Ice-shelf dynamics near the front of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, Antaretica, revealed by SAR interferometry: model/interferogram comparison

Douglas R MacAyeal, Eric Rignot, Christina L Hulbe
1998 Journal of Glaciology  
AbstractWe compare European remote-sensing satellite (ERS) synthetic aperture radar interferograms with artificial interferograms constructed using output of a finite-element ice-shelf flow model to study the dynamics of Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf (FRIS), Antaretica, near Hemmen Ice Rise (HIR) where the iceberg-calving front intersects Berkner Island. We find that the model must account for rifts, mechanically competent sea ice which fills rifts, and ice softening in coastal boundary layers in
more » ... er to agree with the ice-deformation pattern implied by observed interferograms. Analysis of the stress field in the model experiment that best matches the observed interferograms suggests that: (1) HIR introduces weakness into the ice shelf through the generation of large-scale rifts, and (2) the melange of sea ice and ice-shelf fragments that fills the rifts stabilizes the shelf front by providing mechanical coupling between the fractured shelf front and the adjacent coast. The rift-filling melange could melt more easily than the surrounding ice shelf and thus could represent a vulnerability of the FRIS to climate warming.
doi:10.1017/s0022143000002744 fatcat:ay7lojlaarb2rojo7kl33mrae4