High-concentration sediment plumes, Horseshoe Island, western Antarctic Peninsula

Cristian Rodrigo, Andrés Varas-Gómez, Adrián Bustamante-Maino, Emilio Mena-Hodges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The variability in sediment concentration and spatial distribution of meltwater discharges from tidewater glaciers can be used to elucidate climatic evolution and glacier behaviour due to the association between sediment yield and glacier retreat (e.g. Domack & McClennen 1996). In an accelerated deglaciation environment, higher sediment concentrations in the water column can change the glacimarine costal dynamics and affect productivity and sea floor ecosystems (e.g. Marín et al. 2013). In the Antarctic Peninsula Region, meltwater or turbid plumes were previously believed to be rare or without an important role in the sedimentary glacimarine environment (e.g. Griffith & Anderson 1989), but recent studies have shown that this is a common phenomenon in subpolar and transition polar climates (Yoo et al. 2015, Rodrigo et al. 2016). In the current climate change scenario, accelerated glacier retreats and mass losses can produce an increasing input of glacial meltwater into the fjord regions, a situation that is not yet well evaluated in the Antarctic Peninsula. In this short note, after in situ observation of an unusual waterfall from the southern side of the main western tidewater glacier (Shoesmith Glacier) of Horseshoe Island (Lystad Bay), Marguerite Bay (Fig. 1), we report high turbidity values associated with plumes from the glacier, whose values were higher than reported data from subpolar/transition polar Antarctic climates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-216
Number of pages4
JournalAntarctic Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • climate change
  • glacimarine environments
  • oceanographic variables
  • tidewater glacier
  • turbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Geology


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