Articles | Volume 14, issue 4
Research article
17 Apr 2014
Research article |  | 17 Apr 2014

Halley Research Station, Antarctica: calving risks and monitoring strategies

R. Anderson, D. H. Jones, and G. H. Gudmundsson

Abstract. The British Antarctic Survey's Halley Research Station is located on the Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica, where it is potentially vulnerable to calving events. Existing historical records show that the Brunt Ice Shelf is currently extended further into the Weddell Sea than it was before its last large calving event, so a new calving event may be overdue. We describe three different possible future scenarios for a large-scale calving event on Brunt Ice Shelf. We conclude that currently the most threatening scenario for the Halley Research Station is a calving event on the neighbouring Stancomb-Wills Glacier Tongue, with subsequent detrimental consequences for the stability of the Brunt Ice Shelf. Based on available data, we suggest an increasing likelihood of this scenario occurring after 2020. We furthermore describe ongoing monitoring efforts aimed at giving advanced warning of an imminent calving event.

Final-revised paper