Hard rock landforms generate 130 km ice shelf channels through water focusing in basal corrugations

Hafeez Jeofry, Neil Ross, Anne Le Brocq, Alastair Graham, Jilu Li, Prasad Gogineni, Mathieu Morlighem, Tom Jordan, Martin Siegert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
266 Downloads (Pure)


Satellite imagery reveals flowstripes on Foundation Ice Stream parallel to ice flow, and meandering features on the ice-shelf that cross-cut ice flow and are thought to be formed by water exiting a well-organised subglacial system. Here, ice-penetrating radar data show flow-parallel hard-bed landforms beneath the grounded ice, and channels incised upwards into the ice shelf beneath meandering surface channels. As the ice transitions to flotation, the ice shelf incorporates a corrugation resulting from the landforms. Radar reveals the presence of subglacial water alongside the landforms, indicating a well-organised drainage system in which water exits the ice sheet as a point source, mixes with cavity water and incises upwards into a corrugation peak, accentuating the corrugation downstream. Hard-bedded landforms influence both subglacial hydrology and ice-shelf structure and, as they are known to be widespread on formerly glaciated terrain, their influence on the ice-sheet-shelf transition could be more widespread than thought previously.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4576
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


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