Articles | Volume 14, issue 12
The Cryosphere, 14, 4603–4609, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-4603-2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 4603–4609, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-4603-2020

Brief communication 18 Dec 2020

Brief communication | 18 Dec 2020

Brief communication: Heterogenous thinning and subglacial lake activity on Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica

Andrew O. Hoffman et al.

Data sets

Antarctica-POLENET GPS Network - LTHW-Lower Thwaites Glacier P.S. Terry Wilson, Michael Bevis, Robert Smalley Jr., Ian Dalziel, Eric Kendrick, Stephanie Konfal, David Saddler, and Michael Willlis https://doi.org/10.7283/T5NK3C7D

Antarctica-POLENET GPS Network - UTHW-Up Thwaites Glacier P.S. Terry Wilson, Michael Bevis, Robert Smalley Jr., Ian Dalziel, Eric Kendrick, Stephanie Konfal, David Saddler, and Michael Willlis https://doi.org/10.7283/T50P0XBC

Video supplement

Heterogenous thinning and subglacial lake fill-drain cycles observed on Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica Andrew Hoffman https://doi.org/10.5446/44023

Subglacial water routing beneath Thwaites Glacier Andrew Hoffman https://doi.org/10.5446/44035

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Short summary
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet has long been considered geometrically prone to collapse, and Thwaites Glacier, the largest glacier in the Amundsen Sea, is likely in the early stages of disintegration. Using observations of Thwaites Glacier velocity and elevation change, we show that the transport of ~2 km3 of water beneath Thwaites Glacier has only a small and transient effect on glacier speed relative to ongoing thinning driven by ocean melt.