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  1. Abstract The Antarctic Ice Sheet loses mass via its ice shelves predominantly through two processes: basal melting and iceberg calving. Iceberg calving is episodic and infrequent, and not well parameterized in ice-sheet models. Here, we investigate the impact of hydrostatic forces on calving. We develop two-dimensional elastic and viscous numerical frameworks to model the ‘footloose’ calving mechanism. This mechanism is triggered by submerged ice protrusions at the ice front, which induce unbalanced buoyancy forces that can lead to fracturing. We compare the results to identify the different roles that viscous and elastic deformations play in setting the rate and magnitudemore »of calving events. Our results show that, although the bending stresses in both frameworks share some characteristics, their differences have important implications for modeling the calving process. In particular, the elastic model predicts that maximum stresses arise farther from the ice front than in the viscous model, leading to larger calving events. We also find that the elastic model would likely lead to more frequent events than the viscous one. Our work provides a theoretical framework for the development of a better understanding of the physical processes that govern glacier and ice-shelf calving cycles.« less
  2. Abstract. The frontal flux balance of a medium-sized tidewater glacier in westernGreenland in the summer is assessed by quantifying the individual components(ice flux, retreat, calving, and submarine melting) through a combination ofdata and models. Ice flux and retreat are obtained from satellite data.Submarine melting is derived using a high-resolution ocean model informed bynear-ice observations, and calving is estimated using a record of calvingevents along the ice front. All terms exhibit large spatial variability alongthe ∼5 km wide ice front. It is found that submarine melting accountsfor much of the frontal ablation in small regions where two subglacialdischarge plumes emerge atmore »the ice front. Away from the subglacial plumes,the estimated melting accounts for a small fraction of frontal ablation.Glacier-wide, these estimates suggest that mass loss is largely controlled bycalving. This result, however, is at odds with the limited presence oficebergs at this calving front – suggesting that melt rates in regionsoutside of the subglacial plumes may be underestimated. Finally, we arguethat localized melt incisions into the glacier front can be significantdrivers of calving. Our results suggest a complex interplay of melting andcalving marked by high spatial variability along the glacier front.

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