Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 29 Issue 04

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Volume 29, No. 4
Pages 84 - 95


The Ice Shelf of Petermann Gletscher, North Greenland, and Its Connection to the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans

By Andreas Münchow , Laurie Padman, Peter Washam, and Keith W. Nicholls 
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Article Abstract

Petermann Gletscher in North Greenland features the second largest floating ice shelf in the Northern Hemisphere. This paper describes the history of its exploration and presents new ocean and glacier observations. We find that the floating ice shelf is strongly coupled to the ocean below and to Nares Strait at time scales from tidal to interannual. Our observations cover the 2012 to 2016 period after two large calving events took place in 2010 and 2012 that reduced the ice shelf area by 380 km2 to about 870 km2 today. A potential third breakup, of an additional 150 km2, is anticipated by a large fracture that extends from the margin to the center of the glacier. 


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