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Rainey Aberle Thesis Proposal

September 18 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm MDT


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 significantly. The terminus position 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, I will use a width- and depth-integrated numerical ice flow model to investigate the influence of changing ocean conditions on Crane Glacier, former Larsen B tributary, following the collapse of the ice shelf. Specifically, I will use satellite-derived observations of speed, terminus position, and elevation change to constrain the dynamic history of the glacier. Bed elevations will be estimated via mass conservation and constrained by NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge mission and bathymetry observations. Environmental forcing will be prescribed using surface mass balance estimates from the RACMO2.3 climate model and calving and submarine melting parameterizations tuned 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). The results will demonstrate the model’s sensitivity to the calving parameterization and to the environmental forcing parameters.

Advisor: Ellyn Enderlin

Co-Advisors: HP Marshall, Michal Kopera

When: Friday, September 18th, 2020
Time: 3:00 PM
Where: Zoom