Articles | Volume 16, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 16, 397–417, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-16-397-2022
The Cryosphere, 16, 397–417, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-16-397-2022
Research article
03 Feb 2022
Research article | 03 Feb 2022

Weakening of the pinning point buttressing Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica

Christian T. Wild et al.

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Cited articles

Alley, K. E., Wild, C. T., Luckman, A., Scambos, T. A., Truffer, M., Pettit, E. C., Muto, A., Wallin, B., Klinger, M., Sutterley, T., Child, S. F., Hulen, C., Lenaerts, J. T. M., Maclennan, M., Keenan, E., and Dunmire, D.: Two decades of dynamic change and progressive destabilization on the Thwaites Eastern Ice Shelf, The Cryosphere, 15, 5187–5203, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-5187-2021, 2021. a, b, c, d
Alley, R. B., Anandakrishnan, S., Christianson, K., Horgan, H. J., Muto, A., Parizek, B. R., Pollard, D., and Walker, R. T.: Oceanic forcing of ice-sheet retreat: West Antarctica and more, Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 43, 207–231, https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-earth-060614-105344, 2015. a
Barnes, J. M., Dias dos Santos, T., Goldberg, D., Gudmundsson, G. H., Morlighem, M., and De Rydt, J.: The transferability of adjoint inversion products between different ice flow models, The Cryosphere, 15, 1975–2000, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-1975-2021, 2021. a
Bindschadler, R., Vornberger, P., Fleming, A., Fox, A., Mullins, J., Binnie, D., Paulsen, S. J., Granneman, B., and Gorodetzky, D.: The Landsat image mosaic of Antarctica, Remote Sens. Environ., 112, 4214–4226, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2008.07.006, 2008. a, b, c
Bindschadler, R., Choi, H., Wichlacz, A., Bingham, R., Bohlander, J., Brunt, K., Corr, H., Drews, R., Fricker, H., Hall, M., Hindmarsh, R., Kohler, J., Padman, L., Rack, W., Rotschky, G., Urbini, S., Vornberger, P., and Young, N.: Getting around Antarctica: new high-resolution mappings of the grounded and freely-floating boundaries of the Antarctic ice sheet created for the International Polar Year, The Cryosphere, 5, 569–588, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-569-2011, 2011. a
Short summary
Thwaites Glacier has the potential to significantly raise Antarctica's contribution to global sea-level rise by the end of this century. Here, we use satellite measurements of surface elevation to show that its floating part is close to losing contact with an underwater ridge that currently acts to stabilize. We then use computer models of ice flow to simulate the predicted unpinning, which show that accelerated ice discharge into the ocean follows the breakup of the floating part.