Modeling the instantaneous response of glaciers after the collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf

J. De Rydt*, Gisli Gudmundsson, H. Rott, Jonathan L Bamber

*Corresponding author for this work

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

35 Citations (Scopus)
333 Downloads (Pure)


Following the disintegration of the Larsen B Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, in 2002, regular surveillance of its ∼20 tributary glaciers has revealed a response which is varied and complex in both space and time. The major outlets have accelerated and thinned, smaller glaciers have shown little or no change, and glaciers flowing into the remnant Scar Inlet Ice Shelf have responded with delay. In this study we present the first areawide numerical analysis of glacier dynamics before and immediately after the collapse of the ice shelf, combining new data sets and a state-of-the-art numerical ice flow model. We simulate the loss of buttressing at the grounding line and find a good qualitative agreement between modeled changes in glacier flow and observations. Through this study, we seek to improve confidence in our numerical models and their ability to capture the complex mechanical coupling between floating ice shelves and grounded ice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5355-5363
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number13
Early online date7 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2015


  • buttressing
  • glacier speedup
  • ice shelf collapse
  • Larsen B


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