Articles | Volume 15, issue 7
The Cryosphere, 15, 3317–3328, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-3317-2021
The Cryosphere, 15, 3317–3328, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-3317-2021

Brief communication 19 Jul 2021

Brief communication | 19 Jul 2021

Brief communication: Thwaites Glacier cavity evolution

Suzanne L. Bevan et al.

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Discussed (final revised paper)

Discussed (preprint)

Latest update: 18 Sep 2021
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Short summary
The stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet depends on the behaviour of the fast-flowing glaciers, such as Thwaites, that connect it to the ocean. Here we show that a large ocean-melted cavity beneath Thwaites Glacier has remained stable since it first formed, implying that, in line with current theory, basal melt is now concentrated close to where the ice first goes afloat. We also show that Thwaites Glacier continues to thin and to speed up and that continued retreat is therefore likely.