This study describes measurements of the ocean beneath the center of the Ross Ice Shelf, the Earth’s largest ice shelf. Ice shelves experience melting from below by the ocean and so are vulnerable to a warming climate system. We present the second dataset ever collected from this region, the first having been gathered 40 y prior. Our data provide a basis for better understanding the complex processes that drive melting. They illustrate the degree of variability in the mid-water column, a region largely ignored in modeling. We also observed ephemeral refreezing on the ice shelf underside, with implications for both melt rate and upper ocean dynamics. This insight emphasizes the importance of in situ observations in undersampled environments.
Hub Contributors: Stefan Jendersie
See the full paper here.