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Turbulent melting of a glacier front using high resolution simulations

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Irena Vankova.

Over the past few years, valuable new observations from the glacial front of Antarctica and Greenland using high-resolution turbulence profilers at the ice shelf borehole (Davis and Nicholls 2019; Kimura et al. 2015; Begeman et al. 2018; Jenkins et al. 2010) iterated the importance of turbulent processes in controlling the melting and dissolution of the ice-ocean interface. Previous laboratory experiments (McConnochie et. al., 2015,17,18) and high-resolution numerical simulations (Gayen et al., 2015, Mondal et. al, 2019, Vreghdenhil et al., 2020 Couston et al.,2021) also have extensively discussed the role of turbulence in the basal melting. My talk spans from turbulence-resolving scales up to the full depth of a fjord. At the turbulence scale, I investigated how the turbulent melting/freezing at the ice-interface is affected by ice-geometry, surface-roughness, ambient velocity shear and external subglacial discharge using fluid-only Direct Numerical Simulations. At the large scale, I investigated the dynamics of a subglacial discharge plume subjected to varying subglacial conduit size, shape and distributions as well as 3d ice-geometry using the MITgcm plume model. These insights can help to provide better estimations of the melting of the ice-face, essential for more accurate projections of future sea-level rise.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey - Polar Oceans seminar series series.

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