Brevia

A Simple Law for Ice-Shelf Calving

Science  28 Nov 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5906, pp. 1344
DOI: 10.1126/science.1162543

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Abstract

A major problem for ice-sheet models is that no physically based law for the calving process has been established. Comparison across a diverse set of ice shelves demonstrates that iceberg calving increases with the along-flow spreading rate of a shelf. This relation suggests that frictional buttressing loss, which increases spreading, also leads to shelf retreat, a process known to accelerate ice-sheet flow and contribute to sea-level rise.

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