Articles | Volume 16, issue 5
Research article
20 May 2022
Research article |  | 20 May 2022

Shear-margin melting causes stronger transient ice discharge than ice-stream melting in idealized simulations

Johannes Feldmann, Ronja Reese, Ricarda Winkelmann, and Anders Levermann

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Revised manuscript not accepted

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Cited articles

Adusumilli, S., Fricker, H. A., Medley, B., Padman, L., and Siegfried, M. R.: Interannual Variations in Meltwater Input to the Southern Ocean from Antarctic Ice Shelves, Nat. Geosci., 13, 616–620,, 2020. a, b
Alley, K. E., Scambos, T. A., Siegfried, M. R., and Fricker, H. A.: Impacts of Warm Water on Antarctic Ice Shelf Stability through Basal Channel Formation, Nat. Geosci., 9, 290–293,, 2016. a, b, c
Alley, K. E., Scambos, T. A., Alley, R. B., and Holschuh, N.: Troughs Developed in Ice-Stream Shear Margins Precondition Ice Shelves for Ocean-Driven Breakup, Sci. Adv., 5, eaax2215,, 2019. a, b, c
Alley, R. B., Anandakrishnan, S., Dupont, T. K., Parizek, B. R., and Pollard, D.: Effect of Sedimentation on Ice-Sheet Grounding-Line Stability, Science, 315, 1838–1841,, 2007. a
Asay-Davis, X. S., Cornford, S. L., Durand, G., Galton-Fenzi, B. K., Gladstone, R. M., Gudmundsson, G. H., Hattermann, T., Holland, D. M., Holland, D., Holland, P. R., Martin, D. F., Mathiot, P., Pattyn, F., and Seroussi, H.: Experimental design for three interrelated marine ice sheet and ocean model intercomparison projects: MISMIP v. 3 (MISMIP +), ISOMIP v. 2 (ISOMIP +) and MISOMIP v. 1 (MISOMIP1), Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 2471–2497,, 2016. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h
Short summary
We use a numerical model to simulate the flow of a simplified, buttressed Antarctic-type outlet glacier with an attached ice shelf. We find that after a few years of perturbation such a glacier responds much stronger to melting under the ice-shelf shear margins than to melting in the central fast streaming part of the ice shelf. This study explains the underlying physical mechanism which might gain importance in the future if melt rates under the Antarctic ice shelves continue to increase.