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Antarctic iceberg distribution and dissolution from ship-based observations
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 21:07 authored by Jacka, TH, Alan Giles
The Australian Antarctic Program's iceberg dataset (from ship-based observations), including information from the austral summer seasons 1984/85 to 1999/2000, is examined and used to extend earlier studies. Using 'snapshots' of the iceberg population to provide an idea of the iceberg life cycle, the distribution of icebergs between 60 and 150Â° E is discussed in terms of calving regions and ocean currents. Temporal changes are also examined. The discussion leads us to the point where we can define an area, bounded to the north by the maximum sea-ice limit and to the south by the Antarctic Divergence, in which icebergs are confined as they drift eastward. This allows estimation of total dissolution, in terms of iceberg numbers and volume, within 10Â° longitudinal sectors and, with knowledge of drift speeds, iceberg movement rates and freshwater input across the sector. Iceberg dissolution rates are found to be âˆ¼0.03-0.05 m d-1 and the total mass contribution of fresh water to the ocean as the icebergs traverse our 30Â° of longitude study sector is âˆ¼32 Gt. This amounts to a contribution equivalent to precipitation of âˆ¼15.5cma-1, accounting for âˆ¼2% of the total iceberg discharge from the Antarctic ice sheet.
Publication titleJournal of Glaciology
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
PublisherInternational Glaciological Society
Place of publicationCambridge, England