Talk by Nanna B. Karlsson, Centre for Ice and Climate – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Talk by Nanna B. Karlsson, Centre for Ice and Climate

Radio-echo Sounding of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica: Understanding the Past from Observations, Analysis and Modelling of Internal Layering


The Pine Island Glacier is one of the largest glaciers in West Antarctica with a profound impact on the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. During the last 35 years the glacier has experienced welldocumented changes in flux and ice thickness, but it is unknown whether the changes are caused by deglaciation as a response to climate change or simply natural fluctuations.

In the southern summer 2004/2005 the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Texas carried out a radio-echo sounding survey of Pine Island Glacier retrieving subglacial topography as well as layers of high reflectivity in the interior of the glacier.

This talk presents results of a comprehensive study of the internal layering. Based on layer stratigraphy and comparisons with a 3D ice flow model results indicate that no major spatial changes have taken place in the flow pattern of the glacier, but also that the accumulation pattern and rate are likely to have changed since the beginning of the Holocene.