Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/tcd-8-919-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
05 Feb 2014
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper for further review has not been submitted.
A data-constrained model for compatibility check of remotely sensed basal melting with the hydrography in front of Antarctic ice shelves
D. Olbers1, H. H. Hellmer1, and F. F. J. H. Buck2 1Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bussestr. 24, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
2Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research, 18119 Rostock-Warnemünde, Germany
Abstract. The ice shelf caverns around Antarctica are sources of cold and fresh water which contributes to the formation of Antarctic bottom water and thus to the ventilation of the deep basins of the World Ocean. While a realistic simulation of the cavern circulation requires high resolution, because of the complicated bottom topography and ice shelf morphology, the physics of melting and freezing at the ice shelf base is relatively simple. We have developed an analytically solvable box model of the cavern thermohaline state, using the formulation of melting and freezing as in Olbers and Hellmer (2010). There is high resolution along the cavern's path of the overturning circulation whereas the cross-path resolution is fairly coarse. The circulation in the cavern is prescribed and used as a tuning parameter to constrain the solution by attempting to match observed ranges for outflow temperature and salinity at the ice shelf front as well as of the mean basal melt rate. The method, tested for six Antarctic ice shelves, can be used for a quick estimate of melt/freeze rates and the overturning rate in particular caverns, given the temperature and salinity of the inflow and the above mentioned constrains for outflow and melting. In turn, the model can also be used for testing the compatibility of remotely sensed basal mass loss with observed cavern inflow characteristics.

Citation: Olbers, D., Hellmer, H. H., and Buck, F. F. J. H.: A data-constrained model for compatibility check of remotely sensed basal melting with the hydrography in front of Antarctic ice shelves, The Cryosphere Discuss., 8, 919-951, doi:10.5194/tcd-8-919-2014, 2014.
D. Olbers et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed (peer review stopped)
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RC C834: 'Manuscript Review: A data-constrained model for compatibility check of remotely sensed basal melting with the hydrography in front of Antarctic ice shelves', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 May 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
 
RC C891: 'review', Anonymous Referee #2, 11 Jun 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
D. Olbers et al.
D. Olbers et al.

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