Articles | Volume 15, issue 2
Research article
11 Feb 2021
Research article |  | 11 Feb 2021

Recent acceleration of Denman Glacier (1972–2017), East Antarctica, driven by grounding line retreat and changes in ice tongue configuration

Bertie W. J. Miles, Jim R. Jordan, Chris R. Stokes, Stewart S. R. Jamieson, G. Hilmar Gudmundsson, and Adrian Jenkins

Data sets

MEaSUREs Annual Antarctic Ice Velocity Maps 2005-2017, Version 1 J. Mouginot, B. Scheuchl, and E. Rignot

Ice front position and velocities for Denman Glacier 1962-2018 Bertie Miles, James Jordan, Chris Stokes, Stewart Jamieson, G. Hilmar Gudmundsson, and Adrian Jenkins

Model code and software

GHilmarG/UaSource: Ua2019b (Version v2019b) Hilmar Gudmundsson

Short summary
We provide a historical overview of changes in Denman Glacier's flow speed, structure and calving events since the 1960s. Based on these observations, we perform a series of numerical modelling experiments to determine the likely cause of Denman's acceleration since the 1970s. We show that grounding line retreat, ice shelf thinning and the detachment of Denman's ice tongue from a pinning point are the most likely causes of the observed acceleration.