Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier has been in the spotlight in recent years, as scientists have undertaken a multi-part international project to study the vast glacier from all angles. Our geologists onboard captured most of what they need to reconstruct past ocean and ice changes at Thwaites Glacier, creating maps of geologic features on the seafloor, acquiring history records from marine sediment cores, and picking up a few penguin bones and rocks along the way to age-date past glacial changes. Its ice flow has accelerated by about 50-100 m per year since 2009. "The connected channels that we've mapped in detail for the first time are the potential pathways for deep-ocean warm water to get in and do damage at that point where the glacier is still grounded on the seabed, where it begins to lift up and float," explained BAS colleague Dr Tom Jordan, "but also to melt the base of the ice shelf, which if you weaken will make the ice further upstream in the glacier flow faster.". .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. "When the Eastern Ice Shelf becomes unpinned, the ice will spread out and thin, eventually breaking up, as we can see is happening right now on the (central) glacier tongue," he told BBC News. A plane was also flown back and forth across the shelf to measure small variations in the pull of gravity. “Not only that… Newsweek. The Palmer glides slowly, 400 meters from the face of the ice shelf in front of Thwaites Glacier. Its ice flow has accelerated by about 50-100 m per year since 2009. In the 1990s it was losing just over 10 billion tonnes of ice a year. Thwaites Glacier (75°30′S 106°45′W) is an unusually broad and fast Antarctic glacier flowing into Pine Island Bay, part of the Amundsen Sea, east of Mount Murphy, on the Walgreen Coast of Marie Byrd Land.Its surface speeds exceed 2 km/yr near its grounding line, and its fastest flowing grounded ice is centred between 50 and 100 km east of Mount Murphy. At the moment, the eastern side of the ice shelf is hooked on to a large ridge, which gives it stability. In conducting their survey, scientists also now have a better idea of the general roughness of the seafloor. It was named by ACAN for Fredrik T. Thwaites, a glacial geologist, geomorphologist and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Officially called the Thwaites Glacier, this mass of ice nestled into the western edge of Antarctica is melting at an alarming rate. © 2020 BBC. Home; About . Velocity map of the Thwaites Glacier catchment, West Antarctica - Volume 50 Issue 168 - Oliver Lang, Bernhard T. Rabus, Stefan W. Dech Thwaites Glacier is located on the Western border of the Antarctic continent. Can shearing of Thwaites glacier slow or stop if humans control greenhouse gas emissions? Latitude: -75° 29' 59.99" SLongitude: -106° 44' 59.99" W, Satellite map of Thwaites Glacier in Google Maps. They trace the path of a network of deep channels that cut through a ridge before joining up to form a major cavity under the ice shelf. ITGC Logistics Outline, 2 May 2018. These hidden ducts lubricate its collapse into the ocean. The Thwaites Glacier is...a glacier. 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