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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 Feb 2019

Research article | 21 Feb 2019

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

Kinematic response of ice-rise divides to changes in oceanic and atmospheric forcing

Clemens Schannwell1, Reinhard Drews1, Todd A. Ehlers1, Olaf Eisen2,3, Christoph Mayer4, and Fabien Gillet-Chaulet5 Clemens Schannwell et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  • 2Glaciology Section, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 3Department of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 4Bavarian Academy for Sciences and Humanities, Munich, Germany
  • 5Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IRD, Grenoble INP, IGE, Grenoble, France

Abstract. The majority of Antarctic ice shelves are bounded by grounded ice rises. These ice rises exhibit local flow regimes that partially oppose the flow of the surrounding ice shelves. Formation of such ice rises is accompanied by a characteristic upward arching internal stratigraphy (Raymond arches), archiving potential past divide migration and the onset of divide flow. Information about past ice-sheet conditions can therefore be retrieved in areas where other archives are missing. However, the quantitative interpretation of the stratigraphy requires modelling and radar observations. Hitherto, ice-rise modelling has been restricted to 2D and excluded the coupling between ice shelf and ice rise. This presents a major limitation for the interpretation of ice rises as ice-dynamic archive. Here we present an improved modelling framework to study ice-rise evolution using a calibrated, isothermal, and isotropic 3D Full-Stokes model including grounding-line dynamics at the required mesh resolution (<500 m). We apply the model to the Ekström Ice Shelf catchment containing two ice rises. Our results show that changes in the surface mass balance result in immediate and sustained divide migration (>2.0 m/yr) of up to 3.5 km. In contrast, instantaneous ice-shelf disintegration causes a short-lived and delayed (by 60–100 years) response of smaller magnitude (<0.75 m/yr). The model tracks migration of a triple junction and synchronous ice-divide migration in both ice rises with similar magnitude but differing rates. The model is suitable for glacial/interglacial simulations on the catchment scale, providing the next step forward to unravel the ice-dynamic history stored in ice rises all around Antarctica.

Clemens Schannwell et al.
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Clemens Schannwell et al.
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Latest update: 18 Jul 2019
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Ice rises are important ice sheet features that archive the ice-sheet's history in their internal structure. Here we use a 3D numerical ice-sheet model to simulate mechanisms that lead to changes in the geometry of the internal structure. We find that changes in snowfall result in much larger and faster changes than similar changes in ice-shelf geometry. This result is integral to fully unlock the potential of ice rises as ice-dynamic archives and potential ice-core drilling site.
Ice rises are important ice sheet features that archive the ice-sheet's history in their...