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Subglacial conditions at a sticky spot along Kamb Ice Stream, West Antarctica

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 10:29 authored by Peters, LE, Anandakrishnan, S
We present the results of a seismic reflection experiment performed transverse to flow a few tens of kilometers above the main trunk of Kamb Ice Stream, West Antarctica, where we image a basal high surrounded by variable subglacial conditions. This high rises as much as 200 m above the surrounding bed, acting as a major sticking point that resists fast flow. Application of the amplitude variation with offset (AVO) seismic technique has highlighted regions of frozen sediments along our profile, suggesting that the ice stream is experiencing basal freeze-on in the region. The bedrock high appears to be at least partially draped in sediment cover, with a concentrated area of weak, dilatant till flanking one edge. This dilatant till is further dispersed along our profile, though it does not possess enough continuity to maintain streaming ice conditions. These results support the hypothesis that the ongoing shutdown of Kamb Ice Stream is due to a loss in continuous basal lubrication.


Publication title

Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World - Online Proceedings of the 10th ISAES


AK Cooper, CR Raymond




Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


U.S. Geological Survey

Place of publication

Virginia, USA

Event title

Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World

Event Venue

Santa Barbara, California

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright the authors

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)

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