Ocean mixing beneath Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica

Satoshi Kimura*, Adrian Jenkins, Pierre Dutrieux, Alexander Forryan, Alberto C. Naveira Garabato, Yvonne Firing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Ice shelves around Antarctica are vulnerable to an increase in ocean-driven melting, with the melt rate depending on ocean temperature and the strength of flow inside the ice-shelf cavities. We present measurements of velocity, temperature, salinity, turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate, and thermal variance dissipation rate beneath Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica. These measurements were obtained by CTD, ADCP, and turbulence sensors mounted on an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The highest turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate is found near the grounding line. The thermal variance dissipation rate increases closer to the ice-shelf base, with a maximum value found ∼0.5 m away from the ice. The measurements of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate near the ice are used to estimate basal melting of the ice shelf. The dissipation-rate-based melt rate estimates is sensitive to the stability correction parameter in the linear approximation of universal function of the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory for stratified boundary layers. We argue that our estimates of basal melting from dissipation rates are within a range of previous estimates of basal melting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8496-8510
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume121
Issue number12
Early online date11 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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