Talk by Laura Herraiz-Borreguero – Københavns Universitet

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Talk by Laura Herraiz-Borreguero

The interaction of the Ocean with the Amery Ice shelf, East Antarctica

Antarctic ice sheet mass loss has been linked to increasing oceanic heat supply to the ice shelves causing enhanced basal melt [Pritchard et al., 2012]. Improved understanding of ice shelf–ocean interaction is crucial to refining projections of mass loss and associated sea level rise. Up to 16% of the freshwater stored in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet drains into the Amery Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in East Antarctica. The Amery ice shelf-ocean research (AMISOR) Project provides one of the longest observational records beneath an ice shelf currently available.

During the talk I will discuss the seasonal variability of the Amery ice shelf–ocean interaction, and in particular, I will show (1) the first observational evidence for a seasonal signal in the formation of marine ice under the ice shelf; (2)the inflow of modified Circumpolar Deep Water and the basal melt linked to this inflow; (3) a complex ice shelf-ocean system in which two modes of circulation and basal melt are juxtaposed. These results highlight the sentitivity of the ice shelf mass balance to short time scale ocean variability.