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Meltdown of Ice Bridges and Emergence of New Islands in the Barents-Kara Region Observed by Sentinel-1 INSAR Aleksey Sharov1, Dmitry Nikolskiy2 1JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Austria; 2Sovzond, Russian Federation Natural ice bridges formed by glaciers stretching across water bodies and connecting isolated tracts of land to the mainland belong to relatively un...

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... Ice retreat has also resulted in the formation of a new island in the southeast of Hall Island (Sharov and Nikolskiy, 2017;Pelto, 2018). In 2002 the new island was still a peninsula with an area of 59.5 km 2 , connected to Hall Island by marine-terminating glaciers ( Figure S9). ...
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The glaciers of the Franz Josef Land (FJL) archipelago in the Russian Arctic are subjected to rapidly-warming temperatures but are small contributors to sea level. We analyze ice surface elevation data derived from satellite stereo imagery (WorldView and SPOT), radar altimetry (CryoSat-2), and a digitized 1953 cartographic map to calculate elevation change rates [Formula presented]. Mass loss from FJL doubled between 2011 and 2015 compared to 1953–2011/2015, increasing from a rate of −2.18 ± 0.72 Gt yr⁻¹ to −4.43 ± 0.78 Gt yr⁻¹. This 2011−2015 rate indicates an acceleration in ice loss from that observed in 2003–2009 by multiple studies using ICESat and GRACE. Glacier thinning rates are spatially highly variable. We observe glacier thinning rates of up to 10 m per year, and in general we see a trend of increased thinning from the NE towards the SW. Glacier retreat is widespread and has led to the creation of at least one new island. Historically, ice wastage from FJL is thought to have been relatively small, but accelerating ice loss may be the new normal for this archipelago in a warming Arctic.