Investigation of Glacial Dynamics in the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf System (LAS) Using Remote Sensing
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Numerous recent studies have documented dynamic changes in the behaviors of large marine-terminating outlet glaciers and ice streams in Greenland, the Antarctic Peninsula, and West Antarctica. However, fewer observations of outlet glaciers and ice shelves exist for the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. In addition, most recent surface velocity mappings of the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf system (LAS) are derived for the time period of 1997-2000. From this research, surface velocity measurements provide a more extended view of the behavior and stability of the LAS over the past two decades than can be gleaned from a single observational period. This study uses remote sensing to investigate whether significant changes in velocities have occurred from the late 1980’s through the late 2010’s and assesses the magnitude of mass balance changes observed at the grounding line. To accomplish this goal, surface velocities of the LAS from late 1980’s to late 2010’s for three separate time periods are measured. The observed surface velocities of the LAS ranged from 0 to 1300 m yr^-1 during 1988-1990. A slight slowing down is detected in the central Amery Ice Shelf front by analyzing the surface velocity measurements made along the centerlines. The mass balance is the difference between snow accumulation and the outflux of the grounded LAS and is calculated for individual sub-basin during the three time intervals of 1988-1990, 1999-2004, and 2007-2011 to illustrate the mass balance variation under sub-basin level. The flux gates of the Lambert Glacial sub-basin combined with the Mellor Glacial and the Fisher Glacial sub-basin appear to be the largest outlet of the grounded ice of the LAS. The ice mass transported from the interior region through the three flux gates in total is 43.58 Gt yr^-1, 36.72 Gt yr^-1, and 38.61 Gt yr^-1 respectively for the three time intervals above. The sub-basins in the eastern side appear differently than the western side. The outfluxes of the eastern sub-basins vary from 15.85 to 18.64 Gt yr^-1, while the western outfluxes vary from 15.85 to 18.64 Gt yr^-1. The grounded LAS has discharged ice from 84.55 to 81.60 Gt yr^-1 and to 79.20 Gt yr^-1 during 1980s-1990s and 1990s-2000s. Assuming the snow accumulation distribution is stable, the grounded LAS mass lose has increased 2.95 Gt yr^-1 from 1980s to 1990s and 2.40 Gt yr^-1 from 1990s to 2000s. These results indicate insight into the stability of the Amery Ice Shelf over the last few decades.
Chi, Zhaohui 1982- (2012). Investigation of Glacial Dynamics in the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf System (LAS) Using Remote Sensing. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from