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A Predictive Theory For Heat Transport Into Ice Shelf Into Ice Shelf Cavities 
  • Garrett Finucane,
  • Andrew Stewart
Garrett Finucane
University of California, Los Angeles

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Andrew Stewart
University of California Los Angeles
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Antarctic ice shelves are losing mass at drastically different rates, primarily due to differing rates of oceanic heat supply to their bases. However, a generalized theory for the inflow of relatively warm water into ice shelf cavities is lacking. This study proposes such a theory based on a geostrophically constrained inflow, combined with a threshold bathymetric elevation, the Highest Unconnected isoBath (HUB), that obstructs warm water access to ice shelf grounding lines. This theory captures ∼ 90% of the variance in melt rates across a suite of idealized process-oriented ocean/ice shelf simulations with quasi-randomized geometries. Applied to observations of ice shelf geometries and offshore hydrography, the theory captures ∼80% of the variance in measured ice shelf melt rates. These findings provide a generalized theoretical framework for melt resulting from buoyancy-driven warm water access to geometrically complex Antarctic ice shelf cavities.
11 Jun 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
12 Jun 2024Published in ESS Open Archive
28 May 2024Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 51 issue 10. https://doi.org/10.1029/2024GL108196