University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > British Antarctic Survey - Ice Dynamics and Paleoclimate Seminar Series > Hybrid basal motion of the Greenlandic Ice Sheet (and also probably some Antarctic glaciers).

Hybrid basal motion of the Greenlandic Ice Sheet (and also probably some Antarctic glaciers).

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Uncertainty related to the mechanics of the fast motion of the Greenland Ice Sheet plagues predictions of sea level rise. A large part of this uncertainty is tied to which constitutive relationship and associated parameters should be used to describe basal sliding. This talk looks at new results from high-resolution modelling over 4 by 8 km domains, incorporating temperate ice rheology and statistically realistic bed topography, which demonstrate that basal sliding exhibits large variability, from 90% over sub-kilometre distances. This indicates that basal motion is better considered as the sum of basal sliding and ice deformation within a basal temperate ice boundary layer that, in agreement with field studies, varies in thickness from 100 m in response to changes in basal topography. While this work focusses on the Greenland Ice Sheet it is likely that these findings also apply to Isbræ-type outlet glaciers in Antarctica which have similar roughness characteristics.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey - Ice Dynamics and Paleoclimate Seminar Series series.

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