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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hard rock landforms generate 130 km ice shelf channels through water focusing in basal corrugations.

  • Author(s): Jeofry, Hafeez
  • Ross, Neil
  • Le Brocq, Anne
  • Graham, Alastair GC
  • Li, Jilu
  • Gogineni, Prasad
  • Morlighem, Mathieu
  • Jordan, Thomas
  • Siegert, Martin J
  • et al.

Satellite imagery reveals flowstripes on Foundation Ice Stream parallel to ice flow, and meandering features on the ice-shelf that cross-cut ice flow and are thought to be formed by water exiting a well-organised subglacial system. Here, ice-penetrating radar data show flow-parallel hard-bed landforms beneath the grounded ice, and channels incised upwards into the ice shelf beneath meandering surface channels. As the ice transitions to flotation, the ice shelf incorporates a corrugation resulting from the landforms. Radar reveals the presence of subglacial water alongside the landforms, indicating a well-organised drainage system in which water exits the ice sheet as a point source, mixes with cavity water and incises upwards into a corrugation peak, accentuating the corrugation downstream. Hard-bedded landforms influence both subglacial hydrology and ice-shelf structure and, as they are known to be widespread on formerly glaciated terrain, their influence on the ice-sheet-shelf transition could be more widespread than thought previously.

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