Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Antarctica - Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, Rapid Subglacial Erosion

In this paper the authors1 present ice thickness measurements, gravimetry and surface elevation on Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, separated by a period of 49 years. The authors1 measured surface elevation lowering, with no significant ice thickness change, at a single station located on the trunk of the glacier. They interpreted these as indicating subglacial erosion of 31.8 ± 13.4 m at this location at a mean rate for the measured period of 0.6 ± 0.3 m/yr, and they suggest a possible current rate of erosion of about 1 m/yr. Their results emphasise that on a local scale basal processes can have a significant effect on ice sheet changes, especially where there is an easily erodible base on fast-flowing ice.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Smith, A. M., C. R. Bentley, R. G. Bingham, and T. A. Jordan. "Rapid Subglacial Erosion beneath Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica." Geophysical Research Letters 39, no. 12 (2012): L12501.
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated 28/07/2013
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