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Recent iceberg calving events in the Ninnis Glacier region, East Antarctica
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 16:56 authored by Robert MassomRobert Massom
This paper describes a major calving of the Ninnis Glacier tongue in January 2000. This event, which took 10 years to complete, produced a major change in the George V Land coastline and a large iceberg (âˆ¼800 km2). By grounding or becoming "locked in" by fast ice, bergs produced locally and drifting in from afar reside for long periods (10-20 years) in the region âˆ¼146 to 154Â°E to have a profound impact on sea ice distribution, both locally and 100s of kilometres up- and downstream. They are responsible for the formation of a lens of thick perennial ice to the east (âˆ¼14 000 km2 in area), and polynyas. Iceberg movement is sporadic, with intermittent ungroundings of large bergs occurring every 5-13 years. "Escaping" bergs have a temporary impact on the Mertz Glacier polynya to the west. Although public attention focuses on vast bergs, assemblages of small bergs appear to be equally important in terms of their impact on regional fast and pack ice distribution. Possible global change scenarios are discussed. The need for field observations and improved bathymetric and oceanographic data is emphasized.
Publication titleAntarctic Science
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place of publicationU.K.