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TC | Volume 12, issue 12
The Cryosphere, 12, 3853–3859, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-3853-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
The Cryosphere, 12, 3853–3859, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-3853-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Brief communication 10 Dec 2018

Brief communication | 10 Dec 2018

Brief communication: widespread potential for seawater infiltration on Antarctic ice shelves

Sue Cook et al.
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Cited articles  
Cook, A. J. and Vaughan, D. G.: Overview of areal changes of the ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula over the past 50 years, The Cryosphere, 4, 77-98, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-4-77-2010, 2010. 
Cook, S., Galton-Fenzi, B., Ligtenberg, S. R. M., and Wiltshire, K. H.: Modelled Antarctic firn depth averaged over 1979–2013 and corresponding brine zones area, PANGAEA, https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.896384, 2018. 
Cuffey, K. M. and Paterson, W. S. B.: The Physics of Glaciers, 4th edn., Elsevier, 2010. 
DiMarzio, J. P.: GLAS/ICESat 500 m Laser Altimetry Digital Elevation Model of Antarctica, Version 1, National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), Boulder, Colorado USA, https://doi.org/10.5067/K2IMI0L24BRJ (last access: 11 October 2018), 2007. 
Dubrovin, L. I.: Rassol v shel'fovom lednike Lazareva (Brine in the Lazarev Ice Shelf), Informatsionny Byulleten'Sovetkoj Antarkt. Ekspeditsii (Soviet Antarct. Exped. Inf. Bull.), 22, 15–16, 1960. 
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Short summary
When the porous compacted snow layers on an ice shelf extend below sea level, seawater is able to infiltrate onto the shelf. Here it can affect measurements of ice shelf thickness by changing the average density and affect iceberg calving if the seawater enters fractures. Seawater infiltration has only been directly observed in a few locations around Antarctica. Using continent-wide geometry and snow density data we show that it may be more widespread than previously realised.
When the porous compacted snow layers on an ice shelf extend below sea level, seawater is able...
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