surface turned out to be zero, i.e., short-wave radiation gains were fully compensated by long-wave radiation losses. Due to turbulent fluxes of sensible and latent heat, the atmosphere received about 25 W m-2 energy from the ice/ocean system. Since no significant ice melting or freezing was observed, the latter must originate mainly from warm deep water which is entrained into the oceanic mixed layer

  9. Effects of injected ice particles in the lower stratosphere on the Antarctic ozone hole

    OpenAIRE

    Nagase, H.; Kinnison, D.; Petersen, A.; F. Vitt; Brasseur, G.

    2015-01-01

    The Antarctic ozone hole will continue to be observed in the next 35-50 years, although the emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have gradually been phased out during the last two decades. In this paper, we suggest a geo-engineering approach that will remove substantial amounts of hydrogen chloride (HCl) from the lower stratosphere in fall, and hence limit the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole in late winter and early spring. HCl will be removed by ice from the atmosphere at temperatur...

  10. Concentrating Antarctic Meteorites on Blue ice Fields: The Frontier Mountain Meteorite Trap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The collection of meteorites in Antarctica has greatly stimulated advancement in the field of meteoritics by providing the community with significant numbers of rare and unique meteorites types and by yielding large numbers of meteorites that sample older infall epochs (Grady et al., 1998). The majority of Antarctic meteorites are found on blue ice fields, where they are thought to be concentrated by wind and glacial drift (cf. Cassidy et al., 1992). The basic "ice flow model" describes the concentration of meteorites by the stagnation or slowing of ice as it moves against a barrier located in a zone with low snow accumulation. However, our limited knowledge of the details of the actual concentration mechanisms prevents establishing firm conclusions concerning the past meteorite flux from the Antarctic record (Zolensky, 1998). The terrestrial ages of Antarctic meteorites indicate that their concentration occurs on time scales of tens to hundreds of thousands of years (Nishiizumi et al., 1989). It is a challenge to measure a mechanism that operates so slowly, and since such time scales can span more than one glacial epoch one cannot assume that the snow accumulation rates, ice velocities and directions, etc. that are measured today are representative of those extant over the age of the trap. Testing the basic "ice flow model" therefore requires the careful measurement of meteorite locations, glacialogical ice flow data, ice thicknesses, bedrock and surface topology, ice ablation and snow accumulation rates, and mass transport by wind over an extended period of time in a location where these quantities can be interpreted in the context of past glacialogical history.

  11. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea-ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The effect of aerosols on clouds and their radiative properties is one of the largest uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. A recent study has concluded that better characterisation of pristine, natural aerosol processes leads to the largest reduction in these uncertainties. Antarctica, being far from anthropogenic activities, is an ideal location for the study of natural aerosol processes. Aerosol measurements in Antarctica are often limited to boundary layer air-masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the sea ice region. In this paper, the first observational study of sub-micron aerosols in the East Antarctic sea ice region is presented. Measurements were conducted aboard the ice-breaker Aurora Australis in spring 2012 and found that boundary layer condensation nuclei (CN3 concentrations exhibited a five-fold increase moving across the Polar Front, with mean Polar Cell concentrations of 1130 cm−3 – higher than any observed elsewhere in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region. The absence of evidence for aerosol growth suggested that nucleation was unlikely to be local. Air parcel trajectories indicated significant influence from the free troposphere above the Antarctic continent, implicating this as the likely nucleation region for surface aerosol, a similar conclusion to previous Antarctic aerosol studies. The highest aerosol concentrations were found to correlate with low pressure systems, suggesting that the passage of cyclones provided an accelerated pathway, delivering air-masses quickly from the free-troposphere to the surface. After descent from the Antarctic free troposphere, trajectories suggest that sea ice boundary layer air-masses travelled equator-ward into the low albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei where, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol

  12. A new Eemian record of Antarctic tephra layers retrieved from the Talos Dome ice core (Northern Victoria Land)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narcisi, Biancamaria; Petit, Jean Robert; Langone, Antonio; Stenni, Barbara

    2016-02-01

    Polar ice sheets are remarkable repositories of tephra layers. The Talos Dome ice core (72°49‧S, 159°11‧E), drilled at the edge of the East Antarctic Plateau, close to Late Quaternary volcanoes, offers considerable potential to extend the current tephra time-stratigraphic framework. A tephrochronological study was undertaken of the ice core sections related to the Last Interglacial and the transition to the subsequent glacial period. Thirteen macroscopically visible layers, interpreted to be related to primary deposition of fallout tephra, have been analysed for quantitative grain size and glass shard geochemistry. The layers, precisely framed within the climate (δ18O) record for the core, span in age from 111.6 ± 1.9 to 123.3 ± 2.2 ka. Coarse particle size suggests origin from regional sources. Indeed, the vast majority of the samples display an alkaline affinity and trachytic composition that are both typical geochemical features of rifting Antarctic volcanism. Using subtle differences in the geochemical signatures and the comparison with data from previous studies, a few layers are attributed to known coeval Mt. Melbourne eruptions. Another sample subset is consistent with derivation from The Pleiades and Mt. Rittmann volcanoes. One peculiar trachytic glass population appears to be related to activity of the more distant Marie Byrd Land volcanoes. The newly detected tephras provide stratigraphic markers that could facilitate future synchronisation and dating of palaeoclimatic records. The Talos Dome tephra inventory also contributes significantly to the reconstruction of the Northern Victoria Land explosive volcanism, for which chronostratigraphic data for the Last Interglacial temporal segment are poor.

  13. Greenland Ice Sheet: Increased coastal thinning

    OpenAIRE

    Krabill, W.; Hanna, E.; Huybrechts, Philippe; W. Abdalati; Cappelen, J.; Csatho, B.; Frederick, E; Manizade, S; Martin, C; Sonntag, J; Swift, R.; Thomas, R.; Yungel, J.

    2004-01-01

    Repeated laser-altimeter surveys and modelled snowfall/summer melt show average ice loss from Greenland between 1997 and 2003 was 80 ± 12 km3 yr, compared to about 60 km3 yr 1 for 1993/41998/9. Half of the increase was from higher summer melting, with the rest caused by velocities of some glaciers exceeding those needed to balance upstream snow accumulation. Velocities of one large glacier almost doubled between 1997 and 2003, resulting in net loss from its drainage basin by about 20 km of ic...

  14. Antarctic climate variability during the past few centuries based on ice core records from coastal Dronning Maud Land and its implications on the Recent warming

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Thamban, M.; Naik, S.S.; Laluraj, C.M.; Chaturvedi, A.; Ravindra, R.

      Southern  Ocean  is  an  outcome  of  the  interplay of the ice sheet, ocean, sea ice, and atmosphere and their response to past and present  climate forcing. With ~98% of its area covered with snow and ice, the Antarctic continent reflects  most...‐dated firn/ice cores from the coastal regions of Antarctica. With this backdrop, the National  Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research has taken up studies on snow and shallow ice core from  the  central  Dronning  Maud  Land  (DML)  in  East  Antarctica.  The  initial  results  suggested  that  understanding  the  modern  biogeochemical  processes...

  15. The Effect of Solar Forcing on the Greenland Ice Sheet during the Holocene - A Model Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bügelmayer, Marianne; Roche, Didier; Renssen, Hans

    2014-05-01

    . (2001): Persistent solar influence on North Atlantic climate during the Holocene. Science (New York, N.Y.), 294(5549), 2130-6. doi:10.1126/science.1065680 Bügelmayer, M., Roche, D.M., Renssen, H. (2014): How do icebergs affect the Greenland ice sheet under pre-industrial conditions? - A model study with a fully coupled ice sheet-climate model. The Cryosphere Discussions 8, 187-228. Haigh, J. D. (1996): The Impact of Solar Variability on Climate. Science, 272, 981-984. Jongma, J.I., Driesschaert, E., Fichefet, T., Goosse, H., Renssen, H., (2009): The effect of dynamic-thermodynamic icebergs on the Southern Ocean climate in a three-dimensional model. Ocean Modelling 26, 104-113. Renssen, H., Goosse, H., Muscheler, R., & Branch, R. (2006): Coupled climate model simulation of Holocene cooling events: oceanic feedback amplifies solar forcing. Climate of the Past, 2, 79-90. Ritz, C., Rommelaere, V. and Dumas, C.(2001): Modeling the evolution of Antarctic ice sheet over the last 420,000 years: Implications for altitude changes in the Vostok region, Journal of Geophysical Research, 106, 31943-31964, doi:10.1029/2001JD900232. Roche, D.M., Dumas, C., Bügelmayer, M., Charbit, S., Ritz, C. (2013): Adding a dynamical cryosphere into iLOVECLIM (version 1.0) - Part 1: Coupling with the GRISLI ice-sheet model, Geoscientific Model Development Discussion, 6, 5215-5249.

  16. RTOPO-1: A consistent dataset for Antarctic ice shelf topography and global ocean bathymetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmermann, Ralph

    2010-05-01

    Sub-ice shelf circulation and freezing/melting rates depend critically on an accurate and consistent representation of cavity geometry (i.e. ice-shelf draft and ocean bathymetry). Existing global or pan-Antarctic data sets have turned out to contain various inconsistencies and inaccuracies. The goal of this work is to compile independent regional fields into a global data set. We use the S-2004 global 1-minute bathymetry as the backbone and add an improved version of the BEDMAP topography for an area that roughly coincides with the Antarctic continental shelf. Locations of the merging line have been carefully adjusted in order to get the best out of each data set. High-resolution gridded data for the Amery, Fimbul, Filchner-Ronne, Larsen C and George VI Ice Shelves and for Pine Island Glacier have been carefully merged into the ambient ice and ocean topographies. Multibeam ship survey data for bathymetry in the former Larsen B cavity and the southeastern Bellingshausen Sea have been obtained from the data centers of Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), gridded, and again carefully merged into the existing bathymetry map. The resulting global 1-minute data set contains consistent masks for open ocean, grounded ice, floating ice, and bare land surface. The Ice Shelf Cavern Geometry Team: Anne Le Brocq, Tara Deen, Eugene Domack, Pierre Dutrieux, Ben Galton-Fenzi, Dorothea Graffe, Hartmut Hellmer, Angelika Humbert, Daniela Jansen, Adrian Jenkins, Astrid Lambrecht, Keith Makinson, Fred Niederjasper, Frank Nitsche, Ole Anders Nøst, Lars Henrik Smedsrud, and Walter Smith

  17. Effects of injected ice particles in the lower stratosphere on the Antarctic ozone hole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagase, H.; Kinnison, D. E.; Petersen, A. K.; Vitt, F.; Brasseur, G. P.

    2015-05-01

    The Antarctic ozone hole will continue to be observed in the next 35-50 years, although the emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have gradually been phased out during the last two decades. In this paper, we suggest a geo-engineering approach that will remove substantial amounts of hydrogen chloride (HCl) from the lower stratosphere in fall, and hence limit the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole in late winter and early spring. HCl will be removed by ice from the atmosphere at temperatures higher than the threshold under which polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) are formed if sufficiently large amounts of ice are supplied to produce water saturation. A detailed chemical-climate numerical model is used to assess the expected efficiency of the proposed geo-engineering method, and specifically to calculate the removal of HCl by ice particles. The size of ice particles appears to be a key parameter: larger particles (with a radius between 10 and 100 µm) appear to be most efficient for removing HCl. Sensitivity studies lead to the conclusions that the ozone recovery is effective when ice particles are supplied during May and June in the latitude band ranging from 70°S to 90°S and in the altitude layer ranging from 10 to 26 km. It appears, therefore, that supplying ice particles to the Antarctic lower stratosphere could be effective in reducing the depth of the ozone hole. In addition, photodegradation of CFCs might be accelerated when ice is supplied due to enhanced vertical transport of this efficient greenhouse gas.

  18. Estimating the future ice sheet hydropower potential in Paakitsoq, Ilulissat, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Mottram, R.H.; Nielsen, C.; Reeh, Niels; Andersen, S.B.; Kristensen, Steen Savstrup; Christensen, Erik Lintz; Stenseng, Lars; Forsberg, René

    Meltwater running off the Greenland ice sheet yield significant hydropower potentials in catchments bordering the ice sheet, especially in West and South Greenland. Hydropower has been chosen as the most desired source of energy by the Greenland Home Rule, but recent changes in the Greenland ice...... sheet has emphasized the risk of sudden changes in catchment supply. In this study, we present a thorough investigation of hydropower feasibility at the Paakitsoq basin, near Ilulissat in West Greenland. The catchment is completely dominated by the Greenland ice sheet which provides large quantities of...... meltwater during the summer season. However, geometrical changes in the ice sheet, for example due to a retreat or an advance of the ice sheet margin, could change the hydrological catchment within the ice sheet. Such a change would have a devastating economical impact as a hydropower plant is a significant...

  19. Historical whaling records reveal major regional retreat of Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotté, Cédric; Guinet, Christophe

    2007-02-01

    Several studies have provided evidence of a reduction of the Antarctic sea ice extent. However, these studies were conducted either at a global scale or at a regional scale, and possible inter-regional differences were not analysed. Using the long-term whaling database we investigated circum-Antarctic changes in summer sea ice extent from 1931 to 1987. Accounting for bias inherent in the whaling method, this analysis provides new insight into the historical ice edge reconstruction and inter-regional differences. We highlight a reduction of the sea ice extent occurring in the 1960s, mainly in the Weddell sector where the change ranged from 3° to 7.9° latitude through summer. Although the whaling method may not be appropriate for detecting fine-scale change, these results provide evidence for a heterogeneous circumpolar change of the sea ice extent. The shift is temporally and spatially consistent with other environmental changes detected in the Weddell sector and also with a shift in the Southern Hemisphere annular mode. The large reduction of the sea ice extent has probably influenced the ecosystem of the Weddell Sea, particularly the krill biomass.

  20. When glaciers and ice sheets melt: consequences for planktonic organisms

    OpenAIRE

    Sommaruga, Ruben

    2015-01-01

    The current melting of glaciers and ice sheets is a consequence of climatic change and their turbid meltwaters are filling and enlarging many new proglacial and ice-contact lakes around the world, as well as affecting coastal areas. Paradoxically, very little is known on the ecology of turbid glacier-fed aquatic ecosystems even though they are at the origin of the most common type of lakes on Earth. Here, I discuss the consequences of those meltwaters for planktonic organisms. A remarkable ch...

  1. Decay of the Greenland Ice Sheet due to surface-meltwater-induced acceleration of basal sliding

    CERN Document Server

    Greve, Ralf

    2009-01-01

    Simulations of the Greenland Ice Sheet are carried out with a high-resolution version of the ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS for several global-warming scenarios for the period 1990-2350. In particular, the impact of surface-meltwater-induced acceleration of basal sliding on the stability of the ice sheet is investigated. A parameterization for the acceleration effect is developed for which modelled and measured mass losses of the ice sheet in the early 21st century agree well. The main findings of the simulations are: (i) the ice sheet is generally very susceptible to global warming on time-scales of centuries, (ii) surface-meltwater-induced acceleration of basal sliding leads to a pronounced speed-up of ice streams and outlet glaciers, and (iii) this ice-dynamical effect accelerates the decay of the Greenland Ice Sheet as a whole significantly, but not catastrophically, in the 21st century and beyond.

  2. Examining the interaction between multi-year landfast sea ice and the Mertz Glacier Tongue, East Antarctica: Another factor in ice sheet stability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massom, Robert A.; Giles, A. Barry; Fricker, Helen A.; Warner, Roland C.; LegréSy, Benoit; Hyland, Glenn; Young, Neal; Fraser, Alexander D.

    2010-12-01

    The Mertz Glacier tongue (MGT), East Antarctica, has a large area of multi-year fast sea ice (MYFI) attached to its eastern edge. We use various satellite data sets to study the extent, age, and thickness of the MYFI and how it interacts with the MGT. We estimate its age to be at least 25 years and its thickness to be 10-55 m; this is an order of magnitude thicker than the average regional sea-ice thickness and too thick to be formed through sea-ice growth alone. We speculate that the most plausible process for its growth after initial formation is marine (frazil) ice accretion. The satellite data provide two types of evidence for strong mechanical coupling between the two types of ice: The MYFI moves with the MGT, and persistent rifts that originate in the MGT continue to propagate for large distances into the MYFI. The area of MYFI decreased by 50% following the departure of two large tabular icebergs that acted as pinning points and protective barriers. Future MYFI extent will be affected by subsequent icebergs from the Ninnis Glacier and the imminent calving of the MGT. Fast ice is vulnerable to changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions, and its disappearance may have an influence on ice tongue/ice shelf stability. Understanding the influence of thick MYFI on floating ice tongues/ice shelves may be significant to understanding the processes that control their evolution and how these respond to climate change, and thus to predicting the future of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  3. Theory and Finite Element Analysis of Shallow Ice Shelves

    OpenAIRE

    Weis, Magnus

    2001-01-01

    This thesis concerns the dynamics of ice shelves, which are large, floating ice masses that are adjacent to and fed by the Antarctic ice sheet. Starting from the approaches found in the literature for the derivation of simplified, zeroth order equations describing the dynamics of ice sheets, these methods are applied to ice shelves taking the dominant stresses into account. Two different layers of ice are distinguished: Meteoric ice that is built from precipitation that accumulates either on ...

