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Pan-ice-sheet glacier terminus change in East Antarctica reveals sensitivity of Wilkes Land to sea-ice changes
Miles, B.W.; Stokes, C.R.; Jamieson, S.S.R. (2016). Pan-ice-sheet glacier terminus change in East Antarctica reveals sensitivity of Wilkes Land to sea-ice changes. Science Advances 2(5): e1501350. hdl.handle.net/10.1126/sciadv.1501350
In: Science Advances. AAAS: New York. ISSN 2375-2548, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
Author keywords
    East Antarctic Ice Sheet,

Authors  Top 
  • Miles, B.W.
  • Stokes, C.R.
  • Jamieson, S.S.R.

Abstract
    The dynamics of ocean-terminating outlet glaciers are an important component of ice-sheet mass balance. Using satellite imagery for the past 40 years, we compile an approximately decadal record of outlet-glacier terminus position change around the entire East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) marine margin. We find that most outlet glaciers retreated during the period 1974–1990, before switching to advance in every drainage basin during the two most recent periods, 1990–2000 and 2000–2012. The only exception to this trend was in Wilkes Land, where the majority of glaciers (74%) retreated between 2000 and 2012. We hypothesize that this anomalous retreat is linked to a reduction in sea ice and associated impacts on ocean stratification, which increases the incursion of warm deep water toward glacier termini. Because Wilkes Land overlies a large marine basin, it raises the possibility of a future sea level contribution from this sector of East Antarctica.

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