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Rainey Aberle Thesis Final

April 30 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm MDT

Rainey Aberle

Assessing controls on ice dynamics at Crane Glacier, Antarctic Peninsula using a numerical ice flow model

Since the collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves on the eastern Antarctic Peninsula, ice flow from the shelves’ former tributary glaciers has accelerated substantially. The terminus positions and ice speed of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula have been previously correlated to ocean conditions in more recent years. However, the current understanding of important controls on glacier dynamics around the Antarctic Peninsula is limited by sparse ocean observations at glacier margins and estimates of submarine melting rates. Here, we use a width- and depth-integrated numerical ice flow model to investigate the influence of changing ocean conditions at Crane Glacier, former Larsen B tributary, following the collapse of the ice shelf. Specifically, we use satellite-derived observations of speed, terminus position, surface elevation change, and estimated glacier bed elevations to constrain the dynamic history of the glacier. Environmental forcing is prescribed using surface mass balance estimates from the RACMO2.3 climate model. We tune the calving and the submarine melting parameterizations to calibrate the numerical model so that it reproduces temporal patterns in terminus position (for calving) and surface meltwater runoff and iceberg melting (for submarine melting). Through model experiments, we assess the sensitivity of the model to changes in ocean and atmospheric forcing. Our work here presents implications for potential glacier response to future climate projections in the region.

Advisor: Ellyn Enderlin

Co-Advisors: HP Marshall, Michal Kopera

When: April 30, 2021
Time: 3:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting ID: 959 2673 7152