IGPP Seminar Series

Iceberg Drift and its Implications in the Weddell Sea: An Overview

by Dr. Michael Schodlok


Iceberg calving events from the Antarctic ice shelves occur on a regular basis and amount to about 2000 Gt/a. Large tabular icebergs originate in the Weddell and Ross seas from the Filchner-Ronne and Ross Ice Shelves. Smaller sized icebergs with the length of the order of one kilometer or less might contribute an equal amount of freshwater to the Southern Ocean. Iceberg motion determines where the freshwater from the Antarctic continent is transferred to the upper Southern Ocean water column. As part of the freshwater budget, like precipitation minus evaporation or differential freezing and melting of sea ice, the fate of icebergs might locally effect the stability of the water column with consequences for the formation of deep and bottom water and the biology in the surface mixed layer. Question such as: where do smaller/medium sized iceberg drift? What is the influence of sea ice on iceberg drift? Where are the areas of major freshwater contributions? What is the quantity of freshwater input from melting?, and What are the effects of iceberg melting on biological productivity? are addressed by combining a) direct observations b) an iceberg drift model, and satellite derived SeaWiFs data.
Tuesday, 06 February 2007
3853 Slichter Hall
Refreshments at 3:45 PM
Lecture at 4:00 PM