University of Cambridge > > British Antarctic Survey - Polar Oceans seminar series > Modelling cross-shelf heat transport along the West Antarctic Peninsula

Modelling cross-shelf heat transport along the West Antarctic Peninsula

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The flux of warm deep water onto the Antarctic continental shelf plays a vital role in determining water mass properties on the shelf, as well as heat availability to melt ice shelves. Two regional models, with differing grid resolution, have been used to simulate ocean processes along the West Antarctic Peninsula, as well as ice-ocean interactions. At both 4 km and 1.5 km resolution, the model is able to reproduce locations of cross-shelf transfer. However, at 1.5 km resolution, there is a greater on-shore heat flux. This simulation then provides improved representation of heat content on the shelf, consistent with observations from the region. Mechanisms for on-shelf heat transport will be discussed, as well as causes of spatial and temporal variability. Ice shelves within the model experience interannual variability in basal melt rates. The variability in melt rates is compared with on-shelf heat transport, showing that both deep water transport and surface forcing must influence melt rates in the region.

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

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