What is the source of Larsen C Ice Shelf?

Looking at maps of Larsen C, the area of the shelf is many time larger than the area of the glaciers that I assume would accumulate snow and feed it.  This made me wonder about the source of the Larsen Ice Shelf. Is most of Larsen C’s ice mass originally from the glaciers or was it accumulated in place as snow falls on the shelf itself?

Asked by Todd

Hi Todd,

Great question! The ice shelf receives mass from the glaciers on land that flow into it, and from snowfall directly on to the ice shelf, and from sea water freezing on to its base. It loses mass by submarine melting, sublimation and calving icebergs.

About

I am a Senior Lecturer at Newcastle Univeristy, specialising in glaciology and glacial geology. I wrote and developed the AntarcticGlaciers.org website as part of an ongoing commitment to outreach, education and research impact. Read more about me at www.antarcticglaciers.org/bethan-davies.

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