Processes Controlling Iceberg Calving Rates Around Antarctic Margins
In addition to the three major ice shelves (the Amery, Ronne-Filchner and Ross Ice Shelves) Antarctica is fringed with hundreds of smaller ice shelves. Though individually small in spatial scale, the sum total of these smaller outlet glaciers accounts for a significant portion of total Antarctic ice discharge. Eleri’s project will investigate the calving regime of the Sørsdal Glacier, a small ice shelf in East Antarctica. Analysis of remote sensing data in combination with in situ measurements will be used to identify the main drivers of iceberg calving on the Sørsdal Glacier. Quantifying the calving flux for this glacier will then allow estimation of ice loss from this ice shelf to the ocean. Numerical model inversion analysis will use velocity estimates plus ice shelf geometry observations to identify fracture zones within the ice shelf. This inversion analysis will also allow assessment of the applicability of using various calving laws on the Sørsdal Glacier. This baseline study of ice shelf calving dynamics will allow identification of changes outside of the natural variability of iceberg production that may occur as a result of projected changes in the surrounding environment.