Articles | Volume 11, issue 5
The Cryosphere, 11, 2189–2211, 2017
The Cryosphere, 11, 2189–2211, 2017

Research article 12 Sep 2017

Research article | 12 Sep 2017

Dynamic response of an Arctic epishelf lake to seasonal and long-term forcing: implications for ice shelf thickness

Andrew K. Hamilton et al.

Data sets

Meteorological data - AWS Milne Fiord Unicersity of Ottawa

Model code and software

Ellesmere Island ice shelf extents Canadian Cryospheric Information Network

Short summary
Meltwater runoff trapped by an ice shelf can create a freshwater lake floating directly on seawater. We show that the depth of the freshwater–seawater interface varies substantially due to changes in meltwater inflow and drainage under the ice shelf. By accounting for seasonality, the interface depth can be used to monitor long-term changes in the thickness of ice shelves. We show that the Milne Ice Shelf, Ellesmere Island, was stable before 2004, after which time the ice shelf thinned rapidly.