  4. Applicability of ERTS to Antarctic iceberg resources. [harvesting sea ice for fresh water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hult, J. L. (Principal Investigator); Ostrander, N. C.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. This investigation explorers the applicability of ERTS to (1) determine the Antarctic sea ice and environmental behavior that may influence the harvesting of icebergs, and (2) monitor iceberg locations, characteristics, and evolution. Imagery has shown that the potential applicability of ERTS to the research, planning, and harvesting operations can contribute importantly to the glowing promise derived from broader scope studies for the use of Antarctic icebergs to relieve a growing global thirst for fresh water. Several years of comprehensive monitoring will be necessary to characterize sea ice and environmental behavior and iceberg evolution. Live ERTS services will assist harvesting control and claiming operations and offer a means of harmonizing entitlements of iceberg resources. The valuable ERTS services will be more cost effective than other means will be easily justified and borne by the iceberg harvesting operations.

  5. The Greenland ice sheet and the climate – a review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Kjær, Kurt H.;

    During LGM the margins of the Greenland ice sheet around the whole perimeter stood on the shelf – but where? The first estimates had to be based on evidence from land such as weathering limits on coastal mountains, major moraine belts, and altitudes of marine limits. Still the estimates ranged fr...... climate change during and after LGM, and that coverage of the shelf may have been variable from one sector to another. Will the margin respond with similar complexity to global warming?...

  6. Ice stream reorganization and ice sheet mass balance following the reactivation of Kamb Ice Stream, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougamont, Marion; Christoffersen, Poul; Price, Stephen; Carter, Sasha

    2015-04-01

    Ice streams in Antarctica account for most of the ice volume discharged to the ocean, and their flow variability greatly influences the mass balance of the ice sheet. Today, the Siple Coast region of West Antarctica is the only one to experience a positive mass balance (~36Gt/yr), as a consequence of the stagnation of Kamb Ice Stream about 170 years ago and the ongoing slowdown of Whillans Ice Stream. However, this positive trend could be temporary; past studies have shown that both ice streams experienced significant flow variability over the past millennia, with stagnation typically followed by reactivation on centennial timescales, occurring in response to internal processes. The impact this variability may have on the future mass balance of the WAIS remains unknown. Here, we explore the future flow variability of the Siple Coast ice streams by using a three-dimensional higher-order ice sheet model (CISM), coupled to a physically-based basal processes model and a model of regional hydrology. To obtain realistic initial flow conditions, we assimilate available velocity data for this region from 1997. We perform forward simulations over a 200 year period, during which the basal properties evolve according to the distribution of meltwater beneath the ice and its drainage/flow through a subglacial till layer. First, we assume that the bed evolves according to ice-till interactions with only local exchange of water between the ice and till. Next, we include a model of the regional basal water system capable of transporting water over long distances, so that meltwater is routed laterally along the bed before interacting with the till layer. We also explore the effect of geothermal heat flux uncertainties. We find that ice discharge to the grounding line is larger and more sustained in time when the regional water system is included in the simulations. Still, in all experiments, the main future perturbation to the current state of flow follows from the reactivation of

  7. PIXE and PIGE techniques for the analysis of Antarctic ice dust and continental sediments

    OpenAIRE

    Marino, F.; G. Calzolai; S. Caporali; Castellano, E; Chiari, M; Lucarelli, F.; V. Maggi; Nava, S.; Sala, M; Udisti, R.

    2008-01-01

    An analytical procedure has been implemented in this work for an accurate geochemical characterization and quantitative analysis of the fine dust (particles diameter < 5 mu m) trapped in Antarctic ice cores and the fine fraction of potential source areas (PSA) sediments by size selection, filtering and PIXE-PIGE combined measurements. The underestimation of concentrations of the lighter elements, like Na, Mg, Al and Si, due to X-ray self-absorption inside each individual aerosol particle, was...

  8. Microbial nitrogen cycling on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Telling

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Microbial nitrogen cycling was investigated along a 79 km transect into the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS in early August 2010. The depletion of dissolved nitrate and production of ammonium (relative to icemelt in cryoconite holes within 7.5 km of the ice sheet margin suggested microbial uptake and ammonification respectively. Nitrogen fixation (<4.2 μmoles C2H4 m−2 day−1 to 16.3 μmoles C2H4 m−2 day−1 was active in some cryoconite holes at sites up to 5.7 km from the ice sheet margin, with nitrogen fixation inversely correlated to concentrations of inorganic nitrogen. There may be the potential for the zone of nitrogen fixation to progressively extend further into the interior of the GrIS as the melt season progresses as reserves of available nitrogen are depleted. Estimated annual inputs of nitrogen from nitrogen fixation along the transect were at least two orders of magnitude lower than inputs from precipitation, with the exception of a 100 m long marginal debris-rich zone where nitrogen fixation could potentially equal or exceed that of precipitation. The average estimated contribution of nitrogen fixation to the nitrogen demand of net microbial growth at sites along the transect ranged from 0% to 17.5%.

  9. Modeling brine and nutrient dynamics in Antarctic sea ice: The case of dissolved silica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vancoppenolle, Martin; Goosse, Hugues; de Montety, Anne; Fichefet, Thierry; Tremblay, Bruno; Tison, Jean-Louis

    2010-02-01

    Sea ice ecosystems are characterized by microalgae living in brine inclusions. The growth rate of ice algae depends on light and nutrient supply. Here, the interactions between nutrients and brine dynamics under the influence of algae are investigated using a one-dimensional model. The model includes snow and ice thermodynamics with brine physics and an idealized sea ice biological component, characterized by one nutrient, namely, dissolved silica (DSi). In the model, DSi follows brine motion and is consumed by ice algae. Depending on physical ice characteristics, the brine flow is either advective, diffusive, or turbulent. The vertical profiles of ice salinity and DSi concentration are solutions of advection-diffusion equations. The model is configured to simulate the typical thermodynamic regimes of first-year Antarctic pack ice. The simulated vertical profiles of salinity and DSi qualitatively reproduce observations. Analysis of results highlights the role of convection in the lowermost 5-10 cm of ice. Convection mixes saline, nutrient-poor brine with comparatively fresh, nutrient-rich seawater. This implies a rejection of salt to the ocean and a flux of DSi to the ice. In the presence of growing algae, the simulated ocean-to-ice DSi flux increases by 0-115% compared to an abiotic situation. In turn, primary production and brine convection act in synergy to form a nutrient pump. The other important processes are the flooding of the surface by seawater and the percolation of meltwater. The former refills nutrients near the ice surface in spring. The latter, if present, tends to expell nutrients from the ice in summer.

  10. The Sentinel-1 Mission: New Opportunities for Ice Sheet Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Nagler

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The Sentinel satellite constellation series, developed by the European Space Agency, represents the dedicated space component of the European Copernicus program, committed to long-term operational services in a wide range of application domains. Here, we address the potential of the Sentinel-1 mission for mapping and monitoring the surface velocity of glaciers and ice sheets. We present an ice velocity map of Greenland, derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR data acquired in winter 2015 by Sentinel-1A, the first satellite of the Copernicus program in orbit. The map is assembled from about 900 SAR scenes acquired in Interferometric Wide swath (IW mode, applying the offset tracking technique. We discuss special features of IW mode data, describe the procedures for producing ice velocity maps, and assess the uncertainty of the ice motion product. We compare the Sentinel-1 ice motion product with velocity maps derived from high resolution SAR data of the TerraSAR-X mission and from PALSAR data. Beyond supporting operational services, the Sentinel-1 mission offers enhanced capabilities for comprehensive and long-term observation of key climate variables, such as the motion of ice masses.

  11. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 ka BP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Svensson

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 ka ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia, where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra and on accurately dated European stalagmites, the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland interstadials (GI 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM 19 and 20. In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP and Antarctic (EDML ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 ka BP before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM-19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores. The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. The bipolar linking gives no support for a long-term global cooling caused by the Toba eruption as Antarctica experiences a major warming shortly after the event. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place palaeo-environmental records other than ice cores into a

  12. In situ produced 14C by cosmic ray muons in ablating Antarctic ice

    OpenAIRE

    Kemp, W.J.M. van der; Alderliesten, C.; Borg, K; Jong, A.F.M. de; Lamers, R. A. N.; Oerlemans, J.; Thomassen, M; van de Wal, R. S. W.

    2002-01-01

    Samples of a core (52 m) of ablating Antarctic ice were analysed for 14CO and 14CO2 by accelerator mass spectrometry. The data were compared with a 14C in situ production model that includes muon capture in addition to oxygen spallation by neutrons. The analysis reveals significant in situ14C at depths below 10 m, which we attribute to 14C production by cosmic ray muons. The age of the ice was determined as 9.3±0.4 14C ka BP.DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0889.2002.00274.x

  13. In situ produced 14C by cosmic ray muons in ablating Antarctic ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samples of a core (52 m) of ablating Antarctic ice were analyzed for 14CO and 14CO2 by accelerator mass spectrometry. The data were compared with a 14C in situ production model that includes muon capture in addition to oxygen spallation by neutrons. The analysis reveals significant in situ 14C at depths below 10 m, which we attribute to 14C production by cosmic ray muons. The age of the ice was determined as 9.3 ± 0.4 14C ka BP

  14. Revised estimates of Greenland ice sheet thinning histories based on ice-core records

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lecavalier, B.S.; Milne, G.A.; Fisher, D.A.;

    2013-01-01

    and surface loading also acts to improve the data-model fits such that the residuals at all four sites for the period 8 ka BP to present are significantly reduced compared to the original analysis. Prior to 8 ka BP, the possible influence of Innuitian ice on the inferred elevation histories prevents......Ice core records were recently used to infer elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet throughout the Holocene. The inferred elevation changes show a significantly greater elevation reduction than those output from numerical models, bringing into question the accuracy of the model-based...... reconstructions and, to some extent, the estimated elevation histories. A key component of the ice core analysis involved removing the influence of vertical surface motion on the dO signal measured from the Agassiz and Renland ice caps. We re-visit the original analysis with the intent to determine if the use...

  15. Ice dynamic response to two modes of surface lake drainage on the Greenland ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Supraglacial lake drainage on the Greenland ice sheet opens surface-to-bed connections, reduces basal friction, and temporarily increases ice flow velocities by up to an order of magnitude. Existing field-based observations of lake drainages and their impact on ice dynamics are limited, and focus on one specific draining mechanism. Here, we report and analyse global positioning system measurements of ice velocity and elevation made at five locations surrounding two lakes that drained by different mechanisms and produced different dynamic responses. For the lake that drained slowly (>24 h) by overtopping its basin, delivering water via a channel to a pre-existing moulin, speedup and uplift were less than half those associated with a lake that drained rapidly (∼2 h) through hydrofracturing and the creation of new moulins in the lake bottom. Our results suggest that the mode and associated rate of lake drainage govern the impact on ice dynamics. (letter)

  16. Improvements in the chronology, geochemistry and correlation techniques of tephra in Antarctic ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, N. A.; Dunbar, N. W.; McIntosh, W. C.; Pearce, N. J.; Kyle, P. R.

    2013-12-01

    Visible and crypto tephra layers found in West Antarctic ice provide an excellent record of Antarctic volcanism over the past 100ka. Tephra layers are deposited almost instantaneously across wide areas creating horizons that, if found in several locations, provide 'pinning points' to adjust ice time scales that may otherwise be lacking detailed chronology. Individual tephra layers can have distinct chemical fingerprints allowing them to correlate over great distances. Advances in sample preparation, geochemical analyses (major and trace elements) of fine grained tephra and higher precision 40Ar/39Ar dating of young (South America). Combining ice core tephra with those exposed in blue ice areas provide more locations to correlate widespread eruptions. For example, a period of heightened eruptive activity at Mt. Berlin, West Antarctica between 24 and 28ka produced a set of tephra layers that are found in WDC06A and SDMA ice cores, as well as at a nearby blue ice area at Mt. Moulton (BIT-151 and BIT-152). Possible correlative tephra layers are found at ice ages of 26.4, 26.9 and 28.8ka in WDC06A and 26.5, 27.0, and 28.7ka in SDMA cores. The geochemical similarities of major elements in these layers mean that ongoing trace element analyses will be vital to decipher the sequence of events during this phase of activity at Mt. Berlin. Sample WDC06A-2767.117 (ice age of 28.6×1.0ka) appears to correlate to blue ice tephra BIT-152 and to tephra layer SDMA-5683 (ice age of 28.5ka). This tephra layer also appears to be present in blue ice at Mt. Terra Nova on Ross Island, 1400km away, suggesting that it may be a possible to link ice cores in East Antarctica (e.g. Talos Dome and Law Dome). The amount of feldspar in ice core tephra is typically too small to be directly dated by 40Ar/39Ar method, making it very important to geochemically correlate these layers to proximal deposits where more and larger feldspar can be sampled. The correlation of WDC06A-2767.117 to the coarse

  17. Initialization of a full-Stokes finite element model of the Greenland ice-sheet using inverse methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillet-Chaulet, F.; Gagliardini, O.; Nodet, M.; Ritz, C.; Durand, G.; Zwinger, T.; Seddik, H.; Greve, R.

    2010-12-01

    About a third of the current sea level rise is attributed to the release of Greenland and Antarctic ice, and their respective contribution is continuously increasing since the first diagnostic of the acceleration of their coastal outlet glaciers, a decade ago. Due to their related societal implications, good scenario of the ice sheets evolutions are needed to constrain the sea level rise forecast in the coming centuries. The quality of the model predictions depend primary on the good description of the physical processes involved and on a good initial state reproducing the main present observations (geometry, surface velocities and ideally the trend in elevation change). We model ice dynamics on the whole Greenland ice sheet using the full-Stokes finite element code Elmer. The finite element mesh is generated using the anisotropic mesh adaptation tool YAMS, and shows a high density around the major ice streams. For the initial state, we use an iterative procedure to compute the ice velocities, the temperature field, and the basal sliding coefficient field. The basal sliding coefficient is obtained with an inverse method by minimizing a cost function that measures the misfit between the present day surface velocities and the modelled surface velocities. We use two inverse methods for this: an inverse Robin problem recently proposed by Arthern and Gudmundsson (J. Glaciol. 2010), and a control method taking advantage of the fact that the Stokes equations are self adjoint in the particular case of a Newtonian rheology. From the initial states obtained by these two methods, we run transient simulations to evaluate the impact of the initial state of the Greenland ice sheet onto its related contribution to sea level rise for the next centuries.

  18. Retrieving Ice Basal Motion Using the Hydrologically Coupled JPL/UCI Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khakbaz, B.; Morlighem, M.; Seroussi, H. L.; Larour, E. Y.

    2011-12-01

    The study of basal sliding in ice sheets requires coupling ice-flow models with subglacial water flow. In fact, subglacial hydrology models can be used to model basal water-pressure explicitly and to generate basal sliding velocities. This study addresses the addition of a thin-film-based subglacial hydrologic module to the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) developed by JPL in collaboration with the University of California Irvine (UCI). The subglacial hydrology model follows the study of J. Johnson (2002) who assumed a non-arborscent distributed drainage system in the form of a thin film beneath ice sheets. The differential equation that arises from conservation of mass in the water system is solved numerically with the finite element method in order to obtain the spatial distribution of basal water over the study domain. The resulting sheet water thickness is then used to model the basal water-pressure and subsequently the basal sliding velocity. In this study, an introduction and preliminary results of the subglacial water flow and basal sliding velocity will be presented for the Pine Island Glacier west Antarctica.This work was performed at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Modeling, Analysis and Prediction (MAP) Program.

  19. Mapping of a Hydrological Ice Sheet Drainage Basin on the West Greenland Ice Sheet Margin from ERS-1/2 SAR Interferometry, Ice-Radar Measurement, and Modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Bøggild, C.E.; Stenseng, L.;

    2002-01-01

    -track interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and a bedrock topography derived from an airborne 60 MHz ice-penetrating radar. The extent of the delineation was calculated from a water-pressure potential as a function of the ice-sheet surface and bedrock elevations and a hydraulic factor κ describing the relative...... measured basin run-off could thus be explained by small year-to-year variations of the κ-factor...

