EGU21-1637, updated on 08 Aug 2023
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Antarctic Slope Current controls warm ocean intrusions towards Totten Glacier

Yoshihiro Nakayama1, Chad Greene2, Fernando Paolo2, Vigan Mensah1, Hong Zhang2, Haruhiko Kashiwase3, Daisuke Simizu3, Jamin Greenbaum4, Donald Blankenship4, Ayako Abe-Ouchi5, and Shigeru Aoki1
Yoshihiro Nakayama et al.
  • 1Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan (
  • 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 3National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan
  • 4Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78758, USA
  • 5Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

The Totten Glacier in East Antarctica has received increasing attention in recent years for its ice loss and warm oceanographic conditions observed at the ice shelf front. Here, we developed satellite estimates of temporally varying Totten Ice Shelf (TIS) melt rates and a high-resolution ocean model. We show that the Antarctic Slope Current (ASC) impedes ocean heat intrusions, and on-shelf intrusions enhance when the ASC weakens. The interannually varying strength of the ASC is primarily controlled by lateral ocean boundary conditions (and thus atmosphere and ocean circulations outside of the model domain) but also likely influenced by local wind stress curl and upstream decent of shelf water. We further show that heat intrusions towards the TIS are enhanced with coastal freshening, suggesting that freshening from ice loss in West Antarcticacould start a chain reaction, leading to increased melt in East Antarctica, and further coastal freshening.

How to cite: Nakayama, Y., Greene, C., Paolo, F., Mensah, V., Zhang, H., Kashiwase, H., Simizu, D., Greenbaum, J., Blankenship, D., Abe-Ouchi, A., and Aoki, S.: Antarctic Slope Current controls warm ocean intrusions towards Totten Glacier, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1637,, 2021.

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