The team also found that the Southwest Tributary of Pine Island Glacier, a deep ice channel between the two glaciers, could trigger or accelerate ice loss in Thwaites Glacier if the observed melting of Pine Island Glacier by warm ocean water continues down the ice channel. The results were published online in the Annals of Glaciology.
“This is a potentially really dynamic place between these two glaciers, and this is somewhere where further study is really warranted,” said lead author Dustin Schroeder, an assistant professor of geophysics at the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. “If this tributary were to retreat and get melted by warm ocean water, it could cause the melt beneath Pine Island to spread to Thwaites.”
Source: Interacting Antarctic glaciers may cause faster melt and sea level contributions