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Evidence of marine ice-cliff instability in Pine Island Bay from iceberg-keel plough marks

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, October 2017
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (88th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
26 news outlets
blogs
2 blogs
twitter
287 tweeters
facebook
2 Facebook pages
googleplus
1 Google+ user
reddit
3 Redditors

Citations

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10 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
82 Mendeley
Title
Evidence of marine ice-cliff instability in Pine Island Bay from iceberg-keel plough marks
Published in
Nature, October 2017
DOI 10.1038/nature24458
Pubmed ID
Authors

Matthew G. Wise, Julian A. Dowdeswell, Martin Jakobsson, Robert D. Larter

Abstract

Marine ice-cliff instability (MICI) processes could accelerate future retreat of the Antarctic Ice Sheet if ice shelves that buttress grounding lines more than 800 metres below sea level are lost. The present-day grounding zones of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in West Antarctica need to retreat only short distances before they reach extensive retrograde slopes. When grounding zones of glaciers retreat onto such slopes, theoretical considerations and modelling results indicate that the retreat becomes unstable (marine ice-sheet instability) and thus accelerates. It is thought that MICI is triggered when this retreat produces ice cliffs above the water line with heights approaching about 90 metres. However, observational evidence confirming the action of MICI has not previously been reported. Here we present observational evidence that rapid deglacial ice-sheet retreat into Pine Island Bay proceeded in a similar manner to that simulated in a recent modelling study, driven by MICI. Iceberg-keel plough marks on the sea-floor provide geological evidence of past and present iceberg morphology, keel depth and drift direction. From the planform shape and cross-sectional morphologies of iceberg-keel plough marks, we find that iceberg calving during the most recent deglaciation was not characterized by small numbers of large, tabular icebergs as is observed today, which would produce wide, flat-based plough marks or toothcomb-like multi-keeled plough marks. Instead, it was characterized by large numbers of smaller icebergs with V-shaped keels. Geological evidence of the form and water-depth distribution of the plough marks indicates calving-margin thicknesses equivalent to the threshold that is predicted to trigger ice-cliff structural collapse as a result of MICI. We infer rapid and sustained ice-sheet retreat driven by MICI, commencing around 12,300 years ago and terminating before about 11,200 years ago, which produced large numbers of icebergs smaller than the typical tabular icebergs produced today. Our findings demonstrate the effective operation of MICI in the past, and highlight its potential contribution to accelerated future retreat of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 287 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 82 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 82 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 1 1%
Student > Ph. D. Student 1 1%
Unspecified 1 1%
Unknown 79 96%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Environmental Science 1 1%
Unspecified 1 1%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 1 1%
Unknown 79 96%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 403. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 08 February 2019.
All research outputs
#22,377
of 12,623,030 outputs
Outputs from Nature
#2,644
of 65,477 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#1,358
of 313,918 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature
#97
of 858 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,623,030 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 65,477 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 73.5. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 313,918 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 858 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its contemporaries.