The researchers found an annual widening rate of 529ft to 72ft.
When modelling for the melange thinning on its own, the results showed an annual widening of 249ft to 367ft.
According to Dr Larour, the difference is due to the different substances involved.
He said: “The melange is thinner than ice to begin with,” he said. “When the melange is only 10 or 15 meters thick, it’s akin to water, and the ice shelf rifts are released and start to crack.”
Even in the winter, warmer waters circulating through the ocean can reach the melange because rifts in the ice shelf run the depth of the shelf.