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The velocity of the primary tributary glaciers of the Amery Ice Shelf, 2004-2012

The velocity of the primary tributary glaciers of the Amery Ice Shelf, 2004-2012
Mark L. Pittard

Authors

Mark L. Pittard
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 129, Hobart, Tasmania 7001
Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Private Bag 80, Hobart Tasmania 7001

Jason L. Roberts
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Australian Antarctic Division, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Private Bag 80, Hobart Tasmania 7001

Ben K. Galton-Fenzi
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Australian Antarctic Division, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Private Bag 80, Hobart Tasmania 7001

Christopher S. Watson
School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 76, Hobart, Tasmania 7001

Roland C. Warner
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Australian Antarctic Division, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Private Bag 80, Hobart Tasmania 7001

Abstract

Observations have shown that tributary glaciers can accelerate rapidly following changes in their bordering ice shelves. Monitoring these changes in the rate of ice flow into the ice shelf is vital to understand how, where and when changes are occurring in Antarctica and hence subsequently their possible impact on sea level rise. The Amery Ice Shelf (AIS) is the largest embayed ice shelf within the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. The observations of velocity change on the AIS are between 1968-1999, with a focus on the floating ice with very limited observations on the tributary glaciers. This study uses the surface feature tracking software IMCORR to measure the displacement of features on the ice surface between a sequence of visible spectrum Landsat 7 images spanning 2004 to 2012, focussing on the region bordering the Amery Ice Shelf's grounding line, and its tributary glaciers the Fisher, Mellor and Lambert Glaciers. No significant changes in velocity are observed over this period which supports the Mass-Balance and Altimetry observations that support the hypothesis of no change and relative stability in this region. Using the calculated spatially incomplete velocity fields for each year set between 2004 and 2012, a composite map of velocities is developed. The computed velocity field estimates lower velocities than comparable datasets in the literature, especially evident in the Lambert Glacier, but is consistent with the limited in situ velocity measurements derived from GPS in the region.

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This page was last modified on 24 September 2013.