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Dynamic Behavior of Ice Sheets on Seismic and Slightly Longer Timescales

UTIG Seminars

Dynamic Behavior of Ice Sheets
on Seismic and Slightly Longer Timescales

Jacob Walter
Georgia Institute of Technology

When: Wednesay, April 24, 2013, 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
image from Dr. Walter's talk

Click for a Live Broadcast.

A glacier emits seismic waves during a variety of processes like when it undergoes basal stick-slip sliding, calves icebergs, or drains a supraglacial lake. One particularly prominent emitter has been the Whillans Ice Plain (WIP), which may be the most seismically active glacier in the world, in that its bi-daily stick-slip events generate seismic waves observable up to 1000 km away. I will present new field observations from the WIP detailing the rupture process and suggest that the rupture speed may provide not only insight into glacier basal conditions, but basic rupture physics of tectonic earthquakes. Next, I will show that the dynamics at Store Glacier, an outlet glacier in West Greenland, are influenced by ocean tides and the seasonal removal of compacted icebergs and sea ice during the spring. Finally, I highlight the connection between the solid earth and cryosphere by showing that surface waves from distant, large earthquakes, trigger icequakes across Antarctica. The work yields information regarding the sensitivity of ice and tectonic processes occurring on various spatial and temporal timescales. Detailed study of many of these processes is still needed before ice sheet models can realistically forecast ice sheet response to climate forcing.