  20. Critical Fracture Toughness Measurements of an Antarctic Ice Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christmann, Julia; Müller, Ralf; Webber, Kyle; Isaia, Daniel; Schader, Florian; Kippstuhl, Sepp; Freitag, Johannes; Humbert, Angelika

    2014-05-01

    Fracture toughness is a material parameter describing the resistance of a pre-existing defect in a body to further crack extension. The fracture toughness of glacial ice as a function of density is important for modeling efforts aspire to predict calving behavior. In the presented experiments this fracture toughness is measured using an ice core from Kohnen Station, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. The samples were sawed in an ice lab at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven at -20°C and had the dimensions of standard test samples with thickness 14 mm, width 28 mm and length 126 mm. The samples originate from a depth of 94.6 m to 96 m. The grain size of the samples was also identified. The grain size was found to be rather uniform. The critical fracture toughness is determined in a four-point bending approach using single edge V-notch beam samples. The initial notch length was around 2.5 mm and was prepared using a drilling machine. The experimental setup was designed at the Institute of Materials Science at Darmstadt. In this setup the force increases linearly, until the maximum force is reached, where the specific sample fractures. This procedure was done in an ice lab with a temperature of -15°C. The equations to calculate the fracture toughness for pure bending are derived from an elastic stress analysis and are given as a standard test method to detect the fracture toughness. An X-ray computer tomography (CT scanner) was used to determine the ice core densities. The tests cover densities from 843 kg m-3 to 871 kg m-3. Thereby the influence of the fracture toughness on the density was analyzed and compared to previous investigations of this material parameter. Finally the dependence of the measured toughness on thickness, width, and position in the core cross-section was investigated.

  1. Snapshots of the Greenland ice sheet configuration in the Pliocene to early Pleistocene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne M.; Reeh, Niels; Japsen, Peter;

    2011-01-01

    The geometry of the ice sheets during the Pliocene to early Pleistocene is not well constrained. Here we apply an ice-flow model in the study of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) during three extreme intervals of this period constrained by geological observations and climate reconstructions. We study...

  2. Separate origins of ice-binding proteins in antarctic chlamydomonas species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Raymond

    Full Text Available The green alga Chlamydomonas raudensis is an important primary producer in a number of ice-covered lakes and ponds in Antarctica. A C. raudensis isolate (UWO241 from Lake Bonney in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, like many other Antarctic algae, was found to secrete ice-binding proteins (IBPs, which appear to be essential for survival in icy environments. The IBPs of several Antarctic algae (diatoms, a prymesiophyte, and a prasinophyte are similar to each other (here designated as type I IBPs and have been proposed to have bacterial origins. Other IBPs (type II IBPs that bear no resemblance to type I IBPs, have been found in the Antarctic Chlamydomonas sp. CCMP681, a putative snow alga, raising the possibility that chlamydomonad IBPs developed separately from the IBPs of other algae. To test this idea, we obtained the IBP sequences of C. raudensis UWO241 by sequencing the transcriptome. A large number of transcripts revealed no sequences resembling type II IBPs. Instead, many isoforms resembling type I IBPs were found, and these most closely matched a hypothetical protein from the bacterium Stigmatella aurantiaca. The sequences were confirmed to encode IBPs by the activity of a recombinant protein and by the matching of predicted and observed isoelectric points and molecular weights. Furthermore, a mesophilic sister species, C. raudensis SAG49.72, showed no ice-binding activity or PCR products from UWO241 IBP primers. These results confirm that algal IBPs are required for survival in icy habitats and demonstrate that they have diverse origins that are unrelated to the taxonomic positions of the algae. Last, we show that the C. raudensis UWO241 IBPs can change the structure of ice in a way that could increase the survivability of cells trapped in the ice.

  3. Separate origins of ice-binding proteins in antarctic chlamydomonas species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, James A; Morgan-Kiss, Rachael

    2013-01-01

    The green alga Chlamydomonas raudensis is an important primary producer in a number of ice-covered lakes and ponds in Antarctica. A C. raudensis isolate (UWO241) from Lake Bonney in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, like many other Antarctic algae, was found to secrete ice-binding proteins (IBPs), which appear to be essential for survival in icy environments. The IBPs of several Antarctic algae (diatoms, a prymesiophyte, and a prasinophyte) are similar to each other (here designated as type I IBPs) and have been proposed to have bacterial origins. Other IBPs (type II IBPs) that bear no resemblance to type I IBPs, have been found in the Antarctic Chlamydomonas sp. CCMP681, a putative snow alga, raising the possibility that chlamydomonad IBPs developed separately from the IBPs of other algae. To test this idea, we obtained the IBP sequences of C. raudensis UWO241 by sequencing the transcriptome. A large number of transcripts revealed no sequences resembling type II IBPs. Instead, many isoforms resembling type I IBPs were found, and these most closely matched a hypothetical protein from the bacterium Stigmatella aurantiaca. The sequences were confirmed to encode IBPs by the activity of a recombinant protein and by the matching of predicted and observed isoelectric points and molecular weights. Furthermore, a mesophilic sister species, C. raudensis SAG49.72, showed no ice-binding activity or PCR products from UWO241 IBP primers. These results confirm that algal IBPs are required for survival in icy habitats and demonstrate that they have diverse origins that are unrelated to the taxonomic positions of the algae. Last, we show that the C. raudensis UWO241 IBPs can change the structure of ice in a way that could increase the survivability of cells trapped in the ice. PMID:23536869

  4. Enthalpy benchmark experiments for numerical ice sheet models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Kleiner

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available We present benchmark experiments to test the implementation of enthalpy and the corresponding boundary conditions in numerical ice sheet models. The first experiment tests particularly the functionality of the boundary condition scheme and the basal melt rate calculation during transient simulations. The second experiment addresses the steady-state enthalpy profile and the resulting position of the cold–temperate transition surface (CTS. For both experiments we assume ice flow in a parallel-sided slab decoupled from the thermal regime. Since we impose several assumptions on the experiment design, analytical solutions can be formulated for the proposed numerical experiments. We compare simulation results achieved by three different ice flow-models with these analytical solutions. The models agree well to the analytical solutions, if the change in conductivity between cold and temperate ice is properly considered in the model. In particular, the enthalpy gradient at the cold side of the CTS vanishes in the limit of vanishing conductivity in the temperate ice part as required from the physical jump conditions at the CTS.

  5. New Visualizations Highlight New Information on the Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Trends Since the Late 1970s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E.

    2016-01-01

    Month-by-month ranking of 37 years (1979-2015) of satellite-derived sea-ice extents in the Arctic and Antarctic reveals interesting new details in the overall trends toward decreasing sea-ice coverage in the Arctic and increasing sea-ice coverage in the Antarctic. The Arctic decreases are so definitive that there has not been a monthly record high in Arctic sea-ice extents in any month since 1986, a time period during which there have been 75 monthly record lows. The Antarctic, with the opposite but weaker trend toward increased ice extents, experienced monthly record lows in 5 months of 1986, then 6 later monthly record lows scattered through the dataset, with the last two occurring in 2006, versus 45 record highs since 1986. However, in the last three years of the 1979-2015 dataset, the downward trends in Arctic sea-ice extents eased up, with no new record lows in any month of 2013 or 2014 and only one record low in 2015,while the upward trends in Antarctic ice extents notably strengthened, with new record high ice extents in 4 months (August-November) of 2013, in 6 months (April- September) of 2014, and in 3 months (January, April, and May) of 2015. Globally, there have been only 3 monthly record highs since 1986 (only one since 1988), whereas there have been 43 record lows, although the last record lows (in the 1979-2015 dataset) occurred in 2012.

  6. Bimodal pattern of seismicity detected at the ocean margin of an Antarctic ice shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Denis; Benoit, Lionel; Camelbeeck, Thierry; Martin, Olivier; Meynard, Christophe; Thom, Christian

    2016-08-01

    In Antarctica, locally grounded ice, such as ice rises bordering floating ice shelves, plays a major role in the ice mass balance as it stabilizes the ice sheet flow from the hinterland. When in direct contact with the ocean, the ice rise buttressing effect may be altered in response of changing ocean forcing. To investigate this vulnerable zone, four sites near the boundary of an ice shelf with an ice rise promontory in Dronning Maud Land, East-Antarctica were monitored for a month in early 2014 with new instruments that include both seismic and GPS sensors. Our study indicated that this transition zone experiences periodic seismic activity resulting from surface crevassing during oceanic tide-induced flexure of the ice shelf. The most significant finding is the observation of apparent fortnightly tide-modulated low-frequency, long-duration seismic events at the seaward front of the ice rise promontory. A basal origin of these events is postulated with the ocean water surge at each new spring tide triggering basal crevassing or basal slip on a local bedrock asperity. Detection and monitoring of such seismicity may help identifying ice rise zones vulnerable to intensified ocean forcing.

  7. THE EFFECTS OF ULTRAVIOLET-B RADIATION ON ANTARCTIC SEA-ICE ALGAE(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Ken G; McMinn, Andrew; Hegseth, Else N; Davy, Simon K

    2012-02-01

    The impacts of ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB) on polar sea-ice algal communities have not yet been demonstrated. We assess the impacts of UV on these communities using both laboratory experiments on algal isolates and by modification of the in situ spectral distribution of the under-ice irradiance. In the latter experiment, filters were attached to the upper surface of the ice so that the algae were exposed in situ to treatments of ambient levels of PAR and UV radiation, ambient radiation minus UVB, and ambient radiation minus all UV. After 16 d, significant increases in chl a and cell numbers were recorded for all treatments, but there were no significant differences among the different treatments. Bottom-ice algae exposed in vitro were considerably less tolerant to UVB than those in situ, but this tolerance improved when algae were retained within a solid block of ice. In addition, algae extracted from brine channels in the upper meter of sea ice and exposed to PAR and UVB in the laboratory were much more tolerant of high UVB doses than were any bottom-ice isolates. This finding indicates that brine algae may be better adapted to high PAR and UVB than are bottom-ice algae. The data indicate that the impact of increased levels of UVB resulting from springtime ozone depletion on Antarctic bottom-ice communities is likely to be minimal. These algae are likely protected by strong UVB attenuation by the overlying ice and snow, by other inorganic and organic substances in the ice matrix, and by algal cells closer to the surface. PMID:27009652

  8. Thickening and Thinning of Antarctic Ice Shelves and Tongues and Mass Balance Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Giovinetto, Mario; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    Previous analysis of elevation changes for 1992 to 2002 obtained from measurements by radar altimeters on ERS-l and 2 showed that the shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) and along the coast of West Antarctica (WA), including the eastern part of the Ross Ice Shelf, were mostly thinning and losing mass whereas the Ronne Ice shelf also in WA was mostly thickening. The estimated total mass loss for the floating ice shelves and ice tongues from ice draining WA and the AP was 95 Gt/a. In contrast, the floating ice shelves and ice tongues from ice draining East Antarctica (EA), including the Filchner, Fimbul, Amery, and Western Ross, were mostly thickening with a total estimated mass gain of 142 Gt/a. Data from ICESat laser altimetry for 2003-2008 gives new surface elevation changes (dH/dt) with some similar values for the earlier and latter periods, including -27.6 and -26.9 cm a-Ion the West Getz ice shelf and -42.4 and - 27.2 cm/a on the East Getz ice shelf, and some values that indicate more thinning in the latter period, including -17.9 and -36.2 cm/a on the Larsen C ice shelf, -35.5 and -76.0 cm/a on the Pine Island Glacier floating, -60.5 and -125.7 .cm/a on the Smith Glacier floating, and -34.4 and -108.9 cm/a on the Thwaites Glacier floating. Maps of measured dH/dt and estimated thickness change are produced along with mass change estimates for 2003 - 2008.

  9. High-resolution ice thickness and bed topography of a land-terminating section of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindbäck, K.; Pettersson, R.; Doyle, S. H.;

    2014-01-01

    We present ice thickness and bed topography maps with high spatial resolution (250 to 500 m) of a and-terminating section of the Greenland Ice Sheet derived from combined ground-based and airborne radar surveys. The data have a total area of ~12000 km2 and cover the whole ablation area of the....... The covered area is one of the most studied regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet with studies of mass balance, dynamics, and supraglacial lakes, and our combined dataset can be valuable for detailed studies of ice sheet dynamics and hydrology. The compiled datasets of ground-based and airborne radar...

  10. How effective is albedo modification (solar radiation management geoengineering) in preventing sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Applegate, Patrick J.; Keller, Klaus

    2015-08-01

    Albedo modification (AM) is sometimes characterized as a potential means of avoiding climate threshold responses, including large-scale ice sheet mass loss. Previous work has investigated the effects of AM on total sea-level rise over the present century, as well as AM’s ability to reduce long-term (≫103 yr) contributions to sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). These studies have broken new ground, but neglect important feedbacks in the GIS system, or are silent on AM’s effectiveness over the short time scales that may be most relevant for decision-making (business-as-usual base temperature forcing scenario, as well as scenarios that reflect AM-induced temperature stabilization or temperature drawdown. Our model results suggest that (i) AM produces substantial near-term reductions in the rate of GIS-driven sea-level rise. However, (ii) sea-level rise contributions from the GIS continue after AM begins. These continued sea level rise contributions persist for decades to centuries after temperature stabilization and temperature drawdown begin, unless AM begins in the next few decades. Moreover, (iii) any regrowth of the GIS is delayed by decades or centuries after temperature drawdown begins, and is slow compared to pre-AM rates of mass loss. Combined with recent work that suggests AM would not prevent mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, our results provide a nuanced picture of AM’s possible effects on future sea-level rise.

  11. Accurate and stable time stepping in ice sheet modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Cheng, Gong; von Sydow, Lina

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we introduce adaptive time step control for simulation of evolution of ice sheets. The discretization error in the approximations is estimated using "Milne's device" by comparing the result from two different methods in a predictor-corrector pair. Using a predictor-corrector pair the expensive part of the procedure, the solution of the velocity and pressure equations, is performed only once per time step and an estimate of the local error is easily obtained. The stability of the numerical solution is maintained and the accuracy is controlled by keeping the local error below a given threshold using PI-control. Depending on the threshold, the time step $\\Delta t$ is bound by stability requirements or accuracy requirements. Our method takes a shorter $\\Delta t$ than an implicit method but with less work in each time step and the solver is simpler. The method is analyzed theoretically with respect to stability and applied to the simulation of a 2D ice slab and a 3D circular ice sheet. %The automatic...

  12. PIXE analysis as a tool for dating of ice cores from the Greenland ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sections from the 2037 m long Dye 3 ice core drilled in 1979-1981 in the ice sheet of Southern Greenland were analysed with PIXE. The seven selected sections were from depths between 1778 and 1813 m, which corresponds to a time interval between about 8 500 and 10 000 years B.C. at the end of the last Ice Age. During this time period, fast climatic changes of several degrees centrigrade per century are known to have taken place. The exact time scales of these changes need yet to be verified by renewed measurements using nonconventional stratigraphic dating techniques such as PIXE. The problem is highly relevant for the prediction of climatic changes in our present age. A new sample preparation technique was developed which enables the determination of annual thicknesses of the parts of the ice core representing 10 000-40 000 years before present, where the thickness of the annual ice layers are believed to be less than 2.5 cm. More commonly used techniques of dating, such as measurements of oxygen and hydrogen isotopes δ18O and δD, nitrate, acidity or conductivity all have difficulties in resolving annual cycles in thicknesses of less than about 2 cm. The new technique involves sublimation of 18 cm long ice sections, after which the material contained in the ice is deposited on the thin backing. In this way, the material to be analysed is preconcentrated through the removal of the H2O, while still retaining the spatial distribution pattern of the various water soluble and insoluble components along the ice core. The resulting spatial resolution of the sublimation technique is estimated to be ±1 mm. A PIXE analysis was performed in contiguous millimeter steps across the sublimated ice sections. Estimations of annual ice layer thicknesses were based on the patterns of seasonal variation along the ice sections for several major and minor elements quantified with PIXE. (orig./TW)

  13. Glacier dynamics after the disintegration of Wordie Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendt, Anja; Bown, Francisca; Rivera, Andrés.; Wendt, Jens; Zamora, Rodrigo; Bravo, Claudio; Zenteno, Pablo; Casassa, Gino; Carrasco, Jorge; Quintana, Juan

    2010-05-01

    The retreat of Wordie Ice Shelf in the 1980s was the first recent episode in a series of ice-shelf collapse events which culminated in a substantial break-up of Wilkins Ice Shelf in April 2009. This widespread behaviour of ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula has been attributed to atmospheric and oceanic warming. While atmospheric warming leads to a prolonged melt season and increased melt ponding, oceanic warming increases bottom melting eroding ice shelves from below. Glaciers feeding into these ice shelves are known to accelerate because of the loss of the buttressing force the ice shelf exerted. Although the loss of the ice shelf itself does not contribute to sea level rise, the increased glacier outflow results in a surface lowering of the grounded glaciers associated with a mass loss and a positive contribution to sea level. Based on remote sensing, airborne and in-situ data collected during 3 recent field campaigns, we study the behaviour of glaciers flowing into Wordie Bay and its relationship to ice-shelf history and local meteorological conditions. Satellite images from different optical and radar sensors (ASTER, Landsat, ERS, and Envisat) were used to map the ice-shelf extent throughout recent years and show an almost complete disappearance of Wordie Ice Shelf. The comparison of surface elevations acquired by airborne laser scanning on Fleming Glacier in 2004 and 2008 reveals a surface elevation decrease of up to 4 m/yr at the grounding line. GPS measurements at sites first surveyed in the 1970s show that the glacier maintains higher ice flow velocities than before the retreat of Wordie Ice Shelf. A continuous GPS station deployed at the upper reaches of Fleming Glacier for one year allows studying changes in ice flow velocity throughout the year. In summary, high ice flow velocities together with the marked surface elevation at the grounding line indicate that the glaciers in Wordie Bay are still losing mass and have not attained a new equilibrium

  14. An investigation of the astronomical theory of the ice ages using a simple climate-ice sheet model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, D.

