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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-228
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-228
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 Nov 2018

Research article | 29 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Submarine melt as a potential trigger of the NEGIS margin retreat during MIS-3

Ilaria Tabone1,2, Alexander Robinson1,2,a, Jorge Alvarez-Solas1,2, and Marisa Montoya1,2 Ilaria Tabone et al.
  • 1Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
  • 2Instituto de Geociencias, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas-Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
  • anow at: Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, University of Athens, 15784 Athens, Greece

Abstract. The Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) area has been suffering a significant ice mass loss during the last decades. This is partly due to increasing oceanic temperatures in the subpolar North Atlantic, which enhance submarine basal melting and mass discharge. This demonstrates the high sensitivity of this region to oceanic changes. Alongside, a recent study suggests that the NEGIS grounding line was 20–40km behind its present-day location for 15ka during Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 3, raising an important conundrum. This retreat has been attributed to a combination of atmospheric and external forcings but a modelling approach to the problem is pending. Here we investigate the sensitivity of the NEGIS to the oceanic forcing during the Last Glacial Period (LGP) using a three-dimensional hybrid ice-sheet-shelf model. We find that a sufficiently high oceanic forcing could account for a NEGIS ice-margin retreat of several tens of km, potentially explaining the recently proposed NEGIS grounding-line retreat during MIS-3.

Ilaria Tabone et al.
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Latest update: 15 Dec 2018
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Short summary
Recent reconstructions show that the North East Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) retreated away from its present-day position by 20–40 km during MIS-3. Atmospheric and external forcings were proposed as potential causes of this retreat, but the role of the ocean was not considered. Here, using a 3D ice sheet model, we suggest that oceanic warming is sufficient to induce a retreat of the NEGIS margin of many tens of km during MIS-3, helping to explain this conundrum.
Recent reconstructions show that the North East Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) retreated away from...
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