Pennsylvania State University
|When:||Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Join us for coffee beginning at 10:00 a.m.
|Where:||Seminar Conference Room, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196-ROC, Austin, Texas 78758|
|Host:||Ginny Catania, UTIG|
The stability of Thwaites Glacier is a significant open question for projections of potential sea-level rise, depending strongly on interactions between ocean circulation and basal topography, neither of which is fully known. Recent IceBridge flights and satellite imagery have provided a clearer picture of this glacier's bed and the evolution of its ice front, respectively.
We use these observations to constrain a coupled model consisting of a higher-order flowline ice model and a plume ocean model. Fitting the model to InSAR velocity observations indicates that the flow is controlled primarily by basal drag, and that the grounding line may thus remain stable despite calving and high oceanic melt rates. However, plausible scenarios involving effects of tidal flexure could result in loss of stability and a subsequent rapid retreat.