Novel monitoring of Antarctic ice shelf basal melting using a fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing mooring

Scott Kobs, David M. Holland, Victor Zagorodnov, Alon Stern, Scott W. Tyler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Measuring basal melting of ice shelves is challenging and represents a critical component toward understanding ocean-ice interactions and climate change. In November 2011, moorings containing fiber-optic cables for distributed temperature sensing (DTS) were installed through the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica, (~200 m) and extending ~600 m into the ice shelf cavity. The high spatial resolution of DTS allows for transient monitoring of the thermal gradient within the ice shelf. The gradient near the ice-ocean interface is extrapolated to the in situ freezing temperature in order to continuously track the ice-ocean interface. Seasonal melt rates are calculated to be ~1.0 mm d-1 and 8.6 mm d-1, and maximum melting corresponds to the arrival of seasonal warm surface water in the ice shelf cavity between January and April. The development of continuous, surface-based techniques for measuring basal melting represents a significant advance in monitoring ice shelf stability and ice-ocean interactions. Key Points Antarctic fiber-optic moorings for distributed temperature sensingObservations of basal melting at the ice-ocean interfaceMeasurement of seasonal basal melting from distributed temperature sensing moorings

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6779-6786
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume41
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 16 2014

Fingerprint

basal melting
land ice
mooring
fiber optics
ice shelf
melting
oceans
ice
ice-ocean interaction
monitoring
temperature
cavity
ocean
gradients
cavities
climate change
Antarctic regions
surface water
warm water
cable

Keywords

  • Antarctic
  • basal melting
  • distributed temperature sensing
  • glaciology
  • ice shelves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Novel monitoring of Antarctic ice shelf basal melting using a fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing mooring. / Kobs, Scott; Holland, David M.; Zagorodnov, Victor; Stern, Alon; Tyler, Scott W.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 41, No. 19, 16.10.2014, p. 6779-6786.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kobs, Scott ; Holland, David M. ; Zagorodnov, Victor ; Stern, Alon ; Tyler, Scott W. / Novel monitoring of Antarctic ice shelf basal melting using a fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing mooring. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2014 ; Vol. 41, No. 19. pp. 6779-6786.
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