Activation of existing surface crevasses has limited impact on grounding line flux of Antarctic Ice Streams

Cristina Gerli*, Sebastian Rosier, Hilmar Gudmundsson

*Corresponding author for this work

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Recent studies have identified widespread vulnerable ice shelf regions in Antarctica which are both highly buttressed and susceptible to crevasse hydrofracturing, raising concern for potential crevasse driven ice-shelf collapse and future sea level rise. Here, we employ the finite element ice flow model, Úa, to investigate whether crevasses which have propagated through the entire ice column have a significant impact on upstream flow and quantify their contribution to sea level rise. We find a large variability in the response of ice shelves to this perturbation, with changes in grounding line flux as large as 155% for the Filchner-Ronne and 46% for the Ross, when compared to the present day. Crevasses located close to the grounding lines contribute most of this change. When compared to a second perturbation in which ice shelves are completely removed, however, the response is relatively small for all modeled ice shelves.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022GL101687
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number6
Early online date14 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2023

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