Articles | Volume 12, issue 4
Research article
19 Apr 2018
Research article |  | 19 Apr 2018

Changes in flow of Crosson and Dotson ice shelves, West Antarctica, in response to elevated melt

David A. Lilien, Ian Joughin, Benjamin Smith, and David E. Shean

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Cited articles

Alley, K. E., Scambos, T. A., Siegfried, M. R., and Fricker, H. A.: Impacts of warm water on Antarctic ice shelf stability through basal channel formation, Nat. Geosci., 9, 290–293,, 2016.
Borstad, C., Khazendar, A., Scheuchl, B., Morlighem, M., Larour, E., and Rignot, E.: A constitutive framework for predicting weakening and reduced buttressing of ice shelves based on observations of the progressive deterioration of the remnant Larsen B ice shelf, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 2027–2035,, 2016.
Cassotto, R., Fahnestock, M., Amundson, J. M., Truffer, M., and Joughin, I.: Seasonal and interannual variations in ice melange and its impact on terminus stability, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland, J. Glaciol., 61, 76–88,, 2015.
Crabtree, R. D. and Doake, C. S. M.: Radio-Echo Investigations of Ronne Ice Shelf, Ann. Glaciol., 8, 37–41,, 1986.
Depoorter, M. A., Bamber, J. L., Griggs, J. A., Lenaerts, J. T. M., Ligtenberg, S. R. M., van den Broeke, M. R., and Moholdt, G.: Calving fluxes and basal melt rates of Antarctic ice shelves., Nature, 502, 89–92,, 2013.
Short summary
We used remotely sensed data and a numerical model to study the processes controlling the stability of two rapidly changing ice shelves in West Antarctica. Both these ice shelves have been losing mass since at least 1996, primarily as a result of ocean-forced melt. We find that this imbalance likely results from changes initiated around 1970 or earlier. Our results also show that the shelves’ differing speedup is controlled by the strength of their margins and their grounding-line positions.