University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Scott Polar Research Institute - Physical