Brief Communication: Newly developing rift in Larsen C Ice Shelf presents significant risk to stability
- 1Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany
- 2Department of Geography, College of Science, Swansea University, Swansea, UK
- 3Centre for Glaciology, Institute for Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK
- 4British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Cambridge, UK
Abstract. An established rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, formerly constrained by a suture zone containing marine ice, grew rapidly during 2014 and is likely in the near future to generate the largest calving event since the 1980s and result in a new minimum area for the ice shelf. Here we investigate the recent development of the rift, quantify the projected calving event and, using a numerical model, assess its likely impact on ice shelf stability. We find that the ice front is at risk of becoming unstable when the anticipated calving event occurs.