Articles | Volume 9, issue 4
Research article
21 Aug 2015
Research article |  | 21 Aug 2015

Temporal variations in the flow of a large Antarctic ice stream controlled by tidally induced changes in the subglacial water system

S. H. R. Rosier, G. H. Gudmundsson, and J. A. M. Green

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Cited articles

A\dhalgeirsdóttir, G., Smith, A. M., Murray, T., King, M. A., Makinson, K., Nicholls, K. W., and Behar, A. E.: Tidal influence on Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica: observations of surface flow and basal processes from closely-spaced GPS and passive seismic stations, J. Glaciol., 54, 715–724, 2008.
Anandakrishnan, S. and Alley, R.: Tidal forcing of basal seismicity of ice stream C, West Antarctica, observed far inland, J.Geophys. Res., 102, 15813–15196, 1997.
Anandakrishnan, S., Voigt, D. E., and Alley, R. B.: Ice stream D flow speed is strongly modulated by the tide beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30, 1361,, 2003.
Arbic, B. K., Mitrovica, J. X., MacAyeal, D. R., and Milne, G. A.: On the factors behind large Labrador Sea tides during the last glacial cycle and the potential implications for Heinrich events, Paleoceanography, 23, PA3211,, 2008.
Bindschadler, R.: The importance of pressurized subglacial water in separation and sliding at the glacier bed, J. Glaciol., 29, 3–19, 1983.
Short summary
We use a full-Stokes model to investigate the long period modulation of Rutford Ice Stream flow by the ocean tide. We find that using a nonlinear sliding law cannot fully explain the measurements and an additional mechanism, whereby tidally induced subglacial pressure variations are transmitted upstream from the grounding line, is also required to match the large amplitude and decay length scale of the observations.