Dynamic changes on Wilkins Ice Shelf during the 2006–2009 retreat derived from satellite observations
Melanie Rankl1, Johannes Jakob Fürst1, Angelika Humbert2,3, and Matthias Holger Braun11Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institute of Geography, 91058 Erlangen, Germany 2Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Glaciology Section, 27568 Bremerhaven, Germany 3University of Bremen, Department of Geosciences, 28359 Bremen, Germany
Received: 22 Sep 2016 – Accepted for review: 13 Oct 2016 – Discussion started: 18 Oct 2016
Abstract. Ice shelves serve as important buttresses for upstream areas. Several large ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula have disintegrated or retreated, which implied dynamic consequences for upstream ice. The present study aims to assess dynamic changes on Wilkins Ice Shelf during multi-stage ice-front retreat in the last decade. A total area of 2135 ± 75 km2 was lost in the period 2008–2009. The present study uses time-series of SAR satellite observations (1994/96, 2006–2010) in order to derive variations in multi-temporal surface flow from intensity offset tracking methods. Spatial patterns of horizontal strain rate and stress components were inferred during different ice-front retreat stages. These fields are used to explain the different break-up stages and to evaluate the ice-shelf stability. For this purpose, we apply criteria which were forwarded to explain and assess past ice-shelf retreat.
Rankl, M., Fürst, J. J., Humbert, A., and Braun, M. H.: Dynamic changes on Wilkins Ice Shelf during the 2006–2009 retreat derived from satellite observations, The Cryosphere Discuss., doi:10.5194/tc-2016-218, in review, 2016.