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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-72
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-72
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 08 Apr 2020

Submitted as: research article | 08 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

The influence of föhn winds on annual and seasonal surface melt on the Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Jenny Victoria Turton1,2,3, Amélie Kirchgaessner1, Andrew N. Ross2, John C. King1, and Peter Kuipers Munneke4 Jenny Victoria Turton et al.
  • 1British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
  • 2School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
  • 3Institute of Geography, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen, 91058, Germany
  • 4Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, 3508, the Netherlands

Abstract. Warm, dry föhn winds are observed over the Larsen C Ice shelf year-round and are thought to contribute to the continuing weakening and collapse of ice shelves on the eastern Antarctic Peninsula. We use a surface energy balance (SEB) model, driven by observations from two locations on the Larsen C ice shelf and one on the remnants of Larsen B, in combination with output from the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS), to investigate the year-round impact of föhn winds on the SEB and melt from 2009–2012. Föhn winds have an impact on the individual components of the surface energy balance in all seasons, and lead to an increase in surface melt in spring, summer and autumn up to 100 km away from the foot of the AP. When föhn winds occur in spring they increase surface melt, extend the melt season and increase the number of melt days within a year. Whilst AMPS is able to simulate the percentage of melt days associated with föhn with high skill, it overestimates the total amount of melting during föhn events and non-föhn events. This study extends previous attempts at quantifying the impact of föhn on the Larsen C ice shelf by including a four-year study period and a wider area of interest and provides evidence for föhn-related melting on both Larsen C and Larsen B ice shelves.

Jenny Victoria Turton et al.

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Jenny Victoria Turton et al.

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