Analogue modelling of the influence of ice shelf collapse on the flow of ice sheets grounded below sea-level

Giacomo Corti, Antonio Zeoli


In this work we use analogue modelling to analyse the effect of sudden ice shelf breakup on the flow of ice draining an ice sheet grounded below sea level. Experimental results confirm that the removal of the buttressing effect exerted by the ice shelf results in significant acceleration of inland glaciers: the models show indeed a pronounced increase in ice velocity close to the grounding line. However, this effect does not significantly propagate upstream towards the internal portions of the ice sheet and rapidly decays with time. Therefore, the ice sheet is almost unaffected by flow perturbations induced by the disintegration of the ice shelf.


Analogue modelling, ice shelf breakup, ice sheet instability, Antarctica

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X