Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Assessment of historical changes (1959-2012) and the causes of recent break-ups of the Petersen ice shelf, Nunavut, Canada

  • Adrienne White (a1), Luke Copland (a1), Derek Mueller (a2) and Wesley Van Wychen (a1)

Abstract

Aerial photography and satellite imagery of the Petersen ice shelf, Nunavut, Canada, from 1959 to 2012 show that it was stable until June 2005, after which a series of major calving events in the summers of 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2012 resulted in the loss of ∼61% of the June 2005 ice-shelf area. This recent series of calving events was initiated by the loss of extensive regions of ˃50-year-old multi-year landfast sea ice from the front of the ice shelf in summer 2005. Each subsequent calving event has been preceded by open-water conditions and resulting loss of pack-ice pressure across the front of the ice shelf, and most occurred during record warm summers. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) ice thickness measurements and RADARSAT-2 derived observations of surface motion indicate that tributary glaciers provided total ice input of 1.19-5.65 Mta–1 to the ice shelf from 2011 to 2012, far below the mean surface loss rate of 28.45 Mta–1. With recent losses due to calving and little evidence for current basal freeze-on, this suggests that the Petersen ice shelf will no longer exist by the 2040s, or sooner if further major calving events occur.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Assessment of historical changes (1959-2012) and the causes of recent break-ups of the Petersen ice shelf, Nunavut, Canada
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Assessment of historical changes (1959-2012) and the causes of recent break-ups of the Petersen ice shelf, Nunavut, Canada
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Assessment of historical changes (1959-2012) and the causes of recent break-ups of the Petersen ice shelf, Nunavut, Canada
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Antoniades, D, Francus, P, Pienitz, R, St-Onge, G and Vincent, WF (2011) Holocene dynamics of the Arctic’s largest ice shelf. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA (PNAS), 108(47), 18899–18904 (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1106378108)
ArcGIS (2009) ArcGIS Spatial Analyst: IDW . ArcGIS Desktop Help
Bogorodsky, VV Bentley, CR and Gudmandsen, PE (1985) Radio-glaciology.. D. Reidel, Dordrecht
Braun, C, Hardy, DR Bradley, RS and Sahanatien, V (2004) Surface mass balance of the Ward Hunt Ice Rise and Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. J. Geophys. Res., 109(D22), (D22110) (doi: 1029/2004JD004560)
Canadian Ice Service (CIS) (2005) Manual of Standard Procedures for Observing and Reporting Ice Conditions (MANICE). revised 9th edn. Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Ont.
Copland, L (2009) Review of recent changes in Canadian ice shelves. (Environment Canada contract KM149-08-2113) University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont.
Copland, L, Mueller, DR and Weir, L (2007) Rapid loss of the Ayles Ice Shelf, Ellesmere Island, Canada. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34(21), (L21501) (doi: 10.1029/2007GL031809)
Dowdeswell, JA (in press) Eurasian Arctic ice shelves and tidewater glacier margins. In Copland L and Mueller DR eds. Arctic ice shelves and ice islands. Springer, Dordrecht
Dowdeswell, JA and Jeffries, MO (in press) Arctic ice shelves and ice islands: an introduction. In Copland L and Mueller DR eds. Arctic ice shelves and ice islands. Springer, Dordrecht
England, JH Lakeman, TR Lemmen, DS Bednarski, JM Stewart, TG and Evans, DJA (2008) A millennial-scale record of Arctic Ocean sea ice variability and the demise of the Ellesmere Island ice shelves. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36(19), (L19502) (doi: 10.1029/ 2008GL034470)
Hattersley-Smith, G (1957) The rolls on the Ellesmere ice shelf. Arctic, 10(1), 3244
Hattersley-Smith, G, Crary, AP and Christie, RL (1955) Northern Ellesmere Island, 1953 and 1954. Arctic, 8(1), 336
Hattersley-Smith, G, Fuzesy, A and Evans, S (1969) Glacier depths in northern Ellesmere Island: airborne radio echo sounding in 1966.. (Operation Tanquary Report Geophysics Hazen 36) Defence Research Board, Department of National Defence, Ottawa, Ont.
Jeffries, M (1982) The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, spring 1982. Arctic, 35(4), 542544
Jeffries, MO (1987) The growth, structure and disintegration of Arctic ice shelves. Polar Rec., 23(147), 631649 (doi: 10.1017/ S0032247400008342)
Jeffries, MO (1992) Arctic ice shelves and ice islands: origin, growth and disintegration, physical characteristics, structural-stratigraphic variability, and dynamics. Rev. Geophys., 30(3), 245267
