University of Cambridge > > BPI Seminar Series > When ice meets ocean: meltwater plumes from the murky depths

When ice meets ocean: meltwater plumes from the murky depths

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The response of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to changing ocean conditions provides a significant uncertainty in projections of future sea level rise. The melting or dissolution of ice into a salty ocean generates fresh and buoyant meltwater, which can rise in a plume adjacent to the ice. This turbulent convection moderates the supply of heat from the ocean to the ice, and can control the rate of melting. This talk considers the use of turbulent plume theory to predict melting rates coupled to buoyancy-driven flow, focussing on two scenarios. Firstly, we consider the leading order scalings predicted by plume theory for ice melting into a stratified ocean. We then discuss possible impacts of melting sediment-laden ice, motivated by observations of sediment entrainment into ice streams that run out into the ocean.

This talk is part of the BPI Seminar Series series.

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