David Vaughan

David Vaughan
British Antarctic Survey | BAS · IceSheets

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327
Publications
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Publications

Publications (327)
Article
Full-text available
Subglacial water plays an important role in ice sheet dynamics and stability. Subglacial lakes are often located at the onset of ice streams and have been hypothesised to enhance ice flow downstream by lubricating the ice– bed interface. The most recent subglacial-lake inventory of Antarctica mapped nearly 400 lakes, of which �14% are found in West...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Subglacial water plays an important role in ice sheet dynamics and stability. It is often located at the onset of ice streams and has the potential to enhance ice flow downstream by lubricating the ice-bed interface. The most recent subglacial lake inventory of Antarctica mapped nearly 400 lakes, of which ~ 14 % are found in West Antarcti...
Article
Full-text available
The Antarctic is considered to be a pristine environment relative to other regions of the Earth, but it is increasingly vulnerable to invasions by marine, freshwater and terrestrial non-native species. The Antarctic Peninsula region (APR), which encompasses the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands and South Orkney Islands, is by far the most...
Article
Full-text available
The view from the south is, more than ever, dominated by ominous signs of change. Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are intrinsic to the Earth system, and their evolution is intertwined with and influences the course of the Anthropocene. In turn, changes in the Antarctic affect and presage humanity's future. Growing understanding is countering popu...
Article
Full-text available
The view from the south is, more than ever, dominated by ominous signs of change. Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are intrinsic to the Earth system, and their evolution is intertwined with and influences the course of the Anthropocene. In turn, changes in the Antarctic affect and presage humanity's future. Growing understanding is countering popu...
Article
Full-text available
Warming of the Antarctic Peninsula in the latter half of the twentieth century was greater than any other terrestrial environment in the Southern Hemisphere, and clear cryospheric and biological consequences have been observed. Under a global 1.5◦C scenario, warming in the Antarctic Peninsula is likely to increase the number of days above 0◦C, with...
Technical Report
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Sea-level rise increases the frequency and severity of storm surges and coastal flooding, causing serious damage to critical infrastructure and leading to the displacement of coastal communities around the world. Globally, more than 100 million people live in coastal regions vulnerable to sea-level rise, and many of the world's largest cities are s...
Article
Full-text available
The recent rapid growth of rifts in the Brunt Ice Shelf appears to signal the onset of its largest calving event since records began in 1915. The aim of this study is to determine whether this calving event will lead to a new steady state in which the Brunt Ice Shelf remains in contact with the bed, or an unpinning from the bed, which could predisp...
Article
Full-text available
In the Amundsen sector of West Antarctica, the flow of glaciers accelerates when intrusion of warm ocean water onto the continental shelf induces strong melting beneath ice shelves and thinning near the glaciers' grounding line. Predicting the future of these glaciers is, however, hindered by a poor understanding of the dynamical processes that may...
Article
Full-text available
The recent rapid growth of rifts in the Brunt Ice Shelf appears to signal the onset of its largest calving event since records began in 1915. The aim of this study is to determine whether this calving event will lead to a new steady state where the Brunt Ice Shelf remains in contact with the bed, or an unpinning from the bed, which could pre-dispos...
Article
Curie depths beneath Greenland are revealed by spectral analysis of data from the World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map 2. A thermal model of the lithosphere then provides a corresponding geothermal heat flux map. This new map exhibits significantly higher frequency but lower amplitude variation than earlier heat flux maps and provides an important bo...
Article
Full-text available
Tectonic landforms reveal that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) lies atop a major volcanic rift system. However, identifying subglacial volcanism is challenging. Here we show geochemical evidence of a volcanic heat source upstream of the fast-melting Pine Island Ice Shelf, documented by seawater helium isotope ratios at the front of the Ice Shel...
Article
Full-text available
Projections of sea-level rise contributions from West Antarctica's dynamically thinning ice streams contain high uncertainty because some of the key processes involved are extremely challenging to observe. An especially poorly observed parameter is sub-decadal stability of ice-stream beds, which may be important for subglacial traction, till contin...
Article
Full-text available
The retreating Pine Island Glacier (PIG), West Antarctica, presently contributes ~5–10% of global sea-level rise. PIG’s retreat rate has increased in recent decades with associated thinning migrating upstream into tributaries feeding the main glacier trunk. To project future change requires modelling that includes robust parameterisation of basal t...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctica is the largest reservoir of ice on Earth. Understanding its ice sheet dynamics is crucial to unraveling past global climate change and making robust climatic and sea level predictions. Of the basic parameters that shape and control ice flow, the most poorly known is geothermal heat flux. Direct observations of heat flux are difficult to...
