This is a commentary on DOI:10.1029/2005GL025588
New boundary conditions for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: Subglacial topography of the Thwaites and Smith glacier catchments
Article first published online: 3 MAY 2006
Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 33, Issue 9, May 2006
How to Cite
2006), New boundary conditions for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: Subglacial topography of the Thwaites and Smith glacier catchments, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L09502, doi:10.1029/2005GL025561., , , , , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 3 MAY 2006
- Article first published online: 3 MAY 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 MAR 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 6 MAR 2006
- Manuscript Received: 21 DEC 2005
 Airborne radar sounding over the Thwaites Glacier (TG) catchment and its surroundings provides the first comprehensive view of subglacial topography in this dynamic part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and reveals that TG is underlain by a single, broad basin fed by a dendritic pattern of valleys, while Smith Glacier lies within an extremely deep, narrow trench. Subglacial topography in the TG catchment slopes inland from a broad, low-relief coastal sill to the thickest ice of the WAIS and makes deep connections to both Pine Island Glacier and the Ross Sea Embayment enabling dynamic interactions across the WAIS during deglaciation. Simple isostatic rebound modeling shows that most of this landscape would be submarine after deglaciation, aside from an island chain near the present-day Ross-Amundsen ice divide. The lack of topographic confinement along TG's eastern margin implies that it may continue to widen in response to grounding line retreat.