Jeffries, MO and Serson, H (1983) Recent changes at the front of Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, Ellesmere Island, N.W.T. Arctic, 36(3), 289290
Jeffries, MO Sackinger, WM Krouse, HR and Serson, HV (1988) Water circulation and ice accretion beneath Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (northern Ellesmere Island, Canada), deduced from salinity and isotope analysis of ice cores. Ann. Glaciol., 10, 6872
Kalnay, E and 21 others (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 77(3), 437471 (doi: 10.1175/ 1520-0477(1996)077˂0437.TNYRP˃2.0.CO;2)
Kealey, C, Mueller, D and Copland, L (2011) Canadian ice shelves breaking up at high speed. 27 September http://newsroom. carleton.ca/2011/09/27/canadian-ice-shelves-breaking-up-at-high-speed
Koenig, LS Greenaway, KR Dunbar, M and Hattersley-Smith, G (1952) Arctic ice islands. Arctic, 5(2), 67103
Lesins, G, Duck, TJ and Drummond, JR (2010) Climate trends at Eureka in the Canadian High Arctic. Atmos.–Ocean, 48(2), 5980 (doi: 10.3137/AO1103.2010)
Lyons, JB Savin, SM and Tamburi, AJ (1971) Basement ice, Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, Ellesmere Island, Canada. J. Glaciol., 10(58), 93100
Mortimer, CA Copland, L and Mueller, DR (2012) Volume and area changes of the Milne Ice Shelf, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada, since 1950. J. Geophys. Res., 117(F4), (F04011) (doi: 10.1029/2011JF002074)
Mueller, DR Vincent, WF and Jeffries, MO (2003) Break-up of the largest Arctic ice shelf and associated loss of an epishelf lake. Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(20), (2031) (doi: 10.1029/2003GL017931)
Mueller, DR Vincent, WF and Jeffries, MO (2006) Environmental gradients, fragmented habitats, and microbiota of a northern ice shelf cryoecosystem, Ellesmere Island, Canada. Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res., 38(4), 593607 (doi: 10.1657/1523-0430 (2006)38[593.EGFHAM]2.0.CO;2)
Mueller, DR Copland, L, Hamilton, A and Stern, D (2008) Examining Arctic ice shelves prior to the 2008 breakup. Eos, 89(49), 502503 (doi: 10.1029/2008EO490002)
Narod, BB Clarke, GKC and Prager, BT (1988) Airborne UHF radar sounding of glaciers and ice shelves, northern Ellesmere Island, Arctic Canada. Can. J. Earth Sci., 25(1), 95105
National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) (2011)Arctic sea ice continues decline, reaches second-lowest level. NSIDC Notes, 77, 1 and 6 http://nsidc.org/pubs/notes/77/Notes_77_web.pdf
Paterson, WSB (1994) The physics of glaciers. 3rd edn. Elsevier, Oxford
Pope, S, Copland, L and Mueller, D (2012) Loss of multiyear landfast sea ice from Yelverton Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res., 44(2), 210221 (doi: 10.1657/19384246-44.2.210)
Prager, BT (1983) Digital signal processing of UHF radio echo sounding data from northern Ellesmere Island. (MSc thesis, University of British Columbia)
Sensors & Software (2003) EKKO_View Enhanced & EKKO_View Deluxe user’s guide.. Sensors & Software Inc., Mississauga, Ont.
Serreze, MC Holland, MM and Stroeve, J (2007) Perspectives on the Arctic’s shrinking sea-ice cover. Science, 315(5818), 15331536 (doi: 10.1126/science.1139426)
Short, NH and Gray, AL (2005) Glacier dynamics in the Canadian High Arctic from RADARSAT-1 speckle tracking. Can. J. Remote Sens., 31(3), 225239 (doi: 10.5589/m05-010)
Tsai, VC and McNamara, DE (2011) Quantifying the influence of sea ice on ocean microseism using observations from the Bering Sea, Alaska. Geophys. Res. Lett., 38(22), (L22502) (doi: 10.1029/ 2011GL049791)
Van Wychen, W Copland, L, Gray, L, Burgess, D, Danielson, B and Sharp, M (2012) Spatial and temporal variation of ice motion and ice flux from Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada. J. Glaciol., 58(210), 657664 (doi: 10.3189/2012JoG11J164)
Vincent, WF Gibson, JAE and Jeffries, MO (2001) Ice-shelf collapse, climate change, and habitat loss in the Canadian high Arctic. Polar Rec., 37(201), 133142 (doi: 10.1017/ S0032247400026954)
Wang, M and Overland, JE (2009) A sea-ice free summer Arctic within 30 years. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36(7), (L07502) (doi: 110.1029/2009GL037820)
White, A (2012) Dynamics and historical changes of the Petersen Ice Shelf and epishelf lake, Nunavut, Canada, since 1959. (MSc thesis, University of Ottawa)
Williams, M and Dowdeswell, JA (2001) Historical fluctuations of the Matusevich Ice Shelf, Severnaya Zemlya, Russian High Arctic. Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res., 33(2), 211222
Zhang, J, Lindsay, R, Schweiger, A and Steele, M (2013) The impact of an intense summer cyclone on 2012 Arctic sea ice retreat. Geophys. Res. Lett., 40(4), 720726 (doi: 10.1002/grl.50190)

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed