We mapped ice shelf margins along the Queen Maud Land coast, Antarctica, in a study of ice shelf margin variability over time. Our objective was to determine the behavior of ice shelves at similar latitudes but different longitudes relative to ice shelves that are dramatically retreating along the Antarctic Peninsula, possibly in response to changing global climate. We measured coastline positions from 1963 satellite reconnaissance photography and 1997 RADARSAT synthetic aperture radar image data for comparison with coastlines inferred by other researchers who used Landsat data from the mid-1970s. We show that these ice shelves lost ∼6.8% of their total area between 1963 and 1997. Most of the areal reduction occurred between 1963 and the mid-1970s. Since then, ice margin positions have stabilized or even readvanced. We conclude that these ice shelves are in a near-equilibrium state with the coastal environment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science
- Atmospheric Science
- Astronomy and Astrophysics