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Ice-front change and iceberg behaviour along Oates and George V Coasts, Antarctica, 1912-96

Annals of Glaciology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Ice-front change may well be a sensitive indicator of regional climate change. We have studied the western Oates Coast from Cape Kinsey (158??50'E, 69??19'S) to Cape Hudson (153??45'E, 68??20'S) and the entire George V Coast, from Cape Hudson to Point Alden (142??02'E, 66??48'S). The glaciers here drain part of the Dome Charlie and Talos Dome areas (640 000 km2). A comparison between various documents, dated several years apart, has allowed an estimate of the surficial ice discharge, the ice-front fluctuation and the iceberg-calving flux during the last 50 years. The ice-front discharge of the studied coast has been estimated at about 90??12 km3 a-1 in 1989-91, 8.5 km3 a-1 for western Oates Coast and 82 km3 a-1 for George V Coast. From 1962-63 to 1973-74 the floating glaciers underwent a net reduction that continued from 1973-74 to 1989-91. On the other hand, from 1989-91 to 1996 the area of floating glaciers increased. Ninnis Glacier Tongue and the western part of Cook Ice Shelf underwent a significant retreat after 1980 and 1947, respectively. Satellite-image analysis of large icebergs has provided information about ice-ocean interaction and the existence of an 'iceberg trap' along George V Coast. A first estimate of the mass balance of the drainage basin of Mertz and Ninnis Glaciers shows a value close to zero or slightly negative.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Ice-front change and iceberg behaviour along Oates and George V Coasts, Antarctica, 1912-96
Series title Annals of Glaciology
Volume 27
Year Published 1998
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Annals of Glaciology
First page 643
Last page 650