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Extensive and anomalous grounding line retreat at Vanderford Glacier, Vincennes Bay, Wilkes Land, East Antarctica

Picton, Hannah Jane and Stokes, Chris R. and Jamieson, Stewart S.R. and Floricioiu, Dana and Krieger, Lukas (2023) Extensive and anomalous grounding line retreat at Vanderford Glacier, Vincennes Bay, Wilkes Land, East Antarctica. The Cryosphere, 17, pp. 3593-3616. Copernicus Publications. doi: 10.5194/tc-17-3593-2023. ISSN 1994-0416.

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Official URL: https://tc.copernicus.org/preprints/tc-2022-217/


Wilkes Land, East Antarctica, has been losing mass at an accelerating rate over recent decades in response to enhanced oceanic forcing. Overlying the Aurora Subglacial Basin, it has been referred to as the ‘weak underbelly’ of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and is drained by several major outlet glaciers. Despite their potential importance, few of these glaciers have been studied in detail. This includes the six outlet glaciers which drain into Vincennes Bay, a region recently discovered to have the warmest intrusions of modified Circumpolar Deep Water (mCDW) ever recorded in East Antarctica. Here, we use remotely sensed optical imagery, differential satellite aperture radar interferometry (DInSAR) and datasets of ice surface velocity, ice surface elevation and grounding line position, to investigate ice dynamics between 1963 and 2022. Decadal trends in frontal position are observed across the Vincennes Bay outlet glaciers, potentially correlated to variations in sea ice production. Ice surface velocities were generally stable between 2000 and 2021, with some fluctuations measured across the grounding line of Bond East Glacier. Changes in ice surface elevation were spatially variable, but a clear and consistent thinning trend was measured at Vanderford Glacier between 2003 and 2020. Enhanced rates of ice thinning were seen across each of the Vanderford, Adams, Anzac, and Underwood Glaciers between 2017 and 2020. Most importantly, our results confirm extensive grounding line retreat at Vanderford Glacier, measured at 18.6 km between 1996 and 2020. Such rapid grounding line retreat (0.8 km yr-1) is consistent with the notion that warm mCDW is able to access deep cavities formed below the Vanderford Ice Shelf, driving high rates of basal melting. With a retrograde slope observed inland along the Vanderford Trench, such oceanic forcing may have significant implications for the future stability of Vanderford Glacier.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/192095/
Document Type:Article
Title:Extensive and anomalous grounding line retreat at Vanderford Glacier, Vincennes Bay, Wilkes Land, East Antarctica
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Picton, Hannah JaneDepartment of Geography, University of Durham, Durham, DH1 3LE, Englandhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1196-5524UNSPECIFIED
Stokes, Chris R.Department of Geography, University of Durham, Durham, DH1 3LE, Englandhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3355-1573UNSPECIFIED
Jamieson, Stewart S.R.Department of Geography, University of Durham, Durham, DH1 3LE, EnglandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Floricioiu, DanaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1647-7191UNSPECIFIED
Krieger, LukasUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2464-3102145824315
Date:5 August 2023
Journal or Publication Title:The Cryosphere
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 3593-3616
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Keywords:ocean forcing, grounding line, ice thinning
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - SAR methods
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Remote Sensing Technology Institute > SAR Signal Processing
Deposited By: Floricioiu, Dr. Dana
Deposited On:12 Dec 2022 10:22
Last Modified:02 Nov 2023 16:44

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