Radar surveys of the Rutford Ice Stream onset zone, West Antarctica: indications of flow (in)stability?

We present 1 and 100 MHz ground-based radar data from the onset region of Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica, which indicate the form and internal structure of isochrones. In the flow-parallel lines, modelled isochrone patterns reproduce the gross pattern of the imaged near-surface layers, assuming steady-state flow velocity from GPS records and the current accumulation rate for the last 200 years. We interpret this as indicating overall stability in flow in the onset region of Rutford Ice Stream throughout this period. However, in the cross-flow lines some local variability in accumulation is seen in areas close to the ice-stream margin where a number of tributaries converge towards the ice-stream onset zone. Episodic surface lowering events are observed followed by rapid fill episodes. The fill events indicate deposition towards the northwest, most likely generated by storm winds, which blow at an oblique angle to ice flow. More problematic is explaining the generation of episodic surface lowering in this area. We speculate this may be due 10: changing ice-flow direction in the complex tributary area of the onset zone; a change in basal sediments or sedimentary landforms; a change in basal melt rates or water supply; or episodic lake drainage events in the fjord systems of the Ellsworth Subglacial Highlands. The study highlights the difficulty of assessing flow stability in the complex onset regions of West Antarctic ice streams. read more

At–sea behavior varies with lunar phase in a nocturnal pelagic seabird, the swallow-tailed gull

first_imgStrong and predictable environmental variability can reward flexible behaviors among animals. We used long-term records of activity data that cover several lunar cycles to investigate whether behavior at-sea of swallow-tailed gulls Creagrus furcatus, a nocturnal pelagic seabird, varied with lunar phase in the Galápagos Islands. A Bayesian hierarchical model showed that nighttime at-sea activity of 37 breeding swallow-tailed gulls was clearly associated with changes in moon phase. Proportion of nighttime spent on water was highest during darker periods of the lunar cycle, coinciding with the cycle of the diel vertical migration (DVM) that brings prey to the sea surface at night. Our data show that at-sea behavior of a tropical seabird can vary with environmental changes, including lunar phase.last_img read more