Article
Pine Island Glacier Ice-Shelf (PIGIS) has been thinning rapidly over recent decades, resulting in a progressive drawdown of the inland ice and an upstream migration of the grounding line. The resultant ice loss from Pine Island Glacier (PIG) and its neighboring ice streams presently contributes an estimated ∼10% to global sea-level rise, motivating...
Conference Paper
Results from this presentation were published in: Davies, D.; R.G. Bingham, A.G.C. Graham, M. Spagnolo, P. Dutrieux, D.G. Vaughan, A. Jenkins and F.O. Nitsche (2017) High-resolution sub-ice-shelf seafloor records of 20th-century ungrounding and retreat of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1002/2017JF0043...
Article
Constraining how much and how fast the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) will change in the coming decades has recently been identified as the highest priority in Antarctic research (National Academies, 2015). Here we review recent research on WAIS and outline further scientific objectives for the area now identified as the most likely to undergo nea...
Article
Although 90% of Antarctica's discharge occurs via its fast-flowing ice streams, our ability to project future ice-sheet response has been limited by poor observational constraints on the ice-bed conditions used in numerical models to determine basal slip. We have helped address this observational deficit by acquiring and analysing a series of seism...
Conference Paper
Ice shelves play a crucial role in the sensitivity of West Antarctic ice streams and represent the boundary between warm ocean water and inland ice. Recent observations in the Amundsen Sea region and, in particular, Pine Island Glacier, have shown rapid thinning of its ice shelf leading to acceleration and grounding line retreat. Recent retreat of...
Conference Paper
Deglaciated landscapes and landforms are much used in the quest to reconstruct past ice-sheet behaviour, on the principle that aspects of landform shapes, sizes and relative associations “fossilise” palaeo-ice-sheet processes. Such techniques have been widely used around the margin of the marine West Antarctic Ice Sheet, taking advantage of bathyme...
Article
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is one of the largest potential sources of rising sea levels. Over the past 40 years, glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea sector of the ice sheet have thinned at an accelerating rate, and several numerical models suggest that unstable and irreversible retreat of the grounding line-which marks the boundary between gro...
Article
Full-text available
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements in...
Conference Paper
The resistance to ice - flow generated at the bed of a glacier or ice stream, arises from both, the frictional resistance generated at the ice - bed interface and in deforming layers (ice and bed) , and the form - drag experienced by the ice as it deforms to negotiate the basal topography. In an ideal case, w here a fully 3 - dimensional m...
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, hundreds of glaciers draining the Antarctic Peninsula (63° to 70°S) have undergone systematic and progressive change. These changes are widely attributed to rapid increases in regional surface air temperature, but it is now clear that this cannot be the sole driver. Here, we identify a strong correspondence between mid-depth ocea...
Article
Full-text available
The ApRES (autonomous phase-sensitive radio-echo sounder) instrument is a robust, lightweight and relatively inexpensive radar that has been designed to allow long-term, unattended monitoring of ice-shelf and ice-sheet thinning. We describe the instrument and demonstrate its capabilities and limitations by presenting results from three trial campai...
Conference Paper
Results from this presentation were published in: Brisbourne, A.M.; A.M. Smith, D.G. Vaughan, E.C. King, D. Davies, R.G. Bingham, E.C. Smith, I. Nias and S.H.R. Rosier (2017) Bed conditions of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research, 122, 419-433, doi: 10.1002/2016JF004033
Conference Paper
Pine Island Glacier is changing rapidly and losing mass into the ocean; of all the world’s glaciers, it currently makes one of the biggest contributions to sea level rise. These on - going changes are almost certainly driven from the ocean offshore and from interactions with the floating ice shelf, bu t understanding what controls the glacier’s...
Conference Paper
Pine Island Glacier (PIG) in West Antarctica is currently losing ice at a rate equivalent to ~7% of current sea-level rise, and predicting its future is therefore an important scientific goal. Though the glacier has now been the focus of several modelling studies, the different models disagree on the likely future pace of loss and its spread inland...
Conference Paper
Pine Island Glacier, in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica, is one of the most rapidly changing glaciers on the continent and currently one of the most significant contributors to sea-level rise. The ongoing changes are almost certainly driven by increased oceanic melting at the base of the floating ice shelf, resulting in reduced buttressi...
Conference Paper
Pine Island Glacier (PIG) in West Antarctica is currently losing ice at a rate equivalent to ~7% of current sea-level rise, and predicting its future is therefore an important scientific goal. Though the glacier has now been the focus of several modelling studies, the different models disagree on the likely future pace of loss and its spread inland...
Conference Paper
Remote-sensing observations over the last two decades have revealed rapid acceleration, thinning and grounding line retreat of ice streams draining the Amundsen Sea Sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS). This has renewed concern over the long-term future of the ice sheet and its potential contribution to global sea-level rise. Pine Island G...
