The researchers found an annual widening rate of 529 feet to 72 feet.
When modeling for the thinning of the mixture alone, the results showed an annual broadening from 249 feet to 367 feet.
According to Dr. Larour, the difference is due to the different substances involved.
He said, “For starters, the mixture is thinner than ice,” he said. “When the mixture is only 10 or 15 meters thick, it is similar to water, and the cracks in the ice shelf break free and begin to crack.”
Even in winter, the warmer waters circulating through the ocean can get into the mix because cracks in the ice shelf run deep into the shelf.