Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Pattern of retreat and disintegration of the Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

  • Wolfgang Rack (a1) and Helmut Rott (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

The retreat of the Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, and the collapse of its northern section are analyzed using satellite images acquired between January 1995 and May 2003. Over 1 week during March 2002, after a period of steady retreat since 1995, 2300 km2 of the ice shelf broke up into many small icebergs. This rapid collapse occurred at the end of an exceptionally warm summer, and after a multi-year period of decreasing surface net mass balance, ice thinning, flow acceleration and widening of rifts. The ice-shelf area decreased from 11 512 km2 in January 1995 to 3463 km2 in March 2002, and 2667 km2 in April 2003. ERS synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images were used to identify ice-shelf zones with different surface morphology, which generated icebergs of different sizes and shapes. The pattern of retreat and break-up, similar to that of Larsen A in 1995, suggests that fracturing enhanced by abundant surface melt played a key role. In addition, the recent changes of grounded and residual floating ice north of Larsen B are analyzed by means of Envisat advanced synthetic aperture radar (ASAR) images up to summer 2003, showing significant loss of grounded ice upstream of those ice-shelf sections which disintegrated in 1995 and 2002.

  • 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.

      Pattern of retreat and disintegration of the Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula
      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 Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Pattern of retreat and disintegration of the Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula
      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 Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Pattern of retreat and disintegration of the Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
De Angelis H. and Skvarca P.. 2003. Glacier surge after ice shelf collapse. Science, 299(5612), 15601562.
Doake C.S. M. and Vaughan D.G.. 1991. Rapid disintegration of the Wordie Ice Shelf in response to atmospheric warming. Nature, 350(6316), 328330.
Doake C. S. M.,Corr H.F.J., Rott H., Skvarca P. and Young N.W.. 1998. Breakup and conditions for stability of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Nature, 391(6669), 778780.
Domack E.W., Duran D., McMullen K., Gilbert R. and Leventer A.. 2002. Sediment lithofacies from beneath the Larsen B Ice Shelf: can we detect ice shelf fluctuations? Eos 83(F301).
Fahnestock M.A., Abdalati W. and Shuman C.A.. (2002) Long melt seasons on ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula: an analysis using satellite-based microwave emission measurement. Ann. Glaciol., 3(4), 4127
Joughin I.R., Kwok R. and Fahnestock M.A.. 1998. Interferometric estimation of three-dimensional ice-flow using ascending and descending passes. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing GE-36(1), 2537.
King J.C. 1994. Recent climate variability in the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula. Int. J. Climatol., 14(4), 357369.
Lucchitta B.K. and Rosanova C.E.. (1998) Retreat of northern margins of George VI and Wilkins Ice Shelves, Antarctic Peninsul. Ann. Glaciol., 2(7), 741
Rack W. 2000. Dynamic behaviour and disintegration of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula. (Ph.D. thesis, University of Innsbruck.)
Rack W., Doake C.S.M., Rott H., Siegel A. and Skvarca P.. (2000) Interferometric analysis of the deformation pattern of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, compared to field measurements and numerical modelin. Ann. Glaciol., 3(1), 1205
Rott H., Skvarca P. and Nagler T.. 1996. Rapid collapse of northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Science, 271(5250), 788792.
Rott H., Rack W., Nagler T. and Skvarca P.. (1998) Climatically induced retreat and collapse of northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsul. Ann. Glaciol., 2(7), 786
Rott H., Rack W., Skvarca P. and De Angelis H.. (2002) Northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica: further retreat after collaps. Ann. Glaciol., 3(4), 4277
Scambos T.A., Hulbe C., Fahnestock M. and Bohlander J.. 2000. The link between climate warming and break-up of ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula. J. Glaciol., 46(154), 516530.
Skvarca P. (1993) Fast recession of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf monitored by space image. Ann. Glaciol., 1(7), 7317
Skvarca P., Rack W., Rott H. and Ibarzabal T. Donangelo y. (1998) Evidence of recent climatic warming on the eastern Antarctic Peninsul. Ann. Glaciol., 2(7), 7628
Skvarca P., Rack W. and Rott H.. (1999) 34 year satellite time series to monitor characteristics, extent and dynamics of Larsen B Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsul. Ann. Glaciol., 2(9), 9255
Van der Veen C. J. 1996. Tidewater calving. J. Glaciol., 42(141), 375385.
Vaughan D.G. and Doake C.S.M.. 1996. Recent atmospheric warming and retreat of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula. Nature, 379(6563), 328331.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Annals of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0260-3055
  • EISSN: 1727-5644
  • URL: /core/journals/annals-of-glaciology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 10 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 26 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 14th September 2017 - 18th December 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.