    1978-01-01

    The astronomical theory of the Quaternary ice ages is incorporated into a simple climate model for global weather; important features of the model include the albedo feedback, topography and dynamics of the ice sheets. For various parameterizations of the orbital elements, the model yields realistic assessments of the northern ice sheet. Lack of a land-sea heat capacity contrast represents one of the chief difficulties of the model.

  15. A model of a stochastically driven ice sheet with planetary wave feedback

    OpenAIRE

    Oerlemans, J.

    2011-01-01

    The growth and decay of continental ice sheets forms a key problem in dynamical climatology. Apart from knowledge about their behaviour for given external conditions, like the distribution of incoming solar energy, it is desirable to know something about their variability due to forcing with a stochastic character. This paper presents a simple model of ice-sheet variability in which the interaction between ice sheet and atmosphere is taken into account in a crude way. The model is formulated...

  16. Rapid bedrock uplift in the Antarctic Peninsula explained by viscoelastic response to recent ice unloading

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nield, Grace A.; Barletta, Valentina Roberta; Bordoni, Andrea;

    2014-01-01

    ×1017–2×1018 Pas – much lower than previously suggested for this region. Combining the LARISSA time series with the Palmer cGPS time series offers a rare opportunity to study the time-evolution of the low-viscosity solid Earth response to a well-captured ice unloading event.......Since 1995 several ice shelves in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula have collapsed and triggered ice-mass unloading, invoking a solid Earth response that has been recorded at continuous GPS (cGPS) stations. A previous attempt to model the observation of rapid uplift following the 2002 breakup...... of the Palmer cGPS station since 2002 cannot be explained by elastic deformation alone. We apply a viscoelastic model with linear Maxwell rheology to predict uplift since 1995 and test the fit to the Palmer cGPS time series, finding a well constrained upper mantle viscosity but less sensitivity to lithospheric...

  17. Evaluation of recent GRACE monthly solution series with an ice sheet perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwath, Martin; Groh, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    GRACE monthly global gravity field solutions have undergone a remarkable evolution, leading to the latest (Release 5) series by CSR, GFZ, and JPL, to new series by other processing centers, such as ITSG and AIUB, as well as to efforts to derive combined solutions, particularly by the EGSIEM (European Gravity Service for Improved Emergency Management) project. For applications, such as GRACE inferences on ice sheet mass balance, the obvious question is on what GRACE solution series to base the assessment. Here we evaluate different GRACE solution series (including the ones listed above) in a unified framework. We concentrate on solutions expanded up to degree 90 or higher, since this is most appropriate for polar applications. We empirically assess the error levels in the spectral as well as in the spatial domain based on the month-to-month scatter in the high spherical harmonic degrees. We include empirical assessment of error correlations. We then apply all series to infer Antarctic and Greenland mass change time series and compare the results in terms of apparent signal content and noise level. We find that the ITSG solutions show lowest noise level in the high degrees (above 60). A preliminary combined solution from the EGSIEM project shows lowest noise in the degrees below 60. This virtue maps into the derived ice mass time series, where the EGSIEM-based results show the lowest noise in most cases. Meanwhile, there is no indication that any of the considered series systematically dampens actual geophysical signals.

  18. Predicting Ice Sheet and Climate Evolution at Extreme Scales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heimbach, Patrick [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)

    2016-02-06

    A main research objectives of PISCEES is the development of formal methods for quantifying uncertainties in ice sheet modeling. Uncertainties in simulating and projecting mass loss from the polar ice sheets arise primarily from initial conditions, surface and basal boundary conditions, and model parameters. In general terms, two main chains of uncertainty propagation may be identified: 1. inverse propagation of observation and/or prior onto posterior control variable uncertainties; 2. forward propagation of prior or posterior control variable uncertainties onto those of target output quantities of interest (e.g., climate indices or ice sheet mass loss). A related goal is the development of computationally efficient methods for producing initial conditions for an ice sheet that are close to available present-day observations and essentially free of artificial model drift, which is required in order to be useful for model projections (“initialization problem”). To be of maximum value, such optimal initial states should be accompanied by “useful” uncertainty estimates that account for the different sources of uncerainties, as well as the degree to which the optimum state is constrained by available observations. The PISCEES proposal outlined two approaches for quantifying uncertainties. The first targets the full exploration of the uncertainty in model projections with sampling-based methods and a workflow managed by DAKOTA (the main delivery vehicle for software developed under QUEST). This is feasible for low-dimensional problems, e.g., those with a handful of global parameters to be inferred. This approach can benefit from derivative/adjoint information, but it is not necessary, which is why it often referred to as “non-intrusive”. The second approach makes heavy use of derivative information from model adjoints to address quantifying uncertainty in high-dimensions (e.g., basal boundary conditions in ice sheet models). The use of local gradient, or

  19. Are Late-Pleistocene Climate Reconstructions from Cirque and Valley Moraines Possible in Regions of Decaying Ice Sheets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menounos, B.; Goehring, B. M.; osborn, G.; Clague, J. J.; Davis, P. T.; Lakeman, T.; Schaefer, J. M.; Koch, J.; Clarke, G. K.

    2012-12-01

    The extent of glaciers in the past has commonly been used to infer past climates. Both abrupt climate change and geomorphic factors, however, are required to explain the timing and apparent magnitude of latest Pleistocene advances at high latitudes in western Canada and southernmost Patagonia. At the southern end of the Andes, north and west of Ushuaia, Argentina, 10Be surface exposure ages from glaciated bedrock beyond cirque moraines indicate that alpine areas were deglaciated by ca. 15.5 ka (kilo calendar yr BP). One, and in some cases two, closely spaced moraines extend up to 2 km beyond Little Ice Age moraines within many cirques in this region. The mean of five 10Be ages from two of the moraines is 14.82-13.16 ka, whereas a smaller recessional moraine in one cirque returned a minimum-limiting AMS radiocarbon age of 12.38-12.01 ka. The ages imply that following regional deglaciation, cirque glaciers first advanced during the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR) [14.5-12.9 ka] and then advanced again or remained near their ACR limits during the Younger Dryas Chronozone (YD) [12.9-11.7 ka]. The moraines are restricted to topographic highs that were deglaciated before 15.5 ka. In western Canada, glaciers also advanced during the YD, but the magnitude of this advance differs markedly throughout the region. 10Be and 14C ages on moraines at high elevations in the Canadian Rockies and the southern Coast Mountains indicate that many glaciers built moraines during the YD that were only hundreds of meters beyond those constructed during the later part of the Little Ice Age [0.30-0.15 ka]. In contrast, 10Be ages [13.10-12.00 ka] on three moraines in northwest British Columbia indicate that glaciers up to 10 km beyond LIA glacier limits during the YD. We argue that the different responses of alpine glaciers in western Canada to climate deterioration during the YD is due to the presence of the decaying Cordilleran ice sheet. Top-down melting of the Cordilleran ice sheet allowed

  20. Effects of polar ice sheets on global sealevel in high-resolution greenhouse scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, M.; Calanca, P.; Scherrer, S.; Ohmura, A.

    2003-04-01

    Projections of future global sea level critically depend on reliable estimates of mass balance changes on the polar icesheets. The most sophisticated tools allowing for such estimates are General Circulation Models (GCM). A major impediment until recently has been their coarse grid resolution (3°-6°) causing substantial uncertainties in the mass balancecalculations on the poorly resolved ice sheets. The present study is based on a climate change experiment of highest resolution currently feasible (T106, 1.1°). The precipitation distribution significantly benefits from the more realistic orographic forcing in the high-resolution experiment and is very accurately reproduced. A greenhouse warming experiment with doubled carbon-dioxide concentration based on the same high-resolution model suggests an increase in accumulation on both Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. On the other hand, even a T106 resolution is still too coarse for the simulation of ablation on the narrow ice sheet margins, where most of the melting takes place. A simple method is presented to improve ablation diagnostics from GCMs, based on the interpolation of the reference temperature and temperature anomaly fields onto a fine mesh topography of 2 km horizontal resolution. The increase in ablation on Greenland in the greenhouse scenario is thereby smaller than the increase directly inferred from the GCM grid. As for Antarctica, it is still too cold at the time of doubled carbon-dioxide concentration for significant ablation. The results from the greenhouse experiment with doubled carbon-dioxide concentration thus suggest not only a mass gain in Antarctica due to the increase in accumulation, but also a mass gain in Greenland, since the enhanced ablation in the warmer climate does not fully compensate for the increased accumulation. In terms of global sea level change, these mass balance shifts correspond to a net sea level decrease of 1.2 mm y-1 at the time of doubled carbon-dioxide. This may

  1. About the consistency between Envisat and CryoSat-2 radar freeboard retrieval over Antarctic sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    Schwegmann, S.; E. Rinne; Ricker, R.; Hendricks, S.; V. Helm

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about Antarctic sea-ice volume and its changes over the past decades has been sparse due to the lack of systematic sea-ice thickness measurements in this remote area. Recently, first attempts have been made to develop a sea-ice thickness product over the Southern Ocean from space-borne radar altimetry and results look promising. Today, more than 20 years of radar altimeter data are potentially available for such products. However, data come from di...

  2. Tracing Internal Radar Layers in the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Panton, Christian

    layers and a fully automated algorithm for mapping the layer slope. The layer slope is inferred by the intensity response to a slanted Gaussian filter, whereafter layers can be traced using an active contour model. With these techniques we show that it possible to trace internal layers over distances of...... hundreds kilometers with minimal operator intervention, and the methods have been successfully validated between two Greenland deep ice cores with internal match points. In order to remove any operator assistance, we show how the layer slope can be used to detect disturbances in the deep radiostratigraphy....... These results highlight the viability of using internal layer slopes to answer glaciological questions, and the need for high resolution mapping of the interior ice sheet to understand the dynamical nature of the basal environment....

  3. Future rates of sea-level rise from long-term coupled climate-ice sheet projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goelzer, Heiko; Huybrechts, Philippe; Loutre, Marie-France; Fichefet, Thierry

    2015-04-01

    Global mean sea level rose at an average rate of ~3.1 mm yr-1 since the early 1990s and is projected to rise between 0.28 and 0.98 m until year 2100, strongly depending on the assumed anthropogenic forcing scenario (IPCC AR5). This global rise in sea level is a combination of contributions from ocean thermal expansion, glaciers and small ice caps, from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and changes in land water storage. Except for the latter, all components are expected to contribute to further sea-level rise well beyond the end of this century due to the long residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere. In the present study we present results from long-term future sea-level change experiments over 1000 years with the Earth system model of intermediate complexity LOVECLIM version 1.3 forced by four extended RCP scenarios. The model includes fully coupled three-dimensional thermomechanical models of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, a global glacier melt algorithm to account for the response of mountain glaciers and small ice caps, and a diagnostic for oceanic thermal expansion. A range of the model's sensitivity to greenhouse warming was sampled by systematic parameter variations leading to an ensemble of model versions that simulate the present-day climate consistent with observations, while producing contrasted results for the future period. We analyse sea-level rates of change for all components over the course of the third millennium for the entire ensemble of model versions and forcing scenarios.

  4. Mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet since the Little Ice Age, implications on sea level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, K. K.; Bjork, A. A.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas;

    The impact of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) on 20th Century sea level rise (SLR) has long been subject to intense discussions. While globally distributed tide gauges suggest a global mean SLR of 15-20 cm, quantifying the separate components is of great concern - in particular for...... modeling sea level projections into the 21st Century. Estimates of the past GrIS contribution to SLR have been derived using a number of different approaches, e.g. surface mass balance (SMB) calculations combined with estimates of ice discharge found by in correlating SMB anomalies and calving rates. Here...

  5. Laser-Induced Fluorescence Emission (L.I.F.E.): In Situ Nondestructive Detection of Microbial Life in the Ice Covers of Antarctic Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storrie-Lombardi, Michael C.; Sattler, Birgit

    2009-09-01

    Laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) images were obtained in situ following 532 nm excitation of cryoconite assemblages in the ice covers of annual and perennially frozen Antarctic lakes during the 2008 Tawani International Expedition to Schirmacher Oasis and Lake Untersee in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Laser targeting of a single millimeter-scale cryoconite results in multiple neighboring excitation events secondary to ice/air interface reflection and refraction in the bubbles surrounding the primary target. Laser excitation at 532 nm of cyanobacteria-dominated assemblages produced red and infrared autofluorescence activity attributed to the presence of phycoerythrin photosynthetic pigments. The method avoids destruction of individual target organisms and does not require the disruption of either the structure of the microbial community or the surrounding ice matrix. L.I.F.E. survey strategies described may be of interest for orbital monitoring of photosynthetic primary productivity in polar and alpine glaciers, ice sheets, snow, and lake ice of Earth's cryosphere. The findings open up the possibility of searching from either a rover or from orbit covers of annual and perennially frozen Antarctic lakes during the 2008 Tawani International Expedition to Schirmacher Oasis and Lake Untersee in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Laser targeting of a single millimeter-scale cryoconite results in multiple neighboring excitation events secondary to ice/air interface reflection and refraction in the bubbles surrounding the primary target. Laser excitation at 532 nm of cyanobacteria-dominated assemblages produced red and infrared autofluorescence activity attributed to the presence of phycoerythrin photosynthetic pigments. The method avoids destruction of individual target organisms and does not require the disruption of either the structure of the microbial community or the surrounding ice matrix. L.I.F.E. survey strategies described may be of interest for

  6. Observations from the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, S. B.; Ahlstrom, A. P.; Andersen, M. L.; Box, J. E.; Citterio, M.; Colgan, W. T.; Fausto, R. S.; van As, D.; Forsberg, R.; Skourup, H.; Sandberg Sørensen, L.; Kristensen, S. S.; Dall, J.; Kusk, A.; Petersen, D.

    2014-12-01

    The Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) is as an on-going effort initiated in 2007 to monitor changes in the mass budget of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The aim of the programme is to quantify the mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet and track changes in the extent of the glaciers, ice caps and ice sheet margin. Specifically, PROMICE aims to estimate the mass loss derived from three fundamentally different sources: Surface melt water runoff from the ice sheet margin Iceberg production Mass loss of individual glaciers and ice caps surrounding the ice sheet The first is observed by a network of automatic weather stations (AWS) on the ice sheet margin measuring ice ablation as well as meteorological parameters. The second is determined by establishing a so-called 'flux gate' along the entire ice sheet margin and keeping track of the ice passing through this gate. The flux gate is obtained from airborne surveys of ice sheet surface elevation and thickness. The volume of the ice passing through the gate is derived from maps of the surface velocity of the ice sheet, produced from satellite radar. The third is investigated through regular mapping of area and elevation of the approximately 20.000 individual glaciers and ice caps in Greenland. Mapping is carried out using recent satellite imagery as well as aerial ortho-photos. Within PROMICE data sets from these activities are collected. They include observations from the network of currently about 20 AWS on the margin of the Greenland ice sheet. Airborne surveys, yielding surface elevation and ice depth along the entire margin of the Greenland ice sheet carried out in 2007 and 2011. A map of all Greenland ice masses, based on the highest detail aero-photogrammetric maps produced from mid-80's aerial photographs. Real-time data from the PROMICE AWS network is shown at the web site www.promice.org and the data is freely available for download. Data from the airborne surveys and mapping activities are

  7. Hydrology and Bed Topography of the Greenland Ice Sheet : Last known surroundings

    OpenAIRE

    Lindbäck, Katrin

    2015-01-01

    The increased temperatures in the Arctic accelerate the loss of land based ice stored in glaciers. The Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest ice mass in the Northern Hemisphere and holds ~10% of all the freshwater on Earth, equivalent to ~7 metres of global sea level rise. A few decades ago, the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet was poorly known and assumed to have little impact on global sea level rise. The development of regional climate models and remote sensing of the ice sheet during ...

