Sarah Boon(1); Dave Burgess(2); Luke Copland(3); Gwenn Flowers(4); Jeff Kavanaugh(2);
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Sarah Boon(1); Dave Burgess(2); Luke Copland(3); Gwenn Flowers(4); Jeff Kavanaugh(2); Shawn Marshall(5); Martin Sharp(2); Lev Tarasov(6) (1)U of N.B.C, (2)U. of Alberta, (3)U. of Ottawa, (4)Simon Fraser, (5)U. of Calgary, (6)M.U.N.

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B beauchamp

Sarah Boon(1); Dave Burgess(2); Luke Copland(3); Gwenn Flowers(4); Jeff Kavanaugh(2);

Shawn Marshall(5); Martin Sharp(2); Lev Tarasov(6)

(1)U of N.B.C, (2)U. of Alberta, (3)U. of Ottawa, (4)Simon Fraser, (5)U. of Calgary,

(6)M.U.N.

Global warming and polar tidewater glacier response: A Canadian IPY project on Belcher Glacier, Nunavut

B.Beauchamp


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THE CLIMATE SYSTEM

IS MORE SENSITIVE

THAN WE THOUGHT

Mauna Loa CO2 record

Global Mean Annual Air Temperature

c.f. IPCC Scenarios

Global Mean Sea Level

c.f. IPCC Scenarios

Rahmstorf et al, Science Express, Feb 2007


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WHAT’S DRIVING THE SEA LEVEL RISE ??

Luthcke et al, Science, 2006

Alley et al., Annals of Glaciology, in press

ENHANCED MASS LOSS FROM GREENLAND


Why the enhanced loss

WHY THE ENHANCED LOSS?

Outlet

Glacier

velocities

m/yr

Glacier

Earthquakes

Rignot &

Kanagaratnam,

Science, 2006

Ekstrom et al,

Science, 2006

ACCELERATED OUTLET GLACIER FLOW


Outlet glacier retreat thinning and iceberg calving

OUTLET GLACIER RETREAT, THINNING AND ICEBERG CALVING

Helheim Glacier

2000

2004

Thickness Change

Frontal Retreat

Velocity

I. Howat et al., GRL, 2005


What s driving these changes

WHAT’S DRIVING THESE CHANGES?

  • Two main hypotheses:

    • From the top – increased or more widespread penetration of surface meltwater to the glacier bed enhances sliding

    • From the bottom – terminus destabilisation by flotation (due to rising sea level or thinning caused by increased surface or marine melt) reduces flow resistance

  • But which is it ? Hard to measure in Greenland

A. Gardner


Ipy glaciodyn international

IPY GLACIODYN: International

  • Researchers from 17 countries

  • Tidewater Arctic glaciers – role of dynamics in response to climate warming

    • Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, Russia

B.Danielson


Ipy glaciodyn canada

IPY GLACIODYN Canada

Canadian Participants

Martin Sharp, Jeff Kavanaugh, (U. Alberta)

Shawn Marshall (U. Calgary), Gwenn Flowers (SFU)

Sarah Boon (UNBC), Luke Copland (U. Ottawa)

Trevor Bell, Lev Tarasov (Memorial)

Dave Burgess,Laurence Gray (CCRS)

International Collaborators

Tony Payne, Jemma Wadham (Bristol University, UK)

Bernd Kulessa (University of Wales, Swansea)

Andy Smith (British Antarctic Survey)


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Canadian site: Devon Island Ice Cap

Queen Elizabeth

Islands

Devon


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Study site: Belcher Glacier


Goals

Goals

  • Develop high order coupled model of outlet glacier dynamics

    • incorporate surface mass balance, glacier hydrology, ice flow and iceberg calving

  • Collect detailed field and remotely sensed data

    • Design, initialize, drive, and validate model

  • Run model

    • Explore Belcher Glacier response to climate change

      • atmospheric and oceanic climate

      • amount and distribution of surface water inputs to glacier bed

      • Ice dynamics, terminus stability and iceberg calving

      • What are the important processes?


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Methods: Modelling

snow

  • Surface mass balance model

  • Whole ice cap flow model

  • Coupled hydrology/ thermomechanical outlet glacier flow model

  • Iceberg calving mechanics

Lev Tarasov

G. Flowers


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Methods: Surface Processes & Properties

  • Mass balance

    • radar, ice cores, AWS, stakes, remote sensing of summer melt

  • Hydrology & Drainage

    • remote sensing, time lapse photography, hydrometric measurements,

  • Topography

    • Kinematic GPS, Airborne laser altimetry, Photogrammetry

B.Danielson

Surface elevation change (m/yr)

Distance from Glacier Head (km)

S. Boon

Thickness Changes 1960-2005


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Methods: Sub-surface characteristics

M. Davis

  • Subglacial topography

    • RES, GPR

  • Bed properties and their temporal variability

    • seismic reflection and monitoring

NOAA

W.Krabill


Methods offshore bathymetry and water column properties

Methods: Offshore bathymetry and water column properties

  • RCGS Amundsen


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Methods: Ice velocities

  • Remote sensing

    • InSAR

  • Field measurements

    • wireless GPS

D. Burgess

D. Burgess et al., J.Glaciology, 2005


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Key questions (1)

  • On what timescale does Belcher Glacier respond to climate warming?

  • How is glacier response regulated by changes in the rate and mechanism of ice flow? If so, what causes these changes?

  • How do these changes amplify those caused by surface mass balance alone?

F. Cawkwell


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Key questions (2)

  • Are changes in flow dynamics and iceberg calving related, and how?

  • What controls the calving rate and its variation over time – is ocean climate important?

Vexcel

A.Gardner


Challenges

Challenges

  • NSERC IPY/PCSP Logistics mis-communication: dollar stretching

  • Polar Bears


Funding

Funding

  • NSERC

    • IPY SRO

    • RTI

    • Discovery Grant

    • Northern Research Supplement

  • CFI

  • ASRIP, OIT

  • ArcticNet

  • PCSP

F. Cawkwell


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