Modelling the ocean circulation beneath the Ross Ice Shelf

David M. Holland, Stanley S. Jacobs, Adrian Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We applied a modified version of the Miami isopycnic coordinate ocean general circulation model (MICOM) to the ocean cavity beneath the Ross Ice Shelf to investigate the circulation of ocean waters in the sub-ice shelf cavity, along with the melting and freezing regimes at the base of the ice shelf. Model passive tracers are utilized to highlight the pathways of waters entering and exiting the cavity, and output is compared with data taken in the cavity and along the ice shelf front. High Salinity Shelf Water on the western Ross Sea continental shelf flows into the cavity along the sea floor and is transformed into Ice Shelf Water upon contact with the ice shelf base. Ice Shelf Water flows out of the cavity mainly around 180°, but also further east and on the western side of McMurdo Sound, as observed. Active ventilation of the region near the ice shelf front is forced by seasonal variations in the density structure of the water column to the north, driving rapid melting. Circulation in the more isolated interior is weaker, leading to melting at deeper ice and refreezing beneath shallower ice. Net melting over the whole ice shelf base is lower than other estimates, but is likely to increase as additional forcings are added to the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
JournalAntarctic Science
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2003

Fingerprint

ice shelf
ice
oceans
cavity
modeling
melting
ocean
ocean circulation
water
General Circulation Models
ventilation
freezing
general circulation model
continental shelf
water flow
East Asia
seafloor
seasonal variation
water column
tracer

Keywords

  • Antarctica
  • Isopycnic ocean model
  • Ross Sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Modelling the ocean circulation beneath the Ross Ice Shelf. / Holland, David M.; Jacobs, Stanley S.; Jenkins, Adrian.

In: Antarctic Science, Vol. 15, No. 1, 01.2003, p. 13-23.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Holland, David M. ; Jacobs, Stanley S. ; Jenkins, Adrian. / Modelling the ocean circulation beneath the Ross Ice Shelf. In: Antarctic Science. 2003 ; Vol. 15, No. 1. pp. 13-23.
@article{883388b6a9c449278f29b9098eb94e05,
title = "Modelling the ocean circulation beneath the Ross Ice Shelf",
abstract = "We applied a modified version of the Miami isopycnic coordinate ocean general circulation model (MICOM) to the ocean cavity beneath the Ross Ice Shelf to investigate the circulation of ocean waters in the sub-ice shelf cavity, along with the melting and freezing regimes at the base of the ice shelf. Model passive tracers are utilized to highlight the pathways of waters entering and exiting the cavity, and output is compared with data taken in the cavity and along the ice shelf front. High Salinity Shelf Water on the western Ross Sea continental shelf flows into the cavity along the sea floor and is transformed into Ice Shelf Water upon contact with the ice shelf base. Ice Shelf Water flows out of the cavity mainly around 180°, but also further east and on the western side of McMurdo Sound, as observed. Active ventilation of the region near the ice shelf front is forced by seasonal variations in the density structure of the water column to the north, driving rapid melting. Circulation in the more isolated interior is weaker, leading to melting at deeper ice and refreezing beneath shallower ice. Net melting over the whole ice shelf base is lower than other estimates, but is likely to increase as additional forcings are added to the model.",
keywords = "Antarctica, Isopycnic ocean model, Ross Sea",
author = "Holland, {David M.} and Jacobs, {Stanley S.} and Adrian Jenkins",
year = "2003",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1017/S0954102003001019",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "15",
pages = "13--23",
journal = "Antarctic Science",
issn = "0954-1020",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Modelling the ocean circulation beneath the Ross Ice Shelf

AU - Holland, David M.

AU - Jacobs, Stanley S.

AU - Jenkins, Adrian

PY - 2003/1

Y1 - 2003/1

N2 - We applied a modified version of the Miami isopycnic coordinate ocean general circulation model (MICOM) to the ocean cavity beneath the Ross Ice Shelf to investigate the circulation of ocean waters in the sub-ice shelf cavity, along with the melting and freezing regimes at the base of the ice shelf. Model passive tracers are utilized to highlight the pathways of waters entering and exiting the cavity, and output is compared with data taken in the cavity and along the ice shelf front. High Salinity Shelf Water on the western Ross Sea continental shelf flows into the cavity along the sea floor and is transformed into Ice Shelf Water upon contact with the ice shelf base. Ice Shelf Water flows out of the cavity mainly around 180°, but also further east and on the western side of McMurdo Sound, as observed. Active ventilation of the region near the ice shelf front is forced by seasonal variations in the density structure of the water column to the north, driving rapid melting. Circulation in the more isolated interior is weaker, leading to melting at deeper ice and refreezing beneath shallower ice. Net melting over the whole ice shelf base is lower than other estimates, but is likely to increase as additional forcings are added to the model.

AB - We applied a modified version of the Miami isopycnic coordinate ocean general circulation model (MICOM) to the ocean cavity beneath the Ross Ice Shelf to investigate the circulation of ocean waters in the sub-ice shelf cavity, along with the melting and freezing regimes at the base of the ice shelf. Model passive tracers are utilized to highlight the pathways of waters entering and exiting the cavity, and output is compared with data taken in the cavity and along the ice shelf front. High Salinity Shelf Water on the western Ross Sea continental shelf flows into the cavity along the sea floor and is transformed into Ice Shelf Water upon contact with the ice shelf base. Ice Shelf Water flows out of the cavity mainly around 180°, but also further east and on the western side of McMurdo Sound, as observed. Active ventilation of the region near the ice shelf front is forced by seasonal variations in the density structure of the water column to the north, driving rapid melting. Circulation in the more isolated interior is weaker, leading to melting at deeper ice and refreezing beneath shallower ice. Net melting over the whole ice shelf base is lower than other estimates, but is likely to increase as additional forcings are added to the model.

KW - Antarctica

KW - Isopycnic ocean model

KW - Ross Sea

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0037221294&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0037221294&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0954102003001019

DO - 10.1017/S0954102003001019

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0037221294

VL - 15

SP - 13

EP - 23

JO - Antarctic Science

JF - Antarctic Science

SN - 0954-1020

IS - 1

ER -