Dynamic changes on Wilkins Ice Shelf during the 2006–2009 retreat derived from satellite observations

Other literature type English OPEN
Rankl, Melanie ; Fürst, Johannes Jakob ; Humbert, Angelika ; Braun, Matthias Holger (2016)

Ice shelves serve as important buttresses for upstream areas. Several large ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula have disintegrated or retreated, which implied dynamic consequences for upstream ice. The present study aims to assess dynamic changes on Wilkins Ice Shelf during multi-stage ice-front retreat in the last decade. A total area of 2135&thinsp;&pm;&thinsp;75&thinsp;km<sup>2</sup> was lost in the period 2008&ndash;2009. The present study uses time-series of SAR satellite observations (1994/96, 2006&ndash;2010) in order to derive variations in multi-temporal surface flow from intensity offset tracking methods. Spatial patterns of horizontal strain rate and stress components were inferred during different ice-front retreat stages. These fields are used to explain the different break-up stages and to evaluate the ice-shelf stability. For this purpose, we apply criteria which were forwarded to explain and assess past ice-shelf retreat.
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