Model Investigation of Ice Stream/Subglacial Lake Systems
This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).
This award supports a project to conduct a modeling study of the ice stream ? sub-glacial water system. A suite of numerical models of various dimensionality and complexity will be constructed in a sequential, hierarchical fashion to formulate and test hypotheses regarding how sub-glacial lakes form under ice streams, determine the effect of sub-glacial lakes on ice-stream flow and mass balance, and to determine feedback effects whereby the ice stream ? sub-glacial water system can elicit both stable and unstable responses to environmental perturbations. This research will address one of the only observationally verified fast-time-scale processes apparent within the Antarctic Ice Stream system. The intellectual merit of the project is that understanding the origins and consequences of near-grounding-line sub-glacial lakes is a priority in glaciological research designed to predict short-term variations in Antarctica?s near-term future mass balance. The broader impacts of the proposed work are that it will contribute to better understanding of a system that has important societal relevance through contribution to sea level rise. Participation of a graduate student in the project will provide the student?s training and education in application of the numerical modeling in geosciences.
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Platforms and Instruments
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