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The changing extent of the glaciers along the western Ross Sea, Antarctica

Andrew G. Fountain, Bryce Glenn and Ted A. Scambos
The changing extent of the glaciers along the western Ross Sea, Antarctica
Geology (Boulder) (October 2017) 45 (10): 927-930


We examine the change in terminus positions of glaciers flowing into the western Ross Sea, Antarctica, between 71 degrees S and 78 degrees S as a proxy for changes in snowfall and/or summer air temperature. This coastline's major glaciers terminate in ice tongues, which are particularly sensitive to changes in flow rate and calving. Using historic maps and satellite imagery spanning 60 yr (A.D. 1955-2015), the terminus positions, ice speed, calving rates, and ice front advance and retreat rates for 34 glaciers are documented. Additionally, changes in regional ice flow speed from 2008 to 2014 are examined. No significant spatial or temporal patterns of terminus position, flow speed, or calving emerged, implying that the conditions associated with ice tongue stability are unchanged. A weak trend of advance may be present in the northernmost part of the coast, consistent with estimates of increased snow accumulation and glacier mass balance in that region. The stability of these glaciers over the past half century contrasts sharply with the rapidly shrinking glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula and suggests that no significant climate change, as manifest in glacier change, has reached this region of Antarctica.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 45
Serial Issue: 10
Title: The changing extent of the glaciers along the western Ross Sea, Antarctica
Affiliation: Portland State University, Department of Geology, Portland, OR, United States
Pages: 927-930
Published: 201710
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 41
Accession Number: 2018-024398
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2017310
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
S78°00'00" - S71°00'00", E150°00'00" - E170°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Colorado, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 201806
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