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Recent ice loss from the Fleming and other glaciers, Wordie Bay, West Antarctic Peninsula

  • Author(s): Rignot, E
  • Casassa, G
  • Gogineni, S
  • Kanagaratnam, P
  • Krabill, W
  • Pritchard, H
  • Rivera, A
  • Thomas, R
  • Turner, J
  • Vaughan, D
  • et al.
Abstract

Satellite radar interferometry data from 1995 to 2004, and airborne ice thickness data from 2002, reveal that the glaciers flowing into former Wordie Ice Shelf, West Antarctic Peninsula, discharge 6.8 ± 0.3 km3/yr of ice, which is 84 ± 30 percent larger than a snow accumulation of 3.7 ± 0.8 km3/yr over a 6,300 km2drainage basin. Airborne and ICESat laser altimetry elevation data reveal glacier thinning at rates up to 2 m/yr. Fifty km from its ice front, Fleming Glacier flows 50 percent faster than it did in 1974 prior to the main collapse of Wordie Ice Shelf. We conclude that the glaciers accelerated following ice shelf removal, and have been thinning and losing mass to the ocean over the last decade. This and other observations suggest that the mass loss from the northern part of the Peninsula is not negligible at present. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.

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