Science Service System

Summary of Proposal LAN2952

TitleRoughness modulation of Greenland Ice Sheet hydrology and ice-flow dynamics
Investigator Sole, Andrew - University of Sheffield, Geography
Team Member
Dr Rippin, David - University of York, Environment
Dr Livingstone, Stephen - University of Sheffield, Geography
Dr Hill, Jon - University of York, Environment
Dr McMillan, Mal - University of Leeds, Earth and Environment
Dr Quincey, Duncan - University of Leeds, Geography
Dr Sole, Andrew - University of Sheffield, Geography
SummaryIn a warming climate where the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets havebeen losing mass and contributing to sea-level rise (IPCC, 2013) it isimperative to be able to predict the rates of change of these ice masses, overtimescales of decades to millennia. Conditions at the ice-bed interface are a fundamentalcontrol on ice-sheet behaviour. Recent observations from modern ice sheetsreveal the important role of dynamic subglacial water systems in facilitatingrapid ice-flow into the oceans (e.g. Bartholomew et al., 2010, 2012). On the Greenland Ice Sheet, surfacemelt-water penetrating to the ice bed dominates the subglacial hydrologicalsystem and drives short-term ice-flow variations (Zwally et al., 2002; Sole etal., 2013; Doyle et al., 2014). However, the physical processes controllingstorage and drainage of surface meltwater, and the way it affects ice flow arenot comprehensively understood. This is limiting our ability to predict futuresea-level rise. Here, we propose a 1-year project to address this issue byelucidating the ice-dynamical link between bed roughness and the storage anddrainage of surface water in western Greenland. We will employ the techniquesof feature and coherence tracking to develop seasonal and annual time-series ofice-sheet velocity variations in the Leverett Glacier Region, westernGreenland. These results will be compared to time-series of surface drainagepatterns mapped from high-resolution DEMs and optical imagery in regions ofcontrasting bed roughness derived through a White Rose UniversitiesCollaboration funded project Sole). These observations will increase our understanding and help quantifythe link between bed roughness, surface drainage and ice dynamics, which isrequired for constraining and testing ice-sheet models. TerraSAR-X strip mapmode SAR data is required for this project to make ice velocity measurements inthe study area considered. The volume of data requested is based on the need toget sufficient spatial and temporal coverage over the study are in order toproduce seasonal and annual ice-velocity time series. Effectivedissemination of our results to the scientific community will be achievedthrough publication in peer-reviewed academic journals and presentations atconferences. References: Bartholomewet al, 2010. NAT GEOSC 3, doi: 10.1038/NGEO863; Bartholomew et al, 2012. JGEOPHYS RES 117, F03002, doi:10.1029/2011JF002220; Doyle et al, 2014. GEOPHYSRES LETT 41, 899905, doi:10.1002/2013GL058933; IPCC, 2013. Climate Change2013: The Physical Science Basis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UnitedKingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1535 pp; Sole et al, 2013. GEOPHYS RES LETT 40,39403944, doi:10.1002/grl.50764; Zwally et al, 2002. SCIENCE 297, 218-222,doi:10.1126/science.1072708.

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