Glacier ice shelves

Glacier ice shelves are the floating part of ice sheets. The best examples are located on the margins of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. In Antarctica, the ice shelves constitute about 7 per cent of the surface area of the ice sheet, 44 per cent of the coastline, and account for approximately 80 per cent of the total ablation. The overall thickness of the edges standing in the sea of the Antarctic ice sheet is approximately 200 m. The Ronne-Filchner and the Ross, the two largest ice shelves, are fed both from the West and East Antarctic ice sheets. The Amery, Ross and Ronne-Filchner ice shelves together drain about 62 per cent of the surface area of the Antarctic continent. The flow rates on these ice shelves are about 0.8-2.6 km yr-1.

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