Assessment of the importance of ice-shelf buttressing to ice-sheet flow

T. K. Dupont, R. B. Alley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

337 Scopus citations


Reduction or loss of a restraining ice shelf will cause speed-up of flow from contiguous ice streams, contributing to sea-level rise, with greater changes from ice streams that are wider, have stickier beds, or have higher driving stress. Loss of buttressing offsetting half of the tendency for ice-stream/ice-shelf spreading for an ice stream similar to Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica is modeled to contribute at least 1 mm of sea-level rise over a few decades. These results come from a new, simple model that includes relevant stresses in a boundary-layer formulation, and allows rapid estimation of ice-shelf impacts for a wide range of configurations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 28 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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