Walker,, Dziga P.; Brandon, Mark A.; Jenkins, Adrian; Allen, John T.; Dowdeswell, Julian A. and Evans, Jeff
Oceanic heat transport onto the Amundsen Sea shelf through a submarine glacial trough.
Geophysical Research Letters, 34(L02602) pp. 1–4.
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Glaciers which drain the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
(WAIS) into the Amundsen Sea are accelerating and
thinning rapidly. These observations have been attributed
to the regional oceanography whereby heat contained within
Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) drives the basal melting of
floating glaciers. On the basis of new data we calculate that
2.8 terra-Watts (1012) of oceanic heat flow onto the
continental shelf and toward the glaciers via a submarine
glacial trough. This is enough to account for most of the
basal melting in the entire region suggesting the ocean is
supplying an excess of heat toward the Antarctic continent.
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