Quantification of Changes for the Milne Ice Shelf, Nunavut, Canada, 1950 - 2009

Quantification of Changes for the Milne Ice Shelf, Nunavut, Canada, 1950 - 2009

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Title: Quantification of Changes for the Milne Ice Shelf, Nunavut, Canada, 1950 - 2009
Author: Mortimer, Colleen Adel
Abstract: This study presents a comprehensive overview of the current state of the Milne Ice Shelf and how it has changed over the last 59 years. The 205 ±1 km2 ice shelf experienced a 28% (82 ±0.8 km2) reduction in area between 1950 – 2009, and a 20% (2.5 ±0.9km3 water equivalent (w.e.)) reduction in volume between 1981 – 2008/2009, suggesting a long-term state of negative mass balance. Comparison of mean annual specific mass balances (up to -0.34 m w.e. yr-1) with surface mass balance measurements for the nearby Ward Hunt Ice Shelf suggest that basal melt is a key contributor to total ice shelf thinning. The development and expansion of new and existing surface cracks, as well as ice-marginal and epishelf lake development, indicate significant ice shelf weakening. Over the next few decades it is likely that the Milne Ice Shelf will continue to deteriorate.
Date: 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/19773
Supervisor: Copland, Luke
Faculty: arts
Degree: msc

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