Articles | Volume 13, issue 10
The Cryosphere, 13, 2771–2787, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-2771-2019
The Cryosphere, 13, 2771–2787, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-2771-2019

Research article 25 Oct 2019

Research article | 25 Oct 2019

Calving cycle of the Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica, driven by changes in ice shelf geometry

Jan De Rydt et al.

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Cited articles

Anderson, R., Jones, D. H., and Gudmundsson, G. H.: Halley Research Station, Antarctica: calving risks and monitoring strategies, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 917–927, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-14-917-2014, 2014. 
Arndt, J. E., Larter, R. D., Friedl, P., Gohl, K., Höppner, K., and the Science Team of Expedition PS104: Bathymetric controls on calving processes at Pine Island Glacier, The Cryosphere, 12, 2039–2050, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-2039-2018, 2018. 
Arthern, R. J. and Williams, C. R.: The sensitivity of West Antarctica to the submarine melting feedback, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 2352–2359, 2017. 
Bassis, J. N., Coleman, R., Fricker, H. A., and Minster, J. B.: Episodic propagation of a rift on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L06502, https://doi.org/10.3189/172756402781817581, 2005. 
Bassis, J. N., Fricker, H. A., Coleman, R., and Minster, J.-B.: An investigation into the forces that drive ice-shelf rift propagation on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, J. Glaciol., 54, 17–27, 2008. 
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Short summary
Two large icebergs are about to break off from the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Rifting started several years ago and is now approaching its final phase. Satellite data and computer simulations show that over the past 2 decades, growth of the ice shelf has caused a build-up of forces within the ice, which culminated in its fracture. These natural changes in geometry coincided with large variations in flow speed, a process that is thought to be relevant for all Antarctic ice shelf margins.