Articles | Volume 11, issue 6
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-2743-2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-2743-2017
Research article
 | 
05 Dec 2017
Research article |  | 05 Dec 2017

Centuries of intense surface melt on Larsen C Ice Shelf

Suzanne L. Bevan, Adrian Luckman, Bryn Hubbard, Bernd Kulessa, David Ashmore, Peter Kuipers Munneke, Martin O'Leary, Adam Booth, Heidi Sevestre, and Daniel McGrath

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Cited articles

Abram, N. J., Mulvaney, R., Wolff, E. W., Triest, J., Kipfstuhl, S., Trusel, L. D., Vimeux, F., Fleet, L., and Arrowsmith, C.: Acceleration of snow melt in an Antarctic Peninsula ice core during the twentieth century, Nat. Geosci., 6, 404–411, https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1787, 2013.
Ashmore, D. W., Hubbard, B., Luckman, A., Kulessa, B., Bevan, S., Booth, A., Munneke, P. K., and O'Leary, M.: Ice and firn hetereogeneity within Larsen C Ice Shelf from borehole optical televiewing, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth, 122, 1139–1153, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JF004047, 2017.
Banwell, A. F. and MacAyeal, D. R.: Ice-shelf fracture due to viscoelastic flexure stress induced by fill/drain cycles of supraglacial lakes, Antarct. Sci., 27, 587–597, https://doi.org/10.1017/s0954102015000292, 2015.
Barrand, N. E., Vaughan, D. G., Steiner, N., Tedesco, M., Kuipers Munneke, P., van den Broeke, M. R., and Hosking, J. S.: Trends in Antarctic Peninsula surface melting conditions from observations and regional climate modeling, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth, 118, 315–330, https://doi.org/10.1029/2012jf002559, 2013.
Bevan, S.: Flow-line model code for accumulation of ice along velocity-based trajectories, https://doi.org/10.5285/0cea12bf-2f44-4d48-99d1-e7d303c5e80e, 2017a.
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Short summary
Five 90 m boreholes drilled into an Antarctic Peninsula ice shelf show units of ice that are denser than expected and must have formed from refrozen surface melt which has been buried and transported downstream. We used surface flow speeds and snow accumulation rates to work out where and when these units formed. Results show that, as well as recent surface melt, a period of strong melt occurred during the 18th century. Surface melt is thought to be a factor in causing recent ice-shelf break-up.