Articles | Volume 12, issue 7
Research article
24 Jul 2018
Research article |  | 24 Jul 2018

Modelled fracture and calving on the Totten Ice Shelf

Sue Cook, Jan Åström, Thomas Zwinger, Benjamin Keith Galton-Fenzi, Jamin Stevens Greenbaum, and Richard Coleman

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Cited articles

Aitken, A. R. A., Roberts, J. L., van Ommen, T. D., Young, D. A., Golledge, N. R., Greenbaum, J. S., Blankenship, D. D., and Siegert, M. J.: Repeated large-scale retreat and advance of Totten Glacier indicated by inland bed erosion, Nature, 533, 385–389,, 2016. 
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. 
Åström, J. A.: Statistical models of brittle fragmentation, Adv. Phys., 55, 247–278,, 2006. 
Åström, J. A., Riikilä, T. I., Tallinen, T., Zwinger, T., Benn, D., Moore, J. C., and Timonen, J.: A particle based simulation model for glacier dynamics, The Cryosphere, 7, 1591–1602,, 2013. 
Åström, J. A., Vallot, D., Schäfer, M., Welty, E. Z., O'Neel, S., Bartholomaus, T. C., Liu, Y., Riikilä, T. I., Zwinger, T., Timonen, J., and Moore, J. C.: Termini of calving glaciers as self-organized critical systems, Nat. Geosci., 7, 874–878,, 2014. 
Short summary
The growth of fractures on Antarctic ice shelves is important because it controls the amount of ice lost as icebergs. We use a model constructed of multiple interconnected blocks to predict the locations where fractures will form on the Totten Ice Shelf in East Antarctica. The results show that iceberg calving is controlled not only by fractures forming near the front of the ice shelf but also by fractures which formed many kilometres upstream.