Journal article

The role of double-diffusive convection in basal melting of Antarctic ice shelves

Madelaine Gamble Rosevear, Bishakhdatta Gayen, Benjamin Keith Galton-Fenzi

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | NATL ACAD SCIENCES | Published : 2021

Abstract

The Antarctic Ice Sheet loses about half its mass through ocean-driven melting of its fringing ice shelves. However, the ocean processes governing ice shelf melting are not well understood, contributing to uncertainty in projections of Antarctica's contribution to global sea level. We use high-resolution large-eddy simulation to examine ocean-driven melt, in a geophysical-scale model of the turbulent ice shelf-ocean boundary layer, focusing on the ocean conditions observed beneath the Ross Ice Shelf. We quantify the role of double-diffusive convection in determining ice shelf melt rates and oceanic mixed layer properties in relatively warm and low-velocity cavity environments. We demonstrate..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council's Special Research Initiative for Antarctic Gateway Partnership


Awarded by Australian Research Council Future Fellowship


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. Felicity McCormack and two anonymous reviewers for insightful comments on the manuscript. This research was supported under the Australian Research Council's Special Research Initiative for Antarctic Gateway Partnership (Project ID SR140300001), and B.G. is supported by Australian Research Council Future Fellowship. Grant FT180100037. B.K.G.-F. is supported by the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership. Numerical simulations were conducted on the Australian National Computational Infrastructure, the Australian National University, which is supported by the Commonwealth of Australia.