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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
The Cryosphere, 9, 1223-1227, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-1223-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Brief communication
15 Jun 2015
Brief Communication: Newly developing rift in Larsen C Ice Shelf presents significant risk to stability
D. Jansen1, A. J. Luckman2, A. Cook2, S. Bevan2, B. Kulessa2, B. Hubbard3, and P. R. Holland4 1Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany
2Department of Geography, College of Science, Swansea University, Swansea, UK
3Centre for Glaciology, Institute for Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK
4British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Cambridge, UK
Abstract. An established rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, formerly constrained by a suture zone containing marine ice, grew rapidly during 2014 and is likely in the near future to generate the largest calving event since the 1980s and result in a new minimum area for the ice shelf. Here we investigate the recent development of the rift, quantify the projected calving event and, using a numerical model, assess its likely impact on ice shelf stability. We find that the ice front is at risk of becoming unstable when the anticipated calving event occurs.

Citation: Jansen, D., Luckman, A. J., Cook, A., Bevan, S., Kulessa, B., Hubbard, B., and Holland, P. R.: Brief Communication: Newly developing rift in Larsen C Ice Shelf presents significant risk to stability, The Cryosphere, 9, 1223-1227, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-1223-2015, 2015.
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Short summary
Within the last year, a large rift in the southern part of the Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, propagated towards the inner part of the ice shelf. In this study we present the development of the rift as derived from remote sensing data and assess the impact of possible calving scenarios on the future stability of the Larsen C Ice Shelf, using a numerical model. We find that the calving front is likely to become unstable after the anticipated calving events.
Within the last year, a large rift in the southern part of the Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctic...
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