Poststagnation Retreat of Kamb Ice Stream's Grounding Zone

H. J. Horgan, C. Hulbe, R. B. Alley, S. Anandakrishnan, B. Goodsell, S. Taylor-Offord, M. J. Vaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Despite the importance of grounding zone sedimentation for ice sheet stability and ice sheet history, evidence for sedimentary deposits beneath West Antarctica's modern grounding zone remains sparse. Seismic surveying shows that Kamb Ice Stream has no detectable grounding zone deposit. As grounding zone deposition relies strongly on ice flow, the absence of a deposit suggests that the transition from the ice stream to the ice shelf has moved after stagnation of Kamb Ice Stream. Further support for a recent grounding zone occupation comes from satellite imagery of sub-ice shelf channel features that likely originated at previous grounding-zone locations. These features begin 25 km seaward of the current grounding zone and cut across ice flow streak lines. We estimate that retreat to the modern grounding-zone position was abrupt at rates >0.2 km a−1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9815-9822
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 16 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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