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Response of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, to ocean gravity-wave forcing

  • Peter D. Bromirski (a1) and Ralph A. Stephen (a2)

Comparison of the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS, Antarctica) response at near-front seismic station RIS2 with seismometer data collected on tabular iceberg B15A and with land-based seismic stations at Scott Base on Ross Island (SBA) and near Lake Vanda in the Dry Valleys (VNDA) allows identification of RIS-specific signals resulting from gravity-wave forcing that includes meteorologically driven wind waves and swell, infragravity (IG) waves and tsunami waves. The vibration response of the RIS varies with season and with the frequency and amplitude of the gravity-wave forcing. The response of the RIS to IG wave and swell impacts is much greater than that observed at SBA and VNDA. A spectral peak at near-ice-front seismic station RIS2 centered near 0.5 Hz, which persists during April when swell is damped by sea ice, may be a dominant resonance or eigenfrequency of the RIS. High-amplitude swell events excite relatively broadband signals that are likely fracture events (icequakes). Changes in coherence between the vertical and horizontal sensors in the 8–12 Hz band from February to April, combined with the appearance of a spectral peak near 10 Hz in April when sea ice damps swell, suggest that lower (higher) temperatures during austral winter (summer) months affect signal propagation characteristics and hence mechanical properties of the RIS.

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Annals of Glaciology
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