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Statistical modeling of a former Arctic Ocean ice shelf complex using Antarctic analogies


Furrer, Reinhard; Jakobsson, Martin; Kirchner, Nina; Robbins, John W; Zwally, H Jay (2013). Statistical modeling of a former Arctic Ocean ice shelf complex using Antarctic analogies. Journal of Geophysical Research, 118(2):1105-1117.

Abstract

Geophysical mapping and coring of the central Arctic Ocean seafloor provide evidence for repeated occurrences of ice sheet/ice shelf complexes during previous glacial periods. Several ridges and bathymetric highs shallower than present water depths of ∼1000m show signs of erosion from deep-drafting (armadas of) icebergs, which originated from thick outlet glaciers and ice shelves. Mapped glacigenic landforms and dates of cored sediments suggest that the largest ice shelf complex was confined to the Amerasian sector of the Arctic Ocean during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6. However, the spatial extent of ice shelves can not be well reconstructed from occasional groundings on bathymetric highs. Therefore, we apply a statistical approach to provide independent support for an extensive MIS 6 ice shelf complex, which previously was inferred only from interpretation of geophysical and geological data. Specifically, we assess whether this ice shelf complex comprises a likely source of the deep-draft icebergs responsible for the mapped scour marks. The statistical modeling is based on exploiting relations between contemporary Antarctic ice shelves and their local physical environments and the assumption that Arctic Ocean MIS6 ice shelves scale similarly. Analyzing ice thickness data along the calving front of contemporary ice shelves, a peak over threshold method is applied to determine sources of deep-drafting icebergs in the Arctic Ocean MIS6 ice shelf complex. This approach is novel to modeling Arctic paleoglacial configurations. Predicted extreme calving front drafts match observed deep-draft iceberg scours if the ice shelf complex is sufficiently large. Key Points Arctic Ocean deep-draft ice berg scours supported by statistical modeling Novel application of Extreme Value Theory in modeling paleoglacial systems Analogies between present Antarctic/fomer Arctic ice shelf configurations.

Abstract

Geophysical mapping and coring of the central Arctic Ocean seafloor provide evidence for repeated occurrences of ice sheet/ice shelf complexes during previous glacial periods. Several ridges and bathymetric highs shallower than present water depths of ∼1000m show signs of erosion from deep-drafting (armadas of) icebergs, which originated from thick outlet glaciers and ice shelves. Mapped glacigenic landforms and dates of cored sediments suggest that the largest ice shelf complex was confined to the Amerasian sector of the Arctic Ocean during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6. However, the spatial extent of ice shelves can not be well reconstructed from occasional groundings on bathymetric highs. Therefore, we apply a statistical approach to provide independent support for an extensive MIS 6 ice shelf complex, which previously was inferred only from interpretation of geophysical and geological data. Specifically, we assess whether this ice shelf complex comprises a likely source of the deep-draft icebergs responsible for the mapped scour marks. The statistical modeling is based on exploiting relations between contemporary Antarctic ice shelves and their local physical environments and the assumption that Arctic Ocean MIS6 ice shelves scale similarly. Analyzing ice thickness data along the calving front of contemporary ice shelves, a peak over threshold method is applied to determine sources of deep-drafting icebergs in the Arctic Ocean MIS6 ice shelf complex. This approach is novel to modeling Arctic paleoglacial configurations. Predicted extreme calving front drafts match observed deep-draft iceberg scours if the ice shelf complex is sufficiently large. Key Points Arctic Ocean deep-draft ice berg scours supported by statistical modeling Novel application of Extreme Value Theory in modeling paleoglacial systems Analogies between present Antarctic/fomer Arctic ice shelf configurations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Mathematics
Dewey Decimal Classification:510 Mathematics
Language:English
Date:18 June 2013
Deposited On:29 Nov 2013 11:55
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:11
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
ISSN:0148-0227
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/jgrf.20077

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