EGU23-1109, updated on 18 Sep 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Seasonal enhanced melting under Ekström Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Ole Zeising1, Olaf Eisen1,2, Sophie Berger1, M. Reza Ershadi3, Reinhard Drews3, Tanja Fromm1, Tore Hattermann4, Veit Helm1, Niklas Neckel1, Frank Pattyn5, and Daniel Steinhage1
Ole Zeising et al.
  • 1Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany (
  • 2University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 3University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  • 4Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway
  • 5Free University of Brussels ULB, Brussels, Belgium

Ice–ocean interaction is crucial for the integrity of ice shelves and thus ice sheet stability. Warm ocean currents lead to enhanced basal melting of ice shelves, which is the dominant component of mass loss for the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Knowing the current melt rates and predicting those under future climate scenarios is thus of great importance. In the course of the ­MIMO-EIS (Monitoring melt where Ice Meets Ocean) Project, we deployed a continuously measuring ApRES (Autonomous phase-sensitive Radio-Echo Sounding) device in the center of Ekström Ice Shelf, recording an hourly time series since April 2020. The continuous time series reveals a seasonal onset of enhanced melt rates, abruptly increasing from <0.5 to 2 m/a in July/August. High melt rates with around weekly to bi-weekly fluctuations last until November/December. In addition, we performed annual point measurements to determine the spatial pattern of basal melt rates. The majority of these sites show yearly averaged melt rates of <0.5 m/a. These measurements allow the evaluation of future ocean-simulations and are in good agreement with satellite remote sensing estimates.

How to cite: Zeising, O., Eisen, O., Berger, S., Ershadi, M. R., Drews, R., Fromm, T., Hattermann, T., Helm, V., Neckel, N., Pattyn, F., and Steinhage, D.: Seasonal enhanced melting under Ekström Ice Shelf, Antarctica, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1109,, 2023.

Supplementary materials

Supplementary material file