University of Cambridge > > British Antarctic Survey - Polar Oceans seminar series > The effect of landfast sea ice buttressing on the glaciers of the Larsen B Embayment

The effect of landfast sea ice buttressing on the glaciers of the Larsen B Embayment

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Birgit Rogalla.

In January 2022 the landfast sea ice that had been present in the Larsen-B Embayment for the previous 11 years disintegrated. Major changes to the dynamic and calving behaviour of the largest ocean-terminating glaciers in the region quickly followed including the speed up of Hektoria, Green, and Crane glaciers by approximately 20%–50% between February and the end of 2022, following a decade of gradual slow-down. Circumstantially, this is attributable to their transition into tidewater glaciers following the loss of their ice shelves after the landfast sea ice evacuation. However, a question remains as to whether the landfast sea ice could have had a direct influence on the dynamics of these glaciers, or the stability of their ice shelves, through a buttressing effect akin to that of confined ice shelves on grounded ice streams. Using a mixture of remote sensing observations and diagnostic modelling, we explore this possibility and conclude that sea ice likely exerts its influence through other mechanisms.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey - Polar Oceans seminar series series.

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