Borehole observations from the base of the West-Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) reveal the presence of a 10 to 15 m thick accretionary basal ice layer in the upstream area of Kamb Ice Stream (KIS). This ice layer has formed over a time of several thousand years by freeze-on of subglacial water to the ice base and has recorded during this time basal conditions upstream of its current location. Analysis of samples and videos sequences from boreholes drilled to the bottom of KIS confirms that KIS-stoppage was due to basal freeze-on and that relubrication of the ice stream is well underway. These results further suggest that ice stream cyclicity may be shorter than expected (1000s of years) and that a restart of KIS may be imminent within decades to centuries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)