  8. Origin and Phylogeny of Microbes Living in Permanent Antarctic Lake Ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, D. A.; Priscu, J.; Giovannoni, S.

    2000-04-01

    A BSTRACTThe phylogenetic diversity of bacteria and cyanobacteria colonizing sediment particles in the permanent ice cover of an Antarctic lake was characterized by analyses of 16S rRNA genes amplified from environmental DNA. Samples of mineral particles were collected from a depth of 2.5 m in the 4-m-thick ice cover of Lake Bonney, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. A rRNA gene clone library of 198 clones was made and characterized by sequencing and oligonucleotide probe hybridization. The library was dominated by representatives of the cyanobacteria, proteobacteria, and Planctomycetales, but also contained diverse clones representing many other microbial groups, including the Acidobacterium/Holophaga division, the Green Non-Sulfur division, and the Actinobacteria. Six oligonucleotide probes were made for the most abundant clades recovered in the library. To determine whether the ice microbial community might originate from wind dispersal of the algal mats found elsewhere in Taylor Valley, the probes were hybridized to 16S rDNAs amplified from three samples of terrestrial cyanobacterial mats collected at nearby sites, as well as to bacterial 16S rDNAs from the lake ice community. The results demonstrate the presence of a diverse microbial community dominated by cyanobacteria in the lake ice, and also show that the dominant members of the lake ice microbial community are found in terrestrial mats elsewhere in the area. The lake ice microbial community appears to be dominated by organisms that are not uniquely adapted to the lake ice ecosystem, but instead are species that originate elsewhere in the surrounding region and opportunistically colonize the unusual habitat provided by the sediments suspended in lake ice. PMID:12035096

  9. How effective is albedo modification (solar radiation management geoengineering) in preventing sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albedo modification (AM) is sometimes characterized as a potential means of avoiding climate threshold responses, including large-scale ice sheet mass loss. Previous work has investigated the effects of AM on total sea-level rise over the present century, as well as AM’s ability to reduce long-term (≫103 yr) contributions to sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). These studies have broken new ground, but neglect important feedbacks in the GIS system, or are silent on AM’s effectiveness over the short time scales that may be most relevant for decision-making (<103 yr). Here, we assess AM’s ability to reduce GIS sea-level contributions over decades to centuries, using a simplified ice sheet model. We drive this model using a business-as-usual base temperature forcing scenario, as well as scenarios that reflect AM-induced temperature stabilization or temperature drawdown. Our model results suggest that (i) AM produces substantial near-term reductions in the rate of GIS-driven sea-level rise. However, (ii) sea-level rise contributions from the GIS continue after AM begins. These continued sea level rise contributions persist for decades to centuries after temperature stabilization and temperature drawdown begin, unless AM begins in the next few decades. Moreover, (iii) any regrowth of the GIS is delayed by decades or centuries after temperature drawdown begins, and is slow compared to pre-AM rates of mass loss. Combined with recent work that suggests AM would not prevent mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, our results provide a nuanced picture of AM’s possible effects on future sea-level rise. (letter)

  10. Ice sheet dynamics within an Earth system model: coupling and first results on ice stability and ocean circulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Barbi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We present first results from a coupled model setup, consisting of a state-of-the-art ice sheet model (RIMBAY, and the community earth system model COSMOS. We show that special care has to be provided in order to ensure physical distributions of the forcings, as well as numeric stability of the involved models. We demonstrate that a statistical downscaling is crucial for ice sheet stability, especially for southern Greenland where surface temperature are close to the melting point. The simulated ice sheets are stable when forced with pre-industrial greenhouse gas parameters, with limits comparable with present day ice orography. A setup with high CO2 level is used to demonstrate the effects of dynamic ice sheets compared to the standard parameterisation; the resulting changes on ocean circulation will also be discussed.

  11. Identifying the AD 1257 Salamas volcanic event from micron-size tephra composition in two East Antarctic ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petit, Jean Robert; Narcisi, Biancamaria; Batanova, Valentina G.; Joël, Savarino; Komorowski, Jean Christophe; Michel, Agnes; Metrich, Nicole; Besson, Pascale; Vidal, Celine; Sobolev, Alexander V.

    2016-04-01

    A wealth of valuable data about the history of explosive volcanic history can be extracted from polar ice successions. Both the volatile by-products and the solid silicate (tephra) components of volcanic plumes can be incorporated into snow layers, providing tools for chronostratigraphic correlations and for interpretation of climate-volcanism interactions. Volcanic events from low-latitude regions are of particular interest as the related sulphate aerosol travelling through the stratosphere can reach the polar sheets forming inter-hemispheric (Greenland and Antarctica) signals preserved in the ice. Within the glaciological record of globally significant volcanic markers, the AD1259 signal represents one of most prominent events over the last thousands years. Its source has been long debated. On the basis of recent field investigations (Lavigne et al., 2013; Vidal et al., 2015), it has been proposed that Mount Samalas on Lombok Island (Indonesia) represents the source responsible for the polar event. With the goal of bringing distal tephrochronological evidence to source identification, we have attempted to identify volcanic ash associated to the AD 1259 sulphate pulse. To this purpose we used firn and ice-core samples from two East Antarctic Plateau sites: Concordia-Dome C (75°06' S, 123°20' E, 3233 m) and Talos Dome (72°49'S, 159°11'E, 2315 m). Our high-resolution studies included sample processing in a Class 100 clean room using established ultra-clean procedures for insoluble microparticle analyses, Coulter counter grain size measurements, scanning electron microscope observations and the geochemical (major elements) composition from the recently set ISTERRE Jeol JXA 8230 Superprobe and calibrated for small particles analysis. Despite the difficulty of studying such minute fragments, within both cores we located and characterised multiple tiny (micron-size) glass shards concomitant with the volcanic peak. We present preliminary results alongside comparison

  12. Near-field sea-level variability in northwest Europe and ice sheet stability during the last interglacial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, A. J.; Barlow, N. L. M.; Busschers, F. S.; Cohen, K. M.; Gehrels, W. R.; Wake, L. M.

    2015-10-01

    Global sea level during the Last Interglacial (LIG, Marine Isotope Sub-stage 5e) peaked between c. 5.5 and 9 m above present, implying significant melt from Greenland and Antarctica. Relative sea level (RSL) observations from several far- and intermediate-field sites suggest abrupt fluctuations or jumps in RSL during the LIG highstand that require one or more episodes of ice-sheet collapse and regrowth. Such events should be manifest as unique sea-level fingerprints, recorded in far-, intermediate- and near-field sites depending on the source(s) of ice-mass change involved. To date, though, no coherent evidence of such fluctuations has been reported from near-field RSL studies in northwest Europe. This is an important problem because RSL fluctuations during the LIG are portrayed as warning signs for how polar ice sheets may behave in a future, warmer than present, world. Here we review the evidence for RSL change during the LIG using stratigraphic data from the best resolved highstand records that exist in the near-field of northwest Europe, from a range of settings that include lagoonal, shallow marine, tidal flat, salt marsh and brackish-water fluviatile environments. Consideration of previously published stratigraphic records from two sites in the Eemian coastal-marine embayment that existed in the central Netherlands, yields no clear indications for abrupt RSL change during the attainment of the near-field highstand. Nor do we find any such indications common to other records from countries bordering the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the White Sea. Two modelling experiments that explore the global signal of hypothetical sea-level oscillations caused by partial collapse and regrowth of either the Greenland or Antarctic LIG ice-sheet, show that the North Sea region is relatively insensitive to mass changes sourced from Greenland but should clearly register events with an Antarctic origin, especially those that occur late in the LIG. The lack of evidence for

  13. Multi-decadal dynamic thinning on the northwest margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Kjær, Kurt H.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Wahr, John M; Bamber, Jonathan L; Hurkmans, Ruud TWL; Timm, Lars H; Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Bjørk, Anders Anker; Larsen, Nicolaj Krog

    Ice mass changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet have been estimated since the early 1990s from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission, of ice sheet thinning from satellite radar altimetry and airborne laser altimetry, and of increased velocities of outlet glaciers...... from radar interferometric surveys. Prior to 2000 existing altimetry data provides comparatively limited spatial resolution and ice losses near ice sheet margins are most likely underestimated and existing data is unable to document the persisting change within outlet glaciers. Subsequent estimates for...... the entire ice sheet show increased mass loss from 137 Gt/yr in 2002–2003 to 286 Gt/yr in 2007–2009. Also evidence from the GRACE, GPS (Global Positioning System), and ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) as well as surface mass balance data suggests there is an ongoing northward migration...

  14. Inter-annual and geographical variations in the extent of bare ice and dark ice on the Greenland ice sheet derived from MODIS satellite images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, Rigen; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Aoki, Teruo

    2016-04-01

    Areas of dark ice have appeared on the Greenland ice sheet every summer in recent years. These are likely to have a great impact on the mass balance of the ice sheet because of their low albedo. We report annual and geographical variations in the bare ice and dark ice areas that appeared on the Greenland Ice Sheet from 2000 to 2014 by using MODIS satellite images. The July monthly mean of the extent of bare ice showed a positive trend over these 15 years, and large annual variability ranging from 89,975 km2 to 279,075 km2, 5% and 16% of the entire ice sheet, respectively. The extent of dark ice also showed a positive trend and varied annually, ranging from 3,575 km2 to 26,975 km2, 4% and 10% of the bare ice extent. These areas are geographically varied, and their expansion is the greatest on the western side, particularly the southwestern side of the ice sheet. The bare ice extent correlates strongly with the monthly mean air temperature in July, suggesting that the extent was determined by snow melt. The dark ice extent also correlates with the air temperature; however, the correlation is weaker. The dark ice extent further correlates negatively with solar radiation. This suggests that the extent of dark ice is not only controlled by snow melt on the ice, but also by changes in the surface structures of the bare ice surface, such as cryoconite holes, which are associated with impurities appearing on the ice surface.

  15. Integration of airborne altimetry and in situ radar measurements to estimate marine ice thickness beneath the Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrath, D.; Steffen, K.; Rodriguez Lagos, J.

    2010-12-01

    Observed atmospheric and oceanic warming is driving significant retreat and / or collapse of ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula totaling over 25,000 km2 in the past five decades. Basal melting of meteoric ice can occur near the grounding line of deep glacier inflows if the ocean water is above the pressure melting point. Buoyant meltwater will develop thermohaline circulation, rising beneath the ice shelf, where it may become supercooled and subsequently refreeze in ice draft minima. Marine ice, due to its warm and thus relatively viscous nature, is hypothesized to suture parallel flow bands, increasing ice shelf stability by arresting fracture propagation and controlling iceberg calving dimensions. Thus efforts to model ice shelf stability require accurate estimates of marine ice location and thickness. Ice thickness of a floating ice shelf can be determined in two manners: (1) from measurements of ice elevation above sea level and the calculation of ice thickness from assumptions of hydrostatic equilibrium, and (2) from radar echo measurements of the ice-water interface. Marine ice can confound the latter because its high dielectric constant and strong absorptive properties attenuate the radar energy, often preventing a return signal from the bottom of the ice shelf. These two methods are complementary for determining the marine ice component though because positive anomalies in (1) relative to (2) suggest regions of marine ice accretion. Nearly 350 km of ice penetrating radar (25 MHz) surveys were collected on the Larsen C ice shelf, in conjunction with kinematic GPS measurements and collocated with surface elevation data from the NASA Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) as part of the ICE Bridge mission in 2009. Basal ice topography and total ice thickness is accurately mapped along the survey lines and compared with calculated ice thickness from both the kinematic GPS and ATM elevation data. Positive anomalies are discussed in light of visible imagery and

  16. Linking climate history and ice crystalline fabric evolution in polar ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Joseph Huston

    An ice sheet consists of an unfathomable number of grains that typically have a preferred orientation of the crystalline lattices, termed fabric. At the surface of ice sheets, the microstructural processes which control the grain structure and fabric evolution are influenced by climate variables. Layers of firn, in different climate regimes, may have an observable variation in fabric which can persist deep into the ice sheet; fabric may have 'memory' of these past climate regimes. To model the evolution of a subtle variation in fabric below the firn-ice transition, we have developed and released an open-source Fabric Evolution with Recrystallization (FEvoR) model. FEvoR is an anisotropic stress model that distributes stresses through explicit nearest-neighbor interaction. The model includes parameterizations of grain growth, rotation recrystallization and migration recrystallization which account for the major recrystallization processes that affect the macroscopic grain structure and fabric evolution. Using this model, we explore the evolution of a subtle variation in near-surface fabric using both constant applied stress and a stress-temperature history based on data from Taylor Dome, East Antarctica. Our results show that a subtle fabric variation will be preserved for ≈200 ka in compressive stress regimes with temperatures typical of polar ice-sheets. The addition of shear to compressive stress regimes preserves fabric variations longer than in compression-only regimes because shear drives a positive feedback between crystal rotation and deformation. We find that temperature affects how long the fabric variation is preserved, but does not affect the strain-integrated fabric evolution profile except when crossing the thermal-activation-energy threshold (≈ -10°C). Even at high temperatures, migration recrystallization does not rid the fabric of its memory under most conditions. High levels of nearest-neighbor interactions between grains will rid the fabric

  17. Where to find 1.5 million yr old ice for the IPICS "Oldest-Ice" ice core

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, Hubertus; Severinghaus, J.; Brook, E.; Wolff, E; Albert, M.; Alemany, O.; R. Arthern; C. Bentley; Blankenship, D.; J. Chappellaz; Creyts, T.; Dahl-Jensen, D.; M. Dinn; Frezzotti, M.; Fujita, S.

    2013-01-01

    The recovery of a 1.5 million yr long ice core from Antarctica represents a keystone of our understanding of Quaternary climate, the progression of glaciation over this time period and the role of greenhouse gas cycles in this progression. Here we tackle the question of where such ice may still be found in the Antarctic ice sheet. We can show that such old ice is most likely to exist in the plateau area of the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) without stratigraphic disturbance and should be abl...

  18. Where to find 1.5 million yr old ice for the IPICS "Oldest-Ice" ice core

    OpenAIRE

    H. Fischer; Severinghaus, J.; Brook, E.; Wolff, E; Albert, M.; Alemany, O.; R. Arthern; C. Bentley; Blankenship, D.; J. Chappellaz; Creyts, T.; Dahl-Jensen, D.; M. Dinn; Frezzotti, M.; Fujita, S.

    2013-01-01

    The recovery of a 1.5 million yr long ice core from Antarctica represents a keystone of our understanding of Quaternary climate, the progression of glaciation over this time period and the role of greenhouse gas cycles in this progression. Here we tackle the question of where such ice may still be found in the Antarctic ice sheet. We can show that such old ice is most likely to exist in the plateau area of the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) without stratigraphic disturbance...

  19. Laser altimetry reveals complex pattern of Greenland Ice Sheet dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csatho, Beata M; Schenk, Anton F; van der Veen, Cornelis J; Babonis, Gregory; Duncan, Kyle; Rezvanbehbahani, Soroush; van den Broeke, Michiel R; Simonsen, Sebastian B; Nagarajan, Sudhagar; van Angelen, Jan H

    2014-12-30

    We present a new record of ice thickness change, reconstructed at nearly 100,000 sites on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) from laser altimetry measurements spanning the period 1993-2012, partitioned into changes due to surface mass balance (SMB) and ice dynamics. We estimate a mean annual GrIS mass loss of 243 ± 18 Gt ⋅ y(-1), equivalent to 0.68 mm ⋅ y(-1) sea level rise (SLR) for 2003-2009. Dynamic thinning contributed 48%, with the largest rates occurring in 2004-2006, followed by a gradual decrease balanced by accelerating SMB loss. The spatial pattern of dynamic mass loss changed over this time as dynamic thinning rapidly decreased in southeast Greenland but slowly increased in the southwest, north, and northeast regions. Most outlet glaciers have been thinning during the last two decades, interrupted by episodes of decreasing thinning or even thickening. Dynamics of the major outlet glaciers dominated the mass loss from larger drainage basins, and simultaneous changes over distances up to 500 km are detected, indicating climate control. However, the intricate spatiotemporal pattern of dynamic thickness change suggests that, regardless of the forcing responsible for initial glacier acceleration and thinning, the response of individual glaciers is modulated by local conditions. Recent projections of dynamic contributions from the entire GrIS to SLR have been based on the extrapolation of four major outlet glaciers. Considering the observed complexity, we question how well these four glaciers represent all of Greenland's outlet glaciers. PMID:25512537

  20. Geothermal Heat Flux Underneath Ice Sheets Estimated From Magnetic Satellite Data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fox Maule, Cathrine; Purucker, M.E.; Olsen, Nils;

    The geothermal heat flux is an important factor in the dynamics of ice sheets, and it is one of the important parameters in the thermal budgets of subglacial lakes. We have used satellite magnetic data to estimate the geothermal heat flux underneath the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland...

