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Robotic exploration of sub-ice shelf melting and freezing processes

A remotely-operated underwater vehicle was used to map the ice, ocean, and seafloor conditions near the point where the floating Ross Ice Shelf meets the seafloor, also known as the grounding line. The study identified refreezing crevasses and geomorphological signatures of past grounding line retreat.

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Fig. 1: Connected ice, ocean, and seafloor processes at the Kamb Ice Stream grounding line.


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  3. Begeman, C. B. et al. Ocean stratification and low melt rates at the Ross Ice Shelf grounding zone. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 123, 7438–7452 (2018). An article describing the first subglacial work along the Ross Ice Shelf grounding line, in which profiles in the 10 m water column showed stratification, currents below 3 cm s−1, and melt rates below 10 cm yr−1.

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This is a summary of: Lawrence, J. D. et al. Crevasse refreezing and signatures of retreat observed at Kamb Ice Stream grounding zone. Nat. Geosci. (2023).

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Robotic exploration of sub-ice shelf melting and freezing processes. Nat. Geosci. 16, 198–199 (2023).

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