Article
We use the BISICLES adaptive mesh ice sheet model to carry out one, two, and three century simulations of the fast-flowing ice streams of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, deploying sub-kilometer resolution around the grounding line since coarser resolution results in substantial underestimation of the response. Each of the simulations begins with a ge...
Article
Full-text available
We use the BISICLES adaptive mesh ice sheet model to carry out one, two, and three century simulations of the fast-flowing ice streams of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Each of the simulations begins with a geometry and velocity close to present day observations, and evolves according to variation in meteoric ice accumulation, ice shelf melting, and...
Article
Full-text available
Glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula have recently shown changes in extent, velocity and thickness, yet there is little quantification of change in the mass balance of individual glaciers or the processes controlling changes in extent. Here a high-resolution digital elevation model and a semi-automated drainage basin delineation method have been use...
Conference Paper
The dramatic acceleration, recession and thinning of Pine Island Glacier observed over the last 20 years represent some of today’s highest-profile contemporary glaciological phenomena, and are of global concern due to their contribution to eustatic sea level. The last decade has witnessed multiple initiatives to predict the future of the catchment...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the hor...
Conference Paper
The dramatic acceleration, recession and thinning of Pine Island Glacier observed over the last 20 years represent some of today’s highest-profile contemporary glaciological phenomena, and are of global concern due to their contribution to eustatic sea level. The last decade has witnessed multiple initiatives to predict the future of the catchment...
Conference Paper
Pine Island Glacier (PIG) in West Antarctica is currently losing ice at a rate equivalent to ~7% of current sea-level rise, and predicting its future is therefore an important scientific goal. Though the glacier has now been the focus of several modelling studies, the different models disagree on the likely future pace of loss and its spread inland...
Article
Full-text available
Full list of co-signatories for Nature Comment "Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science"
Article
Full-text available
Horizon scan methodologies 1,2,3,4 were customized for the Antarctic Science Horizon Scan aiming for broad community engagement and transparent decision-making. A database of 866 scientific questions was generated by two open community-wide, on-line solicitations. Submitted questions were expected to: i) be answerable by an achievable research desi...
Article
Full-text available
Mahlon C. Kennicutt II, Steven L. Chown and colleagues outline the most pressing questions in southern polar research, and call for greater collaboration and environmental protection in the region.
Article
Full-text available
The potential for future dynamical instability of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, has been addressed in a number of studies, but information on its past remains limited. In this study we use airborne radio-echo sounding (RES) data acquired over Pine Island Glacier to investigate past variations in accumulation pattern. In the dataset a distin...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in both global and regional mean sea level, and changes in the magnitude of extreme flood heights, are the result of a combination of several distinct contributions most, but not all, of which are associated with climate change. These contributions include effects in the solid earth, gravity field, changes in ocean mass due to ice loss from...
Conference Paper
Pine Island Glacier (PIG) in West Antarctica is currently losing ice at a rate equivalent to ~7% of current sea-level rise, and predicting its future is therefore an important scientific goal. Though the glacier has now been the focus of several modelling studies, the different models disagree on the likely future pace of loss and its spread inland...
Conference Paper
Pine Island Glacier (PIG)in West Antarctica is currently losing ice at a rate equivalent to ~7% of current sea-level rise, and predicting its future is therefore an important scientific goal. Though the glacier has now been the focus of several modelling studies, the different models disagree on the likely future pace of loss and its spread inland....
Article
Full-text available
Since the 1970s, the sudden, rapid collapse of 20% of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula has led to large-scale thinning and acceleration of its tributary glaciers. The leading hypothesis for the collapse of most of these ice shelves is the process of hydrofracturing, whereby a water-filled crevasse is opened by the hydrostatic pressure acting...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in both global and regional mean sea level, and changes in the magnitude of extreme flood heights, are the result of a combination of several distinct contributions most, but not all, of which are associated with climate change. These contributions include effects in the solid earth, gravity field, changes in ocean mass due to ice loss from...
Article
Full-text available
Thinning and acceleration of West Antarctic ice streams are presently contributing about 10% of the observed global sea level rise. A primary source is from Pine Island Glacier, which has thinned since at least 1992, driven by changes in ocean heat transport beneath its ice shelf and unpinning from a seabed ridge. Details about the ice-ocean intera...
Article
[1] Ice shelves are critical features in the debate about West Antarctic ice sheet change and sea level rise, both because they limit ice discharge and because they are sensitive to change in the surrounding ocean. The Pine Island Glacier ice shelf has been thinning rapidly since at least the early 1990s, which has caused its trunk to accelerate an...