Research ArticleEARTH SCIENCES

Ocean heat drives rapid basal melt of the Totten Ice Shelf

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Science Advances  16 Dec 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 12, e1601610
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601610


  • Fig. 1 Bathymetry, ice shelf draft, sea ice conditions, and ocean station locations near the Totten Glacier.

    (A) Seafloor bathymetry and elevation of the ice-rock interface, in meters above sea level, from airborne geophysical data (15). Dots indicate the locations of stations used in Fig. 2; red dots indicate stations where mCDW was detected; the grounding line shown in black was derived from interpretation of satellite data (34) updated with airborne radar data to indicate ocean access to the eastern part of the ice shelf (15). The coastline was derived from satellite radar imagery in 2004 (35). (B) Sea ice conditions on 7 January 2015 from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (36). The outlines of the TIS, Moscow University Ice Shelf, and Antarctic continent are indicated by thin black lines. The continental shelf break is indicated by the heavy black line. Fast ice (FI) is present in front of the western and eastern limits of the TIS.

  • Fig. 2 Ocean properties along the TIS calving front.

    (A) Section of potential temperature (in degrees Celsius, color) and observed seafloor bathymetry (black) running from west (left) to east (right) along the calving front. The yellow line indicates the BEDMAP2 bathymetry (22); the magenta line shows the seafloor depth inferred from airborne geophysical measurements (15). (B) Salinity. (C) Oxygen (in micromolar).

  • Fig. 3 Temperature above freezing and along-trough velocity.

    (A) Temperature elevation above the in situ freezing point at stations 34 to 37 (western trough) and 41 (eastern trough). (B) Velocity from the LADCP rotated in the along-trough direction [35° east of north for the western trough (stations 34 to 37) and 0° for the eastern trough (station 41) (15)].