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The influence of tides on melting and freezing beneath Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, and Antarctic Bottom Water production

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An isopycnic coordinate ocean circulation model is used to investigate the role of tides in the ocean cavity beneath Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, focusing on sub-ice shelf melting and freezing, and ocean circulation. The model, when forced with tides, reproduces reasonably well the spatial pattern and magnitude of basal melting and freezing, and outflow of ISW . Also, the internal recirculation within the sub ice shelf cavity intensifies significantly, increasing melting 3-fold and refreezing 6-fold, while the net melt rate and seawater flux through the cavity, approximately double. The average melt in the tidally driven model is 23 cm a-1, close to satellite base observations and at the lower end of the oceanographic estimates, while the ice shelf water outflow of 600,000 m3 s-1, mixes with shelf waters forming a cold, dense overflow that spills down the continental slope, contributing to deep water formation. For the first time, these results demonstrate that tidal forcing plays a key role in ice shelf-ocean interactions and deep water formation in the southern Weddell Sea.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey series.

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