Articles | Volume 17, issue 7
Research article
14 Jul 2023
Research article |  | 14 Jul 2023

Precursor of disintegration of Greenland's largest floating ice tongue

Angelika Humbert, Veit Helm, Niklas Neckel, Ole Zeising, Martin Rückamp, Shfaqat Abbas Khan, Erik Loebel, Jörg Brauchle, Karsten Stebner, Dietmar Gross, Rabea Sondershaus, and Ralf Müller

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Cited articles

Åkesson, H., Morlighem, M., O'Regan, M., and Jakobsson, M.: Future Projections of Petermann Glacier Under Ocean Warming Depend Strongly on Friction Law, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth, 126, e2020JF005921,, 2021. a
Åkesson, H., Morlighem, M., Nilsson, J., Stranne, C., and Jakobsson, M.: Petermann ice shelf may not recover after a future breakup, Nat. Commun., 13, 2519,, 2022. a, b
Berger, S., Favier, L., Drews, R., Derwael, J.-J., and Pattyn, F.: The control of an uncharted pinning point on the flow of an Antarctic ice shelf, J. Glaciol., 62, 37–45,, 2016. a
Beyer, R. A., Alexandrov, O., and McMichael, S.: The Ames Stereo Pipeline: NASA's Open Source Software for Deriving and Processing Terrain Data, Earth and Space Science, 5, 537–548,, 2018. a
Borstad, C. P., Rignot, E., Mouginot, J., and Schodlok, M. P.: Creep deformation and buttressing capacity of damaged ice shelves: theory and application to Larsen C ice shelf, The Cryosphere, 7, 1931–1947,, 2013. a, b, c
Short summary
The largest floating glacier mass in Greenland, the 79° N Glacier, is showing signs of instability. We investigate how crack formation at the glacier's calving front has changed over the last decades by using satellite imagery and airborne data. The calving front is about to lose contact to stabilizing ice islands. Simulations show that the glacier will accelerate as a result of this, leading to an increase in ice discharge of more than 5.1 % if its calving front retreats by 46 %.