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Ice Flow Direction Change in Interior West Antarctica

Science  24 Sep 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5692, pp. 1948-1951
DOI: 10.1126/science.1101072

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Abstract

Upstream of Byrd Station (West Antarctica), ice-penetrating radar data reveal a distinctive fold structure within the ice, in which isochronous layers are unusually deep. The fold has an axis more than 50 kilometers long, which is aligned up to 45° to the ice flow direction. Although explanations for the fold's formation under the present flow are problematic, it can be explained if flow was parallel to the fold axis ∼1500 years ago. This flow change may be associated with ice stream alterations nearer the margin. If this is true, central West Antarctica may respond to future alterations more than previously thought.

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