Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar: Rob Massom
Satellite-based fast ice studies in Antarctica
by Dr. Rob Massom - Australian Antarctic Division and ACE CRC, Tasmania, Australia
Landfast ice (fast ice) is stationary sea ice that is attached to the coast and/or grounded icebergs and glacier tongues. Although relatively narrow (compared to the overall sea ice zone), it is an important feature of the Antarctic coastal zone, where is it forms a key yet variable element between the ice sheet and the free-drifting pack ice/open ocean and exerts a major influence on atmosphere-ocean interactions as well as biological processes. Moreover, Antarctic fast ice represents a sensitive indicator of climate change and/or variability. This talk focuses on recent satellite-based studies of fast ice (largely from East Antarctica). Among the topics covered are the mapping of fast ice using MODIS and SAR imagery; the regional relationship between fast ice extent and Emperor penguin breeding success; and the possible relationship between fast ice and ice-sheet margin stability. The talk ends with a look into the crystal ball regarding possible future fast ice conditions.