  1. Lipophilic pigments from the benthos of a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmisano, A. C.; Wharton, R. A. Jr; Cronin, S. E.; Des Marais, D. J.; Wharton RA, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1989-01-01

    The benthos of a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake, Lake Hoare, contained three distinct 'signatures' of lipophilic pigments. Cyanobacterial mats found in the moat at the periphery of the lake were dominated by the carotenoid myxoxanthophyll; carotenoids: chlorophyll a ratios in this high light environment ranged from 3 to 6.8. Chlorophyll c and fucoxanthin, pigments typical of golden-brown algae, were found at 10 to 20 m depths where the benthos is aerobic. Anaerobic benthic sediments at 20 to 30 m depths were characterized by a third pigment signature dominated by a carotenoid, tentatively identified as alloxanthin from planktonic cryptomonads, and by phaeophytin b from senescent green algae. Pigments were not found associated with alternating organic and sediment layers. As microzooplankton grazers are absent from this closed system and transformation rates are reduced at low temperatures, the benthos beneath the lake ice appears to contain a record of past phytoplankton blooms undergoing decay.

  2. Investigating the evolution of major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the last glacial-interglacial cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Bonelli

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available A 2.5-dimensional climate model of intermediate complexity, CLIMBER-2, fully coupled with the GREMLINS 3-D thermo-mechanical ice sheet model is used to simulate the evolution of major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the last glacial-interglacial cycle and to investigate the ice sheets responses to both insolation and atmospheric CO2 concentration. This model reproduces the main phases of advance and retreat of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the last glacial cycle, although the amplitude of these variations is less pronounced than those based on sea level reconstructions. At the last glacial maximum, the simulated ice volume is 52.5×1015 m3 and the spatial distribution of both the American and Eurasian ice complexes is in reasonable agreement with observations, with the exception of the marine parts of these former ice sheets.
    A set of sensitivity studies has also been performed to assess the sensitivity of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets to both insolation and atmospheric CO2. Our results suggest that the decrease of summer insolation is the main factor responsible for the early build up of the North American ice sheet around 120 kyr BP, in agreement with benthic foraminifera δ18O signals. In contrast, low insolation and low atmospheric CO2 concentration are both necessary to trigger a long-lasting glaciation over Eurasia.

  3. Phase-sensitive radar on thick Antarctic ice - how well does it work?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Tobias; Eisen, Olaf; Helm, Veit; Humbert, Angelika; Steinhage, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    Phase-sensitive radar (pRES) has become one of the mostly used tools to determine basal melt rates as well as vertical strain in ice sheets. Whereas most applications are performed on ice shelves, only few experiments were conducted on thick ice in Greenland or Antarctica. The technical constrains on an ice shelf to deduce basal melt rates are less demanding than on inland ice of more than 2 km thickness. First, the ice itself is usually only several 100s of meters thick; and, second, the reflection coefficient at the basal interface between sea water and ice is the second strongest one possible. Although the presence of marine ice with higher conductivities might increase attenuation in the lower parts, most experiments on shelves were successful. To transfer this technology to inland regions, either for the investigation of basal melt rates of subglacial hydrological networks or for determining vertical strain rates in basal regions, a reliable estimate of the current system performance is necessary. To this end we conducted an experiment at and in the vicinity of the EPICA deep ice core drill site EDML in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. That site has been explored in extraordinary detail with different geophysical methods and provides an already well-studied ice core and borehole, in particular with respect to physical properties like crystal orientation fabric, dielectric properties and matching of internal radar horizons with conductivity signals. We present data from a commercially available pRES system initially recorded in January 2015 and repeated measurements in January 2016. The pRES data are matched to existing and already depth-calibrated airborne radar data. Apart from identifying prominent internal layers, e.g. the one originating from the deposits of the Toba eruption at around 75 ka, we put special focus on the identification of the basal reflection at multiple polarizations. We discuss the potential uncertainty estimates and requirements to

  4. A model of the western Laurentide Ice Sheet, using observations of glacial isostatic adjustment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowan, Evan J.; Tregoning, Paul; Purcell, Anthony; Montillet, Jean-Philippe; McClusky, Simon

    2016-05-01

    We present the results of a new numerical model of the late glacial western Laurentide Ice Sheet, constrained by observations of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), including relative sea level indicators, uplift rates from permanent GPS stations, contemporary differential lake level change, and postglacial tilt of glacial lake level indicators. The later two datasets have been underutilized in previous GIA based ice sheet reconstructions. The ice sheet model, called NAICE, is constructed using simple ice physics on the basis of changing margin location and basal shear stress conditions in order to produce ice volumes required to match GIA. The model matches the majority of the observations, while maintaining a relatively realistic ice sheet geometry. Our model has a peak volume at 18,000 yr BP, with a dome located just east of Great Slave Lake with peak thickness of 4000 m, and surface elevation of 3500 m. The modelled ice volume loss between 16,000 and 14,000 yr BP amounts to about 7.5 m of sea level equivalent, which is consistent with the hypothesis that a large portion of Meltwater Pulse 1A was sourced from this part of the ice sheet. The southern part of the ice sheet was thin and had a low elevation profile. This model provides an accurate representation of ice thickness and paleo-topography, and can be used to assess present day uplift and infer past climate.

  5. Antarctic ozone depletion chemistry - Reactions of N2O5 with H2O and HCl on ice surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolbert, Margaret A.; Rossi, Michel J.; Golden, David M.

    1988-01-01

    In a study concerning Antarctic ozone depletion, reactions of dinitrogen pentoxide with water and hydrochloric acid were studied on ice surfaces in a Knudsen cell flow reactor. The N2O5 reacted on ice at 185 K to form condensed-phase nitric acid (HNO3). This reaction may provide a sink for odd nitrogen, NO(x), during the polar winter, a requirement in nearly all models of Antarctic ozone depletion. The reaction of N2O5 on HCl-ice surfaces at 185 K produced gaseous nitryl chloride (ClNO2) and condensed-phase HNO3 and proceeded until all of the HCl within the ice was depleted. The ClNO2 which did not react or condense on ice at 185 K, can be readily photolyzed in the Antarctic spring to form atomic chlorine for catalytic ozone destruction cycles. The other photolysis product, gaseous nitrogen dioxide may be important in the partitioning of NO(x) between gaseous and condensed phases in the Antarctic winter.

  6. Large-scale Modeling of the Greenland Ice Sheet on Long Timescales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne Munck

    investigated as well as its early history. The studies are performed using an ice-sheet model in combination with relevant forcing from observed and modeled climate. Changes in ice-sheet geometry influences atmospheric flow (and vice versa) hereby changing the forcing patterns. Changes in the overall climate......-sheet initiation are also investigated. Accordingto this hypothesis, two stages of uplift since the Late Miocene lead to the present-day topography. The results of the ice-sheet simulations show geometries in line with geologicobservations through the period, and it is found that the uplift events enhance the...

  7. Multiphase flow of the late Wisconsinan Cordilleran ice sheet in Western Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stumpf, A.J.; Broster, B.E.; Levson, V.M.

    2000-01-01

    In central British Columbia, ice flow during the late Wisconsinan Fraser glaciation (ca. 25-10 ka) occurred in three phases. The ice expansion phase occurred during an extended period when glaciers flowed westward to the Pacific Ocean and east-southeastward onto the Nechako Plateau from ice centers in the Skeena, Hazelton, Coast, and Omineca Mountains. Initially, glacier flow was confined by topography along major valleys, but eventually piedmont and montane glaciers coalesced to form an integrated glacier system, the Cordilleran ice sheet. In the maximum phase, a Cordilleran ice divide developed over the Nechako Plateau to 300 km inland from the Pacific coast. At this time, the surface of the ice sheet extended well above 2500 m above sea level, and flowed westward over the Skeena, Hazelton, and Coast Mountains onto the continental shelf, and eastward across the Rocky Mountains into Alberta. In the late glacial phase, a rapid rise of the equilibrium line caused ice lobes to stagnate in valleys, and restricted accumulation centers to high mountains. Discordant directions in ice flow are attributed to fluctuations of the ice divide representing changes in the location of accumulation centers and ice thickness. Ice centers probably shifted in response to climate, irregular growth in the ice sheet, rapid calving, ice streaming, and drainage of proglacial and subglacial water bodies. Crosscutting ice-flow indicators and preservation of early (valley parallel) flow features in areas exposed to later (cross-valley) glacier erosion indicate that the ice expansion phase was the most erosive and protracted event.

  8. New Cysteine-Rich Ice-Binding Protein Secreted from Antarctic Microalga, Chloromonas sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Woongsic; Campbell, Robert L; Gwak, Yunho; Kim, Jong Im; Davies, Peter L; Jin, EonSeon

    2016-01-01

    Many microorganisms in Antarctica survive in the cold environment there by producing ice-binding proteins (IBPs) to control the growth of ice around them. An IBP from the Antarctic freshwater microalga, Chloromonas sp., was identified and characterized. The length of the Chloromonas sp. IBP (ChloroIBP) gene was 3.2 kb with 12 exons, and the molecular weight of the protein deduced from the ChloroIBP cDNA was 34.0 kDa. Expression of the ChloroIBP gene was up- and down-regulated by freezing and warming conditions, respectively. Western blot analysis revealed that native ChloroIBP was secreted into the culture medium. This protein has fifteen cysteines and is extensively disulfide bonded as shown by in-gel mobility shifts between oxidizing and reducing conditions. The open-reading frame of ChloroIBP was cloned and over-expressed in Escherichia coli to investigate the IBP's biochemical characteristics. Recombinant ChloroIBP produced as a fusion protein with thioredoxin was purified by affinity chromatography and formed single ice crystals of a dendritic shape with a thermal hysteresis activity of 0.4±0.02°C at a concentration of 5 mg/ml. In silico structural modeling indicated that the three-dimensional structure of ChloroIBP was that of a right-handed β-helix. Site-directed mutagenesis of ChloroIBP showed that a conserved region of six parallel T-X-T motifs on the β-2 face was the ice-binding region, as predicted from the model. In addition to disulfide bonding, hydrophobic interactions between inward-pointing residues on the β-1 and β-2 faces, in the region of ice-binding motifs, were crucial to maintaining the structural conformation of ice-binding site and the ice-binding activity of ChloroIBP. PMID:27097164

  9. Continued rapid glacier recession following the 1995 collapse of the Prince Gustav Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glasser, N. F.; Scambos, T. A.

    2009-12-01

    We use optical satellite imagery (ASTER and Landsat) to document changes in the Prince Gustav Ice Shelf (PGIS) and its tributary glaciers before and after its 1995 collapse. Interpretation of a pre-collapse Landsat 4-5 TM image acquired in February 1988 shows that the ice shelf was fed primarily by Sjogren Glacier from the Antarctic Peninsula and by Rhoss Glacier from James Ross Island (JRI). In 1988, the PGIS contained numerous structural discontinuities (rifts and crevasses), which collectively indicate that ice-shelf break-up had commenced at least seven years before collapse. Meltwater ponds and streams were also common across its surface. After the ice shelf collapsed, Rhoss Glacier became a tidewater glacier and has since experienced rapid and continued recession. Between January 2001 and December 2006 (six to eleven years after the collapse of the PGIS), the front of Rhoss Glacier receded a total of 13.6 km. We conclude that where tributary glaciers become tidewater glaciers they react to ice-shelf removal by rapid and continued recession and that the response time of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula to ice-shelf removal is measured on annual to decadal timescales. This rapid recession, coupled with previously documented tributary glacier thinning and acceleration, indicates that Antarctic Peninsula glaciers are extremely sensitive to ice-shelf collapse.

  10. Relationship among latest Miocene oxygen isotopic enrichment, antarctic ice volume, and the Messinian salinity crisis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hodell, D.A.; Elmstrom, K.M.; Kennett, J.P.

    1985-01-01

    An interval of high variable, enriched benthic /sup 18/O values was found to bracket the Miocene/Pliocene boundary, between 5.6 and 5.1 Ma, in five sites from the Southwest Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The duration of this enrichment event was less than 500,000 years, and is shown by paleomagnetic correlation to be equivalent in time with the deposition of Messinian evaporites. The /sup 18/O enrichment occurred in two main stages separated by a brief interval of relatively depleted /sup 18/O values. Between 5.5 and 5.3 Ma, glacioeustatic lowering of sea level due to increased Antarctic ice volume isolated the Mediterranean basin, and resulted in the deposition of the lower evaporite unit (Main Salt unit). A temporary decrease in ice volume occurred between 5.3 and 5.2 Ma, and corresponded to the intra-Messinian transgression where evaporite deposition ceased temporarily. Between 5.2 and 5.1 Ma, a second Antarctic glacial advance lowered sea level again and resulted in the deposition of the upper evaporite unit. A rapid decreased in delta/sup 18/O values occurred in all sites during the early Pliocene at 5.0 Ma. This depletion marks a glacial retreat and marine transgression, which refilled the Mediterranean Basin and permanently terminated evaporite deposition.

  11. Sensitivity of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets to AMOC variability during the last glacial cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinemann, Malte; Timmermann, Axel; Friedrich, Tobias; Pollard, David

    2016-04-01

    The ocean played an instrumental role during the last glacial cycle, not only as a carbon trap but also during Dansgaard-Oeschger and Heinrich events. But did the variability of the ocean circulation on timescales of hundreds to a few thousand years also affect the long-term evolution of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets? We address this question using stand-alone ice sheet - ice shelf model simulations of the last glacial cycle. The boundary conditions for these simulations are derived from simulations with the intermediate complexity earth system model LOVECLIM, and from an estimate of past Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) changes based on SST reconstructions. First ice model results suggest that interruptions of the AMOC may have supported the ice sheet build-up during the glacial inception. In particular, during Marine Isotope Stage 3, the AMOC interruptions may have stabilised the Laurentide ice sheet via surface cooling, rather than destabilised it via subsurface warming.

  12. Thermal insights of the Greenland ice sheet perennial firn aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, R. R.; Miège, C.; Koenig, L.; Brucker, L.

    2013-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet hydrology is characterized by a complex system and is triggered essentially by surface melt starting late spring to early summer each year. Understanding the hydrologic system for the ice sheet remains important to address ice dynamics and surface mass balance questions. In April 2011, in Southeast Greenland, field work was conducted and firn-core drilling identified the presence of liquid water persisting through the winter without freezing. This observed feature is named perennial firn aquifer (PFA) and can be mapped by the Accumulation Radar on board of the NASA Operation IceBridge mission. Even if the extent of this feature can be constrained by remote sensing techniques its formation and persistence mechanism remain unclear. Thermal behavior of the PFA is a key parameter to monitor in order to understand melting and refreezing processes at the PFA location. The PFA-13 site (66.18°N, 39.04°W and 1563 m), located near the 2011 site where the PFA was first identified, was revisited in early April 2013 for further investigations of the aquifer. To characterize the PFA thermal regime and seasonal evolution, we installed two thermistor strings . They are used to record the vertical temperature evolution for a year, from the surface to the bottom of the PFA and below. The data are being uploaded daily via satellite link. Progressive heating of the firn pack is observed from June 15th to the end of July 2013, by then, the entire firn column from the surface to 12 m depth (top of PFA) is at 0 °C. This observation brings evidence that meltwater can reach the depth of 12 m in the firn, during one and a half months. By the end of the summer, refreezing is expected from near the surface and the cold surface temperatures will slowly penetrate into the firn. In addition, freshly fallen snow, usually > 2 m over the course of a winter, will help insulate the remaining liquid water within the firn from the surface. We will present the time series of

  13. Ice tectonics during the rapid tapping of a supraglacial lake on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. H. Doyle

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The hydraulic fracture of ice during the rapid tapping of supraglacial lakes is proposed as one mechanism to establish efficient surface-to-bed hydraulic pathways through kilometre-thick ice. This study presents detailed records of lake discharge, ice motion, and passive seismicity capturing the behaviour and processes preceding, during and following the rapid (~2 h tapping of a large (~4 km2 supraglacial lake through 1.1 km of the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Peak discharge (3300 m3s−1 was coincident with maximal rates of horizontal displacement and vertical uplift, indicating that surface water accessed the ice-bed interface causing widespread hydraulic separation and enhanced basal motion. The differential motion of four GPS located around the lake, record the opening and closure of fractures suggesting that on short time-scales the brittle fracture of ice dominates ice flow. We hypothesise that during lake tapping, drainage occurred through a ~3 km long longitudinal fracture with a mean width of ~0.4 m. The perennial location of the supraglacial lake and the observed pattern of fracturing and surface uplift evince control by the local subglacial topography and the gradient of hydraulic potential. Our observations support the assertion that water-filled crevasses can propagate without longitudinal extension. The tapping of the lake coincided with the rapid drainage of a cluster of supraglacial lakes located within the same elevation band coincident with a notable and isolated peak in the catchment-wide, proglacial Watson River hydrograph.

