Subglacial bathymetry and sediment layer distribution beneath the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica, modeled using aerogravity and autonomous underwater vehicle data

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Abstract

Pine Island Glacier (PIG), West Antarctica, has been experiencing acceleration in its flow speed and mass loss for nearly two decades, driven in part by an increase in the delivery of relatively warm Circumpolar DeepWater (CDW). However, at present, the configuration of the sub-ice-shelf cavity and bed conditions beneath the PIG ice shelf that dictate such oceanic influences remain poorly understood. Here, we use aerogravity data and ocean bottom depths measured by an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to model the bathymetry and sediment layer thickness beneath the PIG ice shelf. Results reveal that the deep basins, previously found by AUVon both landward and seaward sides of a submarine ridge, extend substantially to the north and south. The water column thickness of the basins reaches 400-550m on the landward side of the ridge and 500-600m on the seaward side. The sediment layer covers the whole expanse of the seabed beneath the ice shelf, and the thickness is in the range 200-1000 m. The thinnest sediments (<200 m) are found on the seaward slope of the submarine ridge, suggesting that erosion by advancing ice may have been concentrated in the lee of the topographic high.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Glaciology
Volume54
Issue number64
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

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autonomous underwater vehicle
ice shelf
bathymetry
glacier
submarine ridge
sediment
basin
cavity
seafloor
water column
erosion
ice
Antarctica
distribution

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

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title = "Subglacial bathymetry and sediment layer distribution beneath the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica, modeled using aerogravity and autonomous underwater vehicle data",
abstract = "Pine Island Glacier (PIG), West Antarctica, has been experiencing acceleration in its flow speed and mass loss for nearly two decades, driven in part by an increase in the delivery of relatively warm Circumpolar DeepWater (CDW). However, at present, the configuration of the sub-ice-shelf cavity and bed conditions beneath the PIG ice shelf that dictate such oceanic influences remain poorly understood. Here, we use aerogravity data and ocean bottom depths measured by an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to model the bathymetry and sediment layer thickness beneath the PIG ice shelf. Results reveal that the deep basins, previously found by AUVon both landward and seaward sides of a submarine ridge, extend substantially to the north and south. The water column thickness of the basins reaches 400-550m on the landward side of the ridge and 500-600m on the seaward side. The sediment layer covers the whole expanse of the seabed beneath the ice shelf, and the thickness is in the range 200-1000 m. The thinnest sediments (<200 m) are found on the seaward slope of the submarine ridge, suggesting that erosion by advancing ice may have been concentrated in the lee of the topographic high.",
author = "Atsuhiro Muto and Sridhar Anandakrishnan and Alley, {Richard B.}",
year = "2013",
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T1 - Subglacial bathymetry and sediment layer distribution beneath the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica, modeled using aerogravity and autonomous underwater vehicle data

AU - Muto, Atsuhiro

AU - Anandakrishnan, Sridhar

AU - Alley, Richard B.

PY - 2013/9/1

Y1 - 2013/9/1

N2 - Pine Island Glacier (PIG), West Antarctica, has been experiencing acceleration in its flow speed and mass loss for nearly two decades, driven in part by an increase in the delivery of relatively warm Circumpolar DeepWater (CDW). However, at present, the configuration of the sub-ice-shelf cavity and bed conditions beneath the PIG ice shelf that dictate such oceanic influences remain poorly understood. Here, we use aerogravity data and ocean bottom depths measured by an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to model the bathymetry and sediment layer thickness beneath the PIG ice shelf. Results reveal that the deep basins, previously found by AUVon both landward and seaward sides of a submarine ridge, extend substantially to the north and south. The water column thickness of the basins reaches 400-550m on the landward side of the ridge and 500-600m on the seaward side. The sediment layer covers the whole expanse of the seabed beneath the ice shelf, and the thickness is in the range 200-1000 m. The thinnest sediments (<200 m) are found on the seaward slope of the submarine ridge, suggesting that erosion by advancing ice may have been concentrated in the lee of the topographic high.

AB - Pine Island Glacier (PIG), West Antarctica, has been experiencing acceleration in its flow speed and mass loss for nearly two decades, driven in part by an increase in the delivery of relatively warm Circumpolar DeepWater (CDW). However, at present, the configuration of the sub-ice-shelf cavity and bed conditions beneath the PIG ice shelf that dictate such oceanic influences remain poorly understood. Here, we use aerogravity data and ocean bottom depths measured by an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to model the bathymetry and sediment layer thickness beneath the PIG ice shelf. Results reveal that the deep basins, previously found by AUVon both landward and seaward sides of a submarine ridge, extend substantially to the north and south. The water column thickness of the basins reaches 400-550m on the landward side of the ridge and 500-600m on the seaward side. The sediment layer covers the whole expanse of the seabed beneath the ice shelf, and the thickness is in the range 200-1000 m. The thinnest sediments (<200 m) are found on the seaward slope of the submarine ridge, suggesting that erosion by advancing ice may have been concentrated in the lee of the topographic high.

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