13 Sep 2023
 | 13 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Brief Communication: Rapid acceleration of the Brunt Ice Shelf after calving of iceberg A-81

Oliver J. Marsh, Adrian J. Luckman, and Dominic A. Hodgson

Abstract. The Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica, accelerated rapidly from 900 m a-1 to 1500 m a-1 during six months following the calving of a 1500 km2 iceberg on 22nd January 2023. Initially, the rate of acceleration increased by a factor of ten, with a second, smaller calving at the end of June 2023 leading to further tripling of acceleration. The acceleration is caused by reduction of buttressing at the McDonald Ice Rumples due to loss of contact with the sea floor and has led to high strain rates to the south, with potential consequences for the stability of the remaining ice shelf.

Oliver J. Marsh et al.

Status: open (until 01 Nov 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Oliver J. Marsh et al.

Oliver J. Marsh et al.


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Latest update: 03 Oct 2023
Short summary
The Brunt Ice Shelf has accelerated rapidly after calving of an iceberg in January 2023. Ten years of GPS data show that the recent rate of acceleration is thirty times higher than before calving, and velocity has doubled in six months. Satellite velocity maps show the extent of the change. The acceleration is due to loss of contact between the ice shelf and a pinning point known as the McDonald Ice Rumples. The observations highlight how iceberg calving can directly impact ice shelves.