  14. Ice sheet dynamics within an Earth system model: coupling and first results on ice stability and ocean circulation

    OpenAIRE

    Barbi, D.; G. Lohmann; K. Grosfeld; Thoma, M.

    2013-01-01

    We present first results from a coupled model setup, consisting of a state-of-the-art ice sheet model (RIMBAY), and the community earth system model COSMOS. We show that special care has to be provided in order to ensure physical distributions of the forcings, as well as numeric stability of the involved models. We demonstrate that a statistical downscaling is crucial for ice sheet stability, especially for southern Greenland where surface temperature are close to the melting point. Th...

  15. Reconstruction of the Past and Forecast of the Future European and British Ice Sheets and Associated Sea–Level Change

    OpenAIRE

    Hagdorn, Magnus K M

    2003-01-01

    The aim of this project is to improve our understanding of the past European and British ice sheets as a basis for forecasting their future. The behaviour of these ice sheets is investigated by simulating them using a numerical model and comparing model results with geological data including relative sea–level change data. In order to achieve this aim, a coupled ice sheet/lithosphere model is developed. Ice sheets form an integral part of the Earth system. They affect the plane...

  16. Microbial Degradation of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Stibal, Marek; Bælum, Jacob; Holben, William E.; Sørensen, Sebastian R.; Jensen, Anders; Jacobsen, Carsten S.

    2012-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) receives organic carbon (OC) of anthropogenic origin, including pesticides, from the atmosphere and/or local sources, and the fate of these compounds in the ice is currently unknown. The ability of supraglacial heterotrophic microbes to mineralize different types of OC is likely a significant factor determining the fate of anthropogenic OC on the ice sheet. Here we determine the potential of the microbial community from the surface of the GrIS to mineralize the ...

  17. Regional geothermal effects on subglacial water routes beneath the last Cordilleran ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    J. Seguinot; I. Rogozhina

    2016-01-01

    The Cordilleran ice sheet, which covered the mountain ranges of north-western America during the last glacial cycle, provides an ideal setting to study the effect of geothermal anomalies on subglacial water routing beneath large-scale ice masses. First, the Cordilleran ice sheet rested directly on a geologically old yet still active subduction zone, which is responsible for significant geothermal variability in the region. Second, the deep valleys and intramontane basins that char...

  18. Climatology and firn processes in the lower accumulation area of the Greenland ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Charalampidis, Charalampos

    2016-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet is the largest Northern Hemisphere store of fresh water, and it is responding rapidly to the warming climate. In situ observations document the changing ice sheet properties in the lower accumulation area, Southwest Greenland. Firn densities from 1840 meters above sea level retrieved in May 2012 revealed the existence of a 5.5-meter-thick, near-surface ice layer in response to the recent increased melt and refreezing in firn. As a consequence, vertical meltwater percol...

  19. Sea-level and solid-Earth feedbacks on ice-sheet dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    H. Konrad

    2015-01-01

    Ice sheets fundamentally contribute to the climate system by exchanging freshwater with the oceans and influencing the Earth's radiative balance via their surface albedo. On the other hand, changing climatic conditions (precipitation, air and ocean temperature) as well as geothermal heat fluxes control the advance and retreat of ice sheets during glacial cycles. With the changing ice and ocean load on the Earth's surface, their evolution forces the redistribution of mantle material in the Ear...

  20. Holocene climate variations in the western Antarctic Peninsula: evidence for sea ice extent predominantly controlled by insolation and ENSO variability changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Etourneau

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The West Antarctic ice sheet is particularly sensitive to global warming and its evolution and impact on global climate over the next few decades remains difficult to predict. In this context, investigating past sea ice conditions around Antarctica is of primary importance. Here, we document changes in sea ice presence, upper water column temperatures (0–200 m and primary productivity over the last 9000 yr BP (before present in the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP margin from a sedimentary core collected in the Palmer Deep basin. Employing a multi-proxy approach, we derived new Holocene records of sea ice conditions and upper water column temperatures, based on the combination of two biomarkers proxies (highly branched isoprenoid (HBI alkenes for sea ice and TEXL86 for temperature and micropaleontological data (diatom assemblages. The early Holocene (9000–7000 yr BP was characterized by a cooling phase with a short sea ice season. During the mid-Holocene (~ 7000–3000 yr BP, local climate evolved towards slightly colder conditions and a prominent extension of the sea ice season occurred, promoting a favorable environment for intensive diatom growth. The late Holocene (the last ~ 3000 yr was characterized by more variable temperatures and increased sea ice presence, accompanied by reduced local primary productivity likely in response to a shorter growing season compared to the early or mid-Holocene. The stepwise increase in annual sea ice duration over the last 7000 yr might have been influenced by decreasing mean annual and spring insolation despite an increasing summer insolation. We postulate that in addition to precessional changes in insolation, seasonal variability, via changes in the strength of the circumpolar Westerlies and upwelling activity, was further amplified by the increasing frequency/amplitude of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO. However, between 4000 and 2100 yr BP, the lack of correlation between

  1. Holocene climate variations in the western Antarctic Peninsula: evidence for sea ice extent predominantly controlled by changes in insolation and ENSO variability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Etourneau

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The West Antarctic ice sheet is particularly sensitive to global warming and its evolution and impact on global climate over the next few decades remains difficult to predict. In this context, investigating past sea ice conditions around Antarctica is of primary importance. Here, we document changes in sea ice presence, upper water column temperatures (0–200 m and primary productivity over the last 9000 yr BP (before present in the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP margin from a sedimentary core collected in the Palmer Deep Basin. Employing a multi-proxy approach, based on the combination of two biomarkers proxies (highly branched isoprenoid (HBI alkenes for sea ice and TEX86L for temperature and micropaleontological data (diatom assemblages, we derived new Holocene records of sea ice conditions and upper water column temperatures. The early Holocene (9000–7000 yr BP was characterized by a cooling phase with a short sea ice season. During the mid-Holocene (~7000–3800 yr BP, local climate evolved towards slightly colder conditions and a prominent extension of the sea ice season occurred, promoting a favorable environment for intensive diatom growth. The late Holocene (the last ~2100 yr was characterized by warmer temperatures and increased sea ice presence, accompanied by reduced local primary productivity, likely in response to a shorter growing season compared to the early or mid-Holocene. The gradual increase in annual sea ice duration over the last 7000 yr might have been influenced by decreasing mean annual and spring insolation, despite increasing summer insolation. We postulate that, in addition to precessional changes in insolation, seasonal variability, via changes in the strength of the circumpolar Westerlies and upwelling activity, was further amplified by the increasing frequency/amplitude of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO. However, between 3800 and 2100 yr BP, the lack of correlation between ENSO and climate

  2. Monitoring southwest Greenland’s ice sheet melt with ambient seismic noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordret, Aurélien; Mikesell, T. Dylan; Harig, Christopher; Lipovsky, Bradley P.; Prieto, Germán A.

    2016-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet presently accounts for ~70% of global ice sheet mass loss. Because this mass loss is associated with sea-level rise at a rate of 0.7 mm/year, the development of improved monitoring techniques to observe ongoing changes in ice sheet mass balance is of paramount concern. Spaceborne mass balance techniques are commonly used; however, they are inadequate for many purposes because of their low spatial and/or temporal resolution. We demonstrate that small variations in seismic wave speed in Earth’s crust, as measured with the correlation of seismic noise, may be used to infer seasonal ice sheet mass balance. Seasonal loading and unloading of glacial mass induces strain in the crust, and these strains then result in seismic velocity changes due to poroelastic processes. Our method provides a new and independent way of monitoring (in near real time) ice sheet mass balance, yielding new constraints on ice sheet evolution and its contribution to global sea-level changes. An increased number of seismic stations in the vicinity of ice sheets will enhance our ability to create detailed space-time records of ice mass variations. PMID:27386524

  3. Airborne Laser Altimetry Mapping of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Application to Mass Balance Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdalati, W.; Krabill, W.; Frederick, E.; Manizade, S.; Martin, C.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Thomas, R.; Wright, W.; Yungel, J.

    2000-01-01

    In 1998 and '99, the Arctic Ice Mapping (AIM) program completed resurveys of lines occupied 5 years earlier revealing elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet and identifying areas of significant thinning, thickening and balance. In planning these surveys, consideration had to be given to the spatial constraints associated with aircraft operation, the spatial nature of ice sheet behavior, and limited resources, as well as temporal issues, such as seasonal and interannual variability in the context of measurement accuracy. This paper examines the extent to which the sampling and survey strategy is valid for drawing conclusions on the current state of balance of the Greenland ice sheet. The surveys covered the entire ice sheet with an average distance of 21.4 km between each location on the ice sheet and the nearest flight line. For most of the ice sheet, the elevation changes show relatively little spatial variability, and their magnitudes are significantly smaller than the observed elevation change signal. As a result, we conclude that the density of the sampling and the accuracy of the measurements are sufficient to draw meaningful conclusions on the state of balance of the entire ice sheet over the five-year survey period. Outlet glaciers, however, show far more spatial and temporal variability, and each of the major ones is likely to require individual surveys in order to determine its balance.

  4. Multi-decadal dynamic thinning on the northwest margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Kjær, Kurt H.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas;

    Ice mass changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet have been estimated since the early 1990s from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission, of ice sheet thinning from satellite radar altimetry and airborne laser altimetry, and of increased velocities of outlet glaciers...... from radar interferometric surveys. Prior to 2000 existing altimetry data provides comparatively limited spatial resolution and ice losses near ice sheet margins are most likely underestimated and existing data is unable to document the persisting change within outlet glaciers. Subsequent estimates...... of increasing dynamic induced ice loss. GRACE data show that this increased mass loss initiated in 2005 ceased in late 2009, thus, defining a dynamic thinning event as seen previous along the coast in southeast Greenland. Here, we present a multi-decadal perspective on ice mass change from northwestern...

  5. Interaction of ice sheets and climate during the past 800 000 years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. B. Stap

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available During the Cenozoic, land ice and climate have interacted on many different time scales. On long time scales, the effect of land ice on global climate and sea level is mainly set by large ice sheets on North America, Eurasia, Greenland and Antarctica. The climatic forcing of these ice sheets is largely determined by the meridional temperature profile resulting from radiation and greenhouse gas (GHG forcing. As response, the ice sheets cause an increase in albedo and surface elevation, which operates as a feedback in the climate system. To quantify the importance of these climate-land ice processes, a zonally-averaged energy balance climate model is coupled to five one-dimensional ice-sheet models, representing the major ice sheets. In this study, we focus on the transient simulation of the past 800 000 years, where a high-confidence CO2-record from ice cores samples is used as input in combination with Milankovitch radiation changes. We obtain simulations of atmospheric temperature, ice volume and sea level, that are in good agreement with recent proxy-data reconstructions. We examine long-term climate-ice sheet interactions by a comparison of simulations with uncoupled and coupled ice sheets. We show that these interactions amplify global temperature anomalies by up to a factor 2.6, and that they increase polar amplification by 94%. We demonstrate that, on these long time scales, the ice-albedo feedback has a larger and more global influence on the meridional atmospheric temperature profile than the surface-height temperature feedback. Furthermore, we assess the influence of CO2 and insolation, by performing runs with one or both of these variables held constant. We find that atmospheric temperature is controlled by a complex interaction of CO2 and insolation, and both variables serve as thresholds for Northern Hemispheric glaciation.

  6. Interaction of ice sheets and climate during the past 800 000 years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. B. Stap

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available During the Cenozoic, land ice and climate interacted on many different timescales. On long timescales, the effect of land ice on global climate and sea level is mainly set by large ice sheets in North America, Eurasia, Greenland and Antarctica. The climatic forcing of these ice sheets is largely determined by the meridional temperature profile resulting from radiation and greenhouse gas (GHG forcing. As a response, the ice sheets cause an increase in albedo and surface elevation, which operates as a feedback in the climate system. To quantify the importance of these climate–land ice processes, a zonally averaged energy balance climate model is coupled to five one-dimensional ice sheet models, representing the major ice sheets. In this study, we focus on the transient simulation of the past 800 000 years, where a high-confidence CO2 record from ice core samples is used as input in combination with Milankovitch radiation changes. We obtain simulations of atmospheric temperature, ice volume and sea level that are in good agreement with recent proxy-data reconstructions. We examine long-term climate–ice-sheet interactions by a comparison of simulations with uncoupled and coupled ice sheets. We show that these interactions amplify global temperature anomalies by up to a factor of 2.6, and that they increase polar amplification by 94%. We demonstrate that, on these long timescales, the ice-albedo feedback has a larger and more global influence on the meridional atmospheric temperature profile than the surface-height-temperature feedback. Furthermore, we assess the influence of CO2 and insolation by performing runs with one or both of these variables held constant. We find that atmospheric temperature is controlled by a complex interaction of CO2 and insolation, and both variables serve as thresholds for northern hemispheric glaciation.

  7. Estimating Freshwater Discharge from the Greenland Ice Sheet with MODIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, B. D.; Overeem, I.; Mikkelsen, A. B.; McGrath, D.; Syvitski, J. P.

    2013-12-01

    Freshwater discharge from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has significant ecological importance, impacts ocean circulation and represents a major contribution to global sea level rise. Despite these factors, only one river in Greenland (accounting for less than one percent of land terminating river outlets) has a published discharge record. Due to logistical constrains future efforts to directly gauge river discharge will likely remain ad hoc. To overcome this deficiency, we developed a remote sensing technique that utilizes observations of sediment plume geometry as a proxy for freshwater discharge from the ice sheet. We use MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) imagery, validated with a suite of oceanographic measurements from four fjords in southwest Greenland during the 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 summer seasons. From surface water samples collected during these campaigns we develop a robust retrieval algorithm for suspended sediment concentrations based on MODIS band one and two reflectance values (r2 =.84). This relationship allows us to accurately map sediment plume geometry of numerous river-fjord systems on all cloud-free days during the summer season. We then use in situ river discharge records from the Watson River at Kangerlussuaq (a six year record), ';Pakitsuup South' River near Illulisat (a two year record) and Naujat Kuat River near Nuuk (a three year record) to derive an empirical relationship between plume geometry and discharge volume. These fjords provide a robust test for this method, as fjord salinity for these locations span a continuum of river-dominated low salinity to ocean-dominated high salinity cases. We find high interannual stability in these relationships for individual sites, suggesting that this method may be suitable for estimating historical river discharges back to 2000 when Terra, the first satellite carrying MODIS was launched. Despite promise, variability in the empirical relationships found precludes

  8. Insolation-driven 100,000-year glacial cycles and hysteresis of ice-sheet volume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Saito, Fuyuki; Kawamura, Kenji; Raymo, Maureen E; Okuno, Jun'ichi; Takahashi, Kunio; Blatter, Heinz

    2013-08-01

    The growth and reduction of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets over the past million years is dominated by an approximately 100,000-year periodicity and a sawtooth pattern (gradual growth and fast termination). Milankovitch theory proposes that summer insolation at high northern latitudes drives the glacial cycles, and statistical tests have demonstrated that the glacial cycles are indeed linked to eccentricity, obliquity and precession cycles. Yet insolation alone cannot explain the strong 100,000-year cycle, suggesting that internal climatic feedbacks may also be at work. Earlier conceptual models, for example, showed that glacial terminations are associated with the build-up of Northern Hemisphere 'excess ice', but the physical mechanisms underpinning the 100,000-year cycle remain unclear. Here we show, using comprehensive climate and ice-sheet models, that insolation and internal feedbacks between the climate, the ice sheets and the lithosphere-asthenosphere system explain the 100,000-year periodicity. The responses of equilibrium states of ice sheets to summer insolation show hysteresis, with the shape and position of the hysteresis loop playing a key part in determining the periodicities of glacial cycles. The hysteresis loop of the North American ice sheet is such that after inception of the ice sheet, its mass balance remains mostly positive through several precession cycles, whose amplitudes decrease towards an eccentricity minimum. The larger the ice sheet grows and extends towards lower latitudes, the smaller is the insolation required to make the mass balance negative. Therefore, once a large ice sheet is established, a moderate increase in insolation is sufficient to trigger a negative mass balance, leading to an almost complete retreat of the ice sheet within several thousand years. This fast retreat is governed mainly by rapid ablation due to the lowered surface elevation resulting from delayed isostatic rebound, which is the lithosphere

  9. Southern elephant seals from Kerguelen Islands confronted by Antarctic Sea ice. Changes in movements and in diving behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailleul, Frédéric; Charrassin, Jean-Benoıˆt; Ezraty, Robert; Girard-Ardhuin, Fanny; McMahon, Clive R.; Field, Iain C.; Guinet, Christophe

    2007-02-01

    The behaviour of southern elephant seals from Kerguelen Island ( 49∘50'S, 70∘30'E) was investigated in relation to the oceanographic regions of the Southern Ocean. The oceanographic and the seal behaviour data, including location and diving activity, were collected using a new generation of satellite-relayed devices measuring and transmitting pressure, temperature, and salinity along with locations. Dive duration, maximum diving depth, time spent at the bottom of the dives, and shape of dive profiles were compared between male and female seals, and were related to the oceanographic characteristics of areas prospected by the seals. Most animals travelled to the Antarctic shelf. However, during winter, adult females travelled away from the continent, remained and foraged within the marginal sea-ice zone, while juvenile males remained within the pack ice to forage mainly on the Antarctic shelf. Therefore, as the ice expanded females appeared to shift from benthic to pelagic foraging farther north, while males continued to forage almost exclusively benthically on the continental shelf. This difference is likely related to the different energetic requirements between the two sexes, but also may be related to pregnant females having to return to Kerguelen in early spring in order to give birth and successfully raise their pups, while males can remain in the ice. Our results show an important link between elephant seals and Antarctic sea ice and suggest that changes in sea-ice conditions could strongly affect the behaviour of this species.

