Sensitivity of melting, freezing and marine ice beneath Larsen C Ice Shelf to changes in ocean forcing

Harrison, Lianne C., Holland, Paul R., Heywood, Karen J. ORCID:, Nicholls, Keith W. and Brisbourne, Alex M. (2022) Sensitivity of melting, freezing and marine ice beneath Larsen C Ice Shelf to changes in ocean forcing. Geophysical Research Letters, 49 (4). ISSN 0094-8276

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Observations of surface lowering on Larsen C Ice Shelf (LCIS), Antarctica, have prompted concern about its stability. In this study, an ocean model is used to investigate the extent to which changes in ocean forcing may have influenced ice loss and the distribution of stabilizing marine ice beneath LCIS. The model uses a new bathymetry, containing a southern seabed trough discovered using seismic observations. The modeled extent of marine ice, thought to stabilize LCIS, is in good agreement with observations. Experiments applying idealized ocean warming yield an increase in melting over the southern trough. This is inconsistent with lowering observed in northern LCIS, suggesting oceanic forcing is not responsible for that signal. The marine ice extent and thickness reduces significantly under ocean warming, implying a high sensitivity of LCIS stability to changes in ocean forcing. This result could have wide implications for other cold-water ice shelves around Antarctica.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The model output underlying the figures and calculations in this paper is available through the UK Polar Data Centre (
Uncontrolled Keywords: ice shelf-ocean interactions,larsen c ice shelf,marine ice,model validation,ocean warming experiments,geophysics,earth and planetary sciences(all),sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1908
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2022 11:30
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 11:33
DOI: 10.1029/2021GL096914


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