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Deformation and failure of the ice bridge on the Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Humbert, A. ; Gross, D. ; Müller, R. ; Braun, M. ; van de Wal, R.S.W. ; van den Broeke, M.R. ; Vaughan, D.G. ; van de Berg, W.J. (2010):
Deformation and failure of the ice bridge on the Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica.
In: Annals of Glaciology, 51 (55), pp. 49-55. ISSN 0260-3055, 1727-5644,
DOI: 10.3189/172756410791392709,
[Article]

Abstract

A narrow bridge of floating ice that connected the Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica, to two confining islands eventually collapsed in early April 2009. In the month preceding the collapse, we observed deformation of the ice bridge by means of satellite imagery and from an in situ GPS station. TerraSAR-X images (acquired in stripmap mode) were used to compile a time series. The ice bridge bent most strongly in its narrowest part (westerly), while the northern end (near Charcot Island) shifted in a northeasterly direction. In the south, the ice bridge experienced compressive strain parallel to its long axis. GPS position data were acquired a little south of the narrowest part of the ice bridge from 19 January 2009. Analysis of these data showed both cyclic and monotonic components of motion. Meteorological data and re-analysis of the output of weather-prediction models indicated that easterly winds were responsible for the cyclic motion component. In particular, wind stress on the rough ice melange that occupied the area to the east exerted significant pressure on the ice bridge. The collapse of the ice bridge began with crack formation in the southern section parallel to the long axis of the ice bridge and led to shattering of the southern part. Ultimately, the narrowest part, only 900 m wide, ruptured. The formation of many small icebergs released energy of \textgreater125 × 106 J.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2010
Creators: Humbert, A. ; Gross, D. ; Müller, R. ; Braun, M. ; van de Wal, R.S.W. ; van den Broeke, M.R. ; Vaughan, D.G. ; van de Berg, W.J.
Title: Deformation and failure of the ice bridge on the Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Language: English
Abstract:

A narrow bridge of floating ice that connected the Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica, to two confining islands eventually collapsed in early April 2009. In the month preceding the collapse, we observed deformation of the ice bridge by means of satellite imagery and from an in situ GPS station. TerraSAR-X images (acquired in stripmap mode) were used to compile a time series. The ice bridge bent most strongly in its narrowest part (westerly), while the northern end (near Charcot Island) shifted in a northeasterly direction. In the south, the ice bridge experienced compressive strain parallel to its long axis. GPS position data were acquired a little south of the narrowest part of the ice bridge from 19 January 2009. Analysis of these data showed both cyclic and monotonic components of motion. Meteorological data and re-analysis of the output of weather-prediction models indicated that easterly winds were responsible for the cyclic motion component. In particular, wind stress on the rough ice melange that occupied the area to the east exerted significant pressure on the ice bridge. The collapse of the ice bridge began with crack formation in the southern section parallel to the long axis of the ice bridge and led to shattering of the southern part. Ultimately, the narrowest part, only 900 m wide, ruptured. The formation of many small icebergs released energy of \textgreater125 × 106 J.

Journal or Publication Title: Annals of Glaciology
Journal Volume: 51
Issue Number: 55
Divisions: 13 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sciences
13 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sciences > Mechanics
13 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sciences > Mechanics > Continuum Mechanics
Date Deposited: 03 May 2022 06:19
DOI: 10.3189/172756410791392709
URL / URN: https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S002214300...
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