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Nonlinear interaction between ocean tides and the Larsen C Ice Shelf system

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Matt King



We report on three GPS records of flow of the Larsen C Ice Shelf, spanning 2 months to 2 years. Variations in speed are evident at periods from a few hours to similar to 182 days, including semi-diurnal, diurnal and similar to 14.76 days. At fortnightly periods the ice shelf varies by +/- 10% from its long-term speed but at diurnal timescales it is up to +/- 100%. A nonlinear relationship between ocean tides and velocity is required to explain the observed variations in flow. As an initial examination we model flow as a non-linear function of basal shear stress including tidal perturbations in the ice shelf grounding zone and show that the major features of the observations are reproduced, notably the long-period signal largely absent from the vertical tidal signal. Alternative explanations are discussed. These observations demonstrate that the ice shelf system is highly sensitive to relatively modest changes in forcing at its boundaries. Citation: King, M. A., K. Makinson, and G. H. Gudmundsson (2011), Nonlinear interaction between ocean tides and the Larsen C Ice Shelf system, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L08501, doi: 10.1029/2011GL046680.

Publication metadata

Author(s): King MA, Makinson K, Gudmundsson GH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geophysical Research Letters

Year: 2011

Volume: 38

Print publication date: 01/04/2011

Date deposited: 12/12/2011

ISSN (print): 0094-8276

ISSN (electronic): 1944-8007

Publisher: American Geophysical Union


DOI: 10.1029/2011GL046680

Notes: Article no. L08501 5 pages


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