Ross Ice Shelf Sea Temperatures

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Science  02 Feb 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4379, pp. 438-439
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4379.438


Two temperature profiles recorded by a sensitive bathythermograph at the Ross Ice Shelf Project site (82°22.5'S, 168°37.5'W) are presented. From the shape of the profiles it is concluded that an inflow of water at intermediate depths provides a source of heat to drive a regime in which ice is melted from the interface at a depth of 360 meters. Melting maintains the temperature of a thick layer under the ice at about –2.14°C, close to the ambient freezing temperature. A very well mixed layer about 35 meters thick was found at the seabed.