Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Research article
13 May 2015
Research article |  | 13 May 2015

Oceanic and atmospheric forcing of Larsen C Ice-Shelf thinning

P. R. Holland, A. Brisbourne, H. F. J. Corr, D. McGrath, K. Purdon, J. Paden, H. A. Fricker, F. S. Paolo, and A. H. Fleming

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Cited articles

Albrecht, T. and Levermann, A.: Spontaneous ice-front retreat caused by disintegration of adjacent ice shelf in Antarctica, Earth Planet. Sc. Lett., 393, 26–30,, 2014.
Arcone, S. A.: Airborne-radar stratigraphy and electrical structure of temperate firn: Bagley Ice Field, Alaska, USA, J. Glaciol., 48, 317–334,, 2002.
Banwell, A. F., MacAyeal, D., and Sergienko, O. V.: Breakup of the Larsen B Ice Shelf triggered by chain reaction drainage of supraglacial lakes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 5872–5876,, 2013.
Barrand, N. E., Vaughan, D. G., Steiner, N., Tedesco, M., Munneke, P. K., van den Broeke, M. R., and Hosking, J. S.: Trends in Antarctic Peninsula surface melting conditions from observations and regional climate modeling, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth, 118, 315–330,, 2013.
Bathmann, U., Smetacek, V., de Baar, H., Fahrbach, E., and Krause, G.: The expeditions ANTARKTIS X/6-8 of the research vessel "POLARSTERN" in 1992/93, Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Bremerhaven, Germany, 236 pp., 1994.
Short summary
Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves have collapsed in recent decades. The surface of Larsen C Ice Shelf is lowering, but the cause of this has not been understood. This study uses eight radar surveys to show that the lowering is caused by both ice loss and a loss of air from the ice shelf's snowpack. At least two different processes are causing the lowering. The stability of Larsen C may be at risk from an ungrounding of Bawden Ice Rise or ice-front retreat past a 'compressive arch' in strain rates.