EGU23-5545, updated on 22 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

High resolution maps of the sub-ice platelet layer in Atka Bay from electromagnetic induction sounding

Mara Neudert1, Stefanie Arndt1, Markus Schulze1, Stefan Hendricks1, and Christian Haas1,2
Mara Neudert et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

We present maps of the sub-ice platelet layer (SIPL) thickness and ice volume fraction beneath the land-fast sea ice in Atka Bay adjacent to the Ekström Ice Shelf (southeastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica). The widespread SIPL beneath Antarctic fast ice is indicative of basal melt of nearby ice shelves, contributes to the sea ice mass balance and provides a unique ecological habitat. Where plumes of supercooled Ice Shelf Water (ISW) rise to the surface rapid formation of platelet ice can lead to the presence of a semi-consolidated SIPL beneath consolidated fast ice.

Here we present data from extensive electromagnetic (EM) induction surveying with the multi-frequency EM sounder GEM-2 between May and December, 2022. It includes monthly survey data along a fixed transect line across Atka Bay between May and October, as well as comprehensive mapping across the entire bay in November and December. The GEM-2 surveys were supplemented by drill hole thickness measurements, ice coring and CTD profiles. A new data processing and inversion scheme was successfully applied to over 1000 km of EM profiles with a horizontal resolution of one meter. We obtained layer thicknesses of the consolidated ice plus snow layer, the SIPL, and the respective layer conductivities. The latter were used to derive SIPL ice volume fraction and an indicator for flooding at the snow-ice interface. The robustness of the method was validated by drill hole transects and CTD profiles.

Our results support conclusions about the spatial variability of the ocean heat flux linked to outflow of ISW from beneath the ice shelf cavity. Temporally, we found that the end of SIPL growth and the onset of its thinning in summer can be linked to the disappearance of supercooled water in the upper water column.

How to cite: Neudert, M., Arndt, S., Schulze, M., Hendricks, S., and Haas, C.: High resolution maps of the sub-ice platelet layer in Atka Bay from electromagnetic induction sounding, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5545,, 2023.