Modeling of Store Gletscher’s calving dynamics, West Greenland, in response to ocean thermal forcing


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Angelika.Humbert [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Glacier-front dynamics is an important control on Greenland's ice mass balance. Warmer ocean waters trigger ice-front retreats of marine-terminating glaciers, and the corresponding loss in resistive stress leads to glacier acceleration and thinning. Here we present an approach to quantify the sensitivity and vulnerability of marine-terminating glaciers to ocean-induced melt. We develop a plan view model of Store Gletscher that includes a level set-based moving boundary capability, a parameterized ocean-induced melt, and a calving law with complete and precise land and fjord topographies to model the response of the glacier to increased melt. We find that the glacier is stabilized by a sill at its terminus. The glacier is dislodged from the sill when ocean-induced melt quadruples, at which point the glacier retreats irreversibly for 27 km into a reverse bed. The model suggests that ice-ocean interactions are the triggering mechanism of glacier retreat, but the bed controls its magnitude.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
42234
DOI 10.1002/2016GL067695

Cite as
Morlighem, M. , Bondzio, J. , Seroussi, H. , Rignot, E. , Larour, E. , Humbert, A. and Rebuffi, S. A. (2016): Modeling of Store Gletscher’s calving dynamics, West Greenland, in response to ocean thermal forcing , Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (6), pp. 2659-2666 . doi: 10.1002/2016GL067695


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