Articles | Volume 14, issue 5
Research article
27 May 2020
Research article |  | 27 May 2020

Ice shelf rift propagation: stability, three-dimensional effects, and the role of marginal weakening

Bradley Paul Lipovsky

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Cited articles

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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,, 2018. a
Banwell, A. F., MacAyeal, D. R., and Sergienko, O. V.: Breakup of the Larsen B Ice Shelf triggered by chain reaction drainage of supraglacial lakes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 5872–5876, 2013. a, b
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Borstad, C., McGrath, D., and Pope, A.: Fracture propagation and stability of ice shelves governed by ice shelf heterogeneity, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 4186–4194, 2017. a
Short summary
Ice shelves promote the stability of marine ice sheets and therefore reduce the ice sheet contribution to sea level rise. Ice shelf rifts are through-cutting fractures that jeopardize this stabilizing tendency. Here, I carry out the first-ever 3D modeling of ice shelf rifts. I find that the overall ice shelf geometry – particularly the ice shelf margins – alters rift stability. This work paves the way to a more realistic depiction of rifting in ice sheet models.