Novel monitoring of Antarctic ice shelf basal melting using a fiber‐optic distributed temperature sensing mooring
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|Created:||Mar 31, 2018 at 11:28 p.m.|
|Last updated:|| Apr 09, 2018 at 8:12 p.m.
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Measuring basal melting of ice shelves is challenging and represents a critical component toward understanding ocean‐ice interactions and climate change. In November 2011, moorings containing fiber‐optic cables for distributed temperature sensing (DTS) were installed through the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica, (~200 m) and extending ~600 m into the ice shelf cavity. The high spatial resolution of DTS allows for transient monitoring of the thermal gradient within the ice shelf. The gradient near the ice‐ocean interface is extrapolated to the in situ freezing temperature in order to continuously track the ice‐ocean interface. Seasonal melt rates are calculated to be ~1.0 mm d−1 and 8.6 mm d−1, and maximum melting corresponds to the arrival of seasonal warm surface water in the ice shelf cavity between January and April. The development of continuous, surface‐based techniques for measuring basal melting represents a significant advance in monitoring ice shelf stability and ice‐ocean interactions.
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