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Ice dolines in East Antarctica ice-ocean interactions from surface melt water drainage events
Stefan W. Vogel

Authors

Stefan W. Vogel
Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, TAS, 7050, Australia
Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem CRC, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, 7000, Australia

Alex D. Fraser
Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem CRC, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, 7000, Australia

Petra Heil
Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, TAS, 7050, Australia
Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem CRC, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, 7000, Australia

Ben Galton-Fenzi
Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, TAS, 7050, Australia
Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem CRC, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, 7000, Australia

David Alexander
School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, 4072, Australia

Abstract

Surface melting and melt water streams are common features on outlet glaciers along the East Antarctic coast during summer. A big questions about surface melting in Antarctica is what happens to the melt water? With Antarctic winters being long and cold, most melt water refreezes in the snowpack with little to no impact on the overall mass balance of the ice sheet. One mechanism for surface melt water to reach the ocean and mass being lost from the ice sheet is drainage through ice shelves. Ice dolines are longitudinal surface depression, which are believed to be remains of melt water lakes which drained through the ice. Dolines are reported from various parts of Antarctica and pose a mechanism through which significant amounts of freshwater may reach the ocean beneath ice shelves with potential impact on the sea-ice environment, Antarctic bottom water formation and ocean circulation in general.

Here we revisit the topic of surface melt water drainage and report on the evolution of Amery Ice Shelf Dolines and a very recent doline drainage event on the Mawson Coast. Satellite observations indicate that dolines may be a standing feature, which reforms as the original feature moves with the flow of ice. In addition to the lake drainage events both features (Amery and Mawson coast) are at the receiving end of larger melt water catchment areas and bear the potential that significant amounts of surface melt water drains each year through hidden openings at the bottom of the partially snow covered dolines.

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Key dates

  • 11th June 2013
    Registrations close
  • 21st June 2013
    Registrations at the AAD open for staff
  • 24th June 2013
    Registrations at the venue open
  • 24th June 2013
    Conference commences
  • 26th June 2013
    Conference concludes

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This page was last modified on 23 September 2013.