  10. Ice-sheet configuration in the CMIP5/PMIP3 Last Glacial Maximum experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Abe-Ouchi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available We describe the creation of boundary conditions related to the presence of ice sheets, including ice sheet extent and height, ice shelf extent, and the distribution and altitude of ice-free land, at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM for use in LGM experiments conducted as part of the fifth phase of the Coupled Modelling Intercomparison Project (CMIP5 and the third phase of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP3. The CMIP5/PMIP3 data sets were created from reconstructions made by three different groups, which were all obtained using a model-inversion approach but differ in the assumptions used in the modelling and in the type of data used as constraints. The ice sheet extent, and thus the albedo mask, for the Northern Hemisphere (NH does not vary substantially between the three individual data sources. The difference in the topography of the NH ice sheets is also moderate, and smaller than the differences between these reconstructions (and the resultant composite reconstruction and ice-sheet reconstructions used in previous generations of PMIP. Only two of the individual reconstructions provide information for Antarctica. The discrepancy between these two reconstructions is larger than the difference for the NH ice sheets although still less than the difference between the composite reconstruction and previous PMIP ice-sheet reconstructions. Differences in the climate response to the individual LGM reconstructions, and between these reconstructions and the CMIP5/PMIP3 composite, are largely confined to the ice-covered regions, but also extend over North Atlantic Ocean and Northern Hemisphere continents through atmospheric stationary waves. There are much larger differences in the climate response to the latest reconstructions (or the derived composite and ice-sheet reconstructions used in previous phases of PMIP.

  11. Boundary layer stability acts to ballast the mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkelhammer, M. B.; Noone, D. C.; Steen-Larsen, H. C.; O'Neill, M.; Raudzens Bailey, A.; Cox, C.; Schneider, D. P.

    2014-12-01

    The mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet has been reduced over recent decades as a consequence of warming, the impact of which is already detectable on global sea level. However, temperature projections suggest that at interior high-altitude sites on the ice it could be decades or more before warming forces these regions to transition from a dry to wet snow facies. Shifts in boundary layer dynamics, including atmosphere-ice sheet hydrological exchange and cloud radiative forcing could expedite or delay this transition. These processes are important with respect to future ice sheet stability, yet they remain difficult to constrain. Using continuous in situ measurements of vertical profiles of the isotopic composition of water vapor at Summit Camp, the highest observatory on the ice sheet, we document the presence of a hydrologic balance between surface sublimation and condensation fluxes. This exists because of a nearly persistent temperature inversion, which hinders the efficiency with which surface water vapor mixes into the free atmosphere. In the presence of a strong temperature inversion, fog and ice particles form near the ice-atmosphere interface from surface moisture fluxes. When this condensate precipitates on or settles to the surface, it ballasts the ice sheet's mass. A decade-long trend towards lower annual accumulation at Summit may therefore reflect continuous replacement of the near surface atmosphere due to reduced atmospheric stability. If this tendency toward destabilization continues, it could accelerate mass loss at interior sites on the ice sheet. The role of boundary layer stability in ice sheet hydrological budgets discussed here is applicable beyond the accumulation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  12. Mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet since the Little Ice Age, implications on sea level

    OpenAIRE

    Kjeldsen, K.K.; Bjork, A. A.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; N. J. Korsgaard; Larsen, N. K.; Long, A.J.; Woodroffe, S; Milne, G. A.; Wahr, J. M.; Bamber, J. A.; Van Den Broeke, M. R.

    2013-01-01

    The impact of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) on 20th Century sea level rise (SLR) has long been subject to intense discussions. While globally distributed tide gauges suggest a global mean SLR of 15-20 cm, quantifying the separate components is of great concern - in particular for modeling sea level projections into the 21st Century. Estimates of the past GrIS contribution to SLR have been derived using a number of different approaches, e.g. surface mass balance (SMB) calculati...

  13. Simulation of the European ice sheet through the last glacial cycle and prediction of future glaciation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Global climates of the recent past appear to correlate with patterns of variation in the earths orbit round the sun. As such orbital changes can be predicted into the future, it is argued that the pattern of natural long-term future change can also be estimated. From this, future trends of glaciation can be inferred. The physical and mathematical basis of a time-dependent, thermo mechanically coupled, three dimensional ice sheet model is described. The model is driven by changes in the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) on its surface. This causes flexure of the underlying lithosphere. The model is tuned to the maximum extension of the last (Weichselian) ice sheet and driven by an ELA fluctuation which reflects the NE Atlantic sea surface temperature fluctuation pattern during the last glacial cycle in such a way that the model reproduces the ice sheet margin at the glacial maximum. The distribution of internal ice sheet velocity, temperature, basal melting rate and sub glacial permafrost penetration are all computed. The model is then tested against its predictions of the areal pattern of ice sheet expansion and decay, the pattern of crustal flexure and relative sea level change, and the distribution of till produced by the last European ice sheet. The tested model is then driven by predictions of future climate change to produce simulations of future ice sheet glaciation in northern Europe

  14. The role of basal hydrology in the surging of the Laurentide Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, William H. G.; Payne, Antony J.; Valdes, Paul J.

    2016-08-01

    We use the Glimmer ice sheet model to simulate periodic surges over the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum. In contrast to previous studies we use the depth of water at the base of the ice sheet as the switch for these surges. We find that the surges are supported within the model and are quite robust across a very wide range of parameter choices, in contrast to many previous studies where surges only occur for rather specific cases. The robustness of the surges is likely due to the use of water as the switch mechanism for sliding. The statistics of the binge-purge cycles resemble observed Heinrich events. The events have a period of between 10 and 15 thousand years and can produce fluxes of ice from the mouth of Hudson Strait of 0.05 Sv - a maximum flux of 0.06 Sv is possible. The events produce an ice volume of 2.50 × 106 km3, with a range of 4.30 × 106-1.90 × 106 km3 possible. We undertake a suite of sensitivity tests varying the sliding parameter, the water drainage scheme, the sliding versus water depth parameterisation and the resolution, all of which support the ice sheet surges. This suggests that internally triggered ice sheet surges were a robust feature of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and are a possible explanation for the observed Heinrich events.

  15. Dynamic Inland Propagation of Thinning Due to Ice Loss at the Margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei Li; Li, Jun J.; Zwally, H. Jay

    2012-01-01

    Mass-balance analysis of the Greenland ice sheet based on surface elevation changes observed by the European Remote-sensing Satellite (ERS) (1992-2002) and Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) (2003-07) indicates that the strongly increased mass loss at lower elevations (propagation. Observed thinning rates in the regions below 2000m elevation are used as perturbation inputs. The model runs with perturbation for 10 years show that the extensive mass loss at the ice-sheet margins does in fact cause interior thinning on short timescales (i.e. decadal). The modeled pattern of thinning over the ice sheet agrees with the observations, which implies that the strong mass loss since the early 2000s at low elevations has had a dynamic impact on the entire ice sheet. The modeling results also suggest that even if the large mass loss at the margins stopped, the interior ice sheet would continue thinning for 300 years and would take thousands of years for full dynamic recovery.

  16. Distinct Seasonal Velocity Patterns Based on Ice-Sheet-Wide Analysis of Greenland Outlet Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, T. A.; Joughin, I. R.; Smith, B. E.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Usher, M.

    2014-12-01

    Mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased significantly over the last several decades and current mass losses of 260-380 Gt ice/yr contribute 0.7-1.1 mm/yr to global sea-level rise. Greenland mass loss includes ice discharge via marine-terminating outlet glaciers and surface meltwater runoff, the former now making up a third to a half of total ice loss. The magnitude of ice discharge depends in part on ice-flow speed, which has broadly increased since 2000 but varies locally, regionally, and from year to year. Research on a limited set of Greenland glaciers also shows that speeds vary seasonally. However, for much of the west, northwest, and southeast coasts where ice loss is increasing most rapidly, there are few or no records of seasonal velocity variation. Ice velocity is influenced by several key components of the ice-sheet-ocean-climate system: subglacial environment, surface melt and runoff, and ice-ocean interaction at the ice-front (terminus). Thus, knowledge of seasonal velocity patterns is important for predicting annual ice discharge, understanding the effects of increased surface melt on total mass loss, and establishing how ice-flow responds to other climatic changes. We developed 5-year records of seasonal velocity measurements for 55 glaciers around the ice-sheet margin. Among glaciers with significant speed variations, we find three distinct seasonal velocity patterns. One pattern indicates relatively high glacier sensitivity to ice-front position, with seasonal summer speedup sustained through fall. The other two patterns appear to be meltwater controlled and indicate regional differences in which some subglacial systems likely transition seasonally from inefficient, distributed hydrologic networks to efficient, channelized drainage, while others do not. These differences in dominant velocity control mechanisms reveal likely spatiotemporal variations in the dynamic response of the ice sheet to climate change.

  17. Antarctic and Southern Ocean influences on Late Pliocene global cooling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McKay, R.; Naish, T.; Carter, L.; Riesselman, C.; Dunbar, R.; Sjunneskog, C.; Winter, D.; Sangiorgi, F.; Warren, C.; Pagani, M.; Schouten, S.; Willmott, V.; Levy, R.; DeConto , R.M.; Powell, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    The influence of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean on Late Pliocene global climate reconstructions has remained ambiguous due to a lack of well-dated Antarctic-proximal, paleoenvironmental records. Here we present ice sheet, sea-surface temperature, and sea ice reconstructions from the ANDRILL AND-1

  18. Multi-decadal dynamic thinning on the northwest margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Kjær, Kurt H.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas;

    Ice mass changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet have been estimated since the early 1990s from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission, of ice sheet thinning from satellite radar altimetry and airborne laser altimetry, and of increased velocities of outlet glaciers...... northwestern Greenland using the stereoscopic coverage by aerial photographs recorded in 1985, which captures the beginning of the present warming in the late 1980s. The derived Digital Elevation Model (DEM) based on the aerial photographs are superior in coverage and spatial resolution to other early surface...... change records with a 25 m grid resolution and vertical uncertainty of 4.6m. Comparative DEMs were derived from laser altimetry data recorded in 2005 and 2010. Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) can be partitioned into surface mass balance (SMB) processes (runoff and precipitation) and ice...

  19. Forecasting Antarctic Sea Ice Concentrations Using Results of Temporal Mixture Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Junhwa; Kim, Hyun-Cheol

    2016-06-01

    Sea ice concentration (SIC) data acquired by passive microwave sensors at daily temporal frequencies over extended areas provide seasonal characteristics of sea ice dynamics and play a key role as an indicator of global climate trends; however, it is typically challenging to study long-term time series. Of the various advanced remote sensing techniques that address this issue, temporal mixture analysis (TMA) methods are often used to investigate the temporal characteristics of environmental factors, including SICs in the case of the present study. This study aims to forecast daily SICs for one year using a combination of TMA and time series modeling in two stages. First, we identify temporally meaningful sea ice signatures, referred to as temporal endmembers, using machine learning algorithms, and then we decompose each pixel into a linear combination of temporal endmembers. Using these corresponding fractional abundances of endmembers, we apply a autoregressive model that generally fits all Antarctic SIC data for 1979 to 2013 to forecast SIC values for 2014. We compare our results using the proposed approach based on daily SIC data reconstructed from real fractional abundances derived from a pixel unmixing method and temporal endmember signatures. The proposed method successfully forecasts new fractional abundance values, and the resulting images are qualitatively and quantitatively similar to the reference data.

  20. Sea ice and the ocean mixed layer over the Antarctic shelf seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petty, A. A.; Holland, P. R.; Feltham, D. L.

    2014-04-01

    An ocean mixed-layer model has been incorporated into the Los Alamos sea ice model CICE to investigate regional variations in the surface-driven formation of Antarctic shelf waters. This model captures well the expected sea ice thickness distribution, and produces deep (> 500 m) mixed layers in the Weddell and Ross shelf seas each winter. This results in the complete destratification of the water column in deep southern coastal regions leading to high-salinity shelf water (HSSW) formation, and also in some shallower regions (no HSSW formation) of these seas. Shallower mixed layers are produced in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas. By deconstructing the surface processes driving the mixed-layer depth evolution, we show that the net salt flux from sea ice growth/melt dominates the evolution of the mixed layer in all regions, with a smaller contribution from the surface heat flux and a negligible input from wind stress. The Weddell and Ross shelf seas receive an annual surplus of mixing energy at the surface; the Amundsen shelf sea energy input in autumn/winter is balanced by energy extraction in spring/summer; and the Bellingshausen shelf sea experiences an annual surface energy deficit, through both a low energy input in autumn/winter and the highest energy loss in spring/summer. An analysis of the sea ice mass balance demonstrates the contrasting mean ice growth, melt and export in each region. The Weddell and Ross shelf seas have the highest annual ice growth, with a large fraction exported northwards each year, whereas the Bellingshausen shelf sea experiences the highest annual ice melt, driven by the advection of ice from the northeast. A linear regression analysis is performed to determine the link between the autumn/winter mixed-layer deepening and several atmospheric variables. The Weddell and Ross shelf seas show stronger spatial correlations (temporal mean - intra-regional variability) between the autumn/winter mixed-layer deepening and several

  1. The Greenland Ice Sheet as a hotspot of phosphorus weathering and export in the Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Hawkings, Jon; Wadham, Jemma; Tranter, Martyn; Telling, Jon; Bagshaw, Elizabeth; Beaton, Alexander; Simmons, Sarah-Louise; Chandler, David; Tedstone, Andrew; Nienow, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of ice sheets to the global biogeochemical cycle of phosphorus is largely unknown, due to the lack of field data. Here we present the first comprehensive study of phosphorus export from two Greenland Ice Sheet glaciers. Our results indicate that the ice sheet is a hot spot of phosphorus export in the Arctic. Soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentrations, up to 0.35?µM, are similar to those observed in Arctic rivers. Yields of SRP are among the highest in the literature, wi...

  2. The Greenland Ice Sheet as a hotspot of phosphorus weathering and export in the Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Hawkings, Jon; Wadham, Jemma; Tranter, Martyn; Telling, Jon; Bagshaw, Elizabeth; Beaton, Alexander; Simmons, Sarah-Louise; Chandler, David; Tedstone, Andrew; Nienow, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of ice sheets to the global biogeochemical cycle of phosphorus is largely unknown, due to the lack of field data. Here we present the first comprehensive study of phosphorus export from two Greenland Ice Sheet glaciers. Our results indicate that the ice sheet is a hot spot of phosphorus export in the Arctic. Soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentrations, up to 0.35 µM, are similar to those observed in Arctic rivers. Yields of SRP are among the highest in the literature, wi...

  3. Similitude of ice-sheet dynamics against scaling of geometry and physical parameters

    Op