Impact of subglacial discharge on turbulent plume dynamics and ocean-glacier heat and mass transfer
Impact of Subglacial Discharge on Turbulent Plume Dynamics and Ocean-Glacier Heat and Mass transfer
- Keywords: tidewater glaciers, fjords, LeConte Glacier, climate change
- UAS Program Area: Environmental Science
- Principal Investigator: Jason M. Amundson, Ph.D.
- Project Period: September 2015–September 2019
- National Science Foundation - Arctic Natural Sciences: $501,803
Recent and on-going retreat of many Northern hemisphere marine-terminating glaciers is contributing significantly to sea level rise. It is driven by poorly understood processes occurring at the ice-ocean interface, such as subglacial discharge into the ocean, turbulent plume dynamics, submarine melting, and iceberg calving. These processes are (1) inherently interdisciplinary, requiring expertise in both glaciology and oceanography and (2) difficult to observe, requiring innovative field techniques and careful site selection. This project will address the relationship between subglacial discharge, turbulent plume dynamics, and submarine melting through a comprehensive field campaign at LeConte Glacier, Alaska, supplemented by a state-of-the-art modeling effort. The field site is ideal because it spans a wide range of forcings on daily to seasonal time scales and because the near-terminus fjord environment is accessible year round. A successful project will provide a unique data set and improved models for projecting contributions to future sea level rise.