Reduction or loss of a restraining ice shelf will cause speed-up of flow from contiguous ice streams, contributing to sea-level rise, with greater changes from ice streams that are wider, have stickier beds, or have higher driving stress. Loss of buttressing offsetting half of the tendency for ice-stream/ice-shelf spreading for an ice stream similar to Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica is modeled to contribute at least 1 mm of sea-level rise over a few decades. These results come from a new, simple model that includes relevant stresses in a boundary-layer formulation, and allows rapid estimation of ice-shelf impacts for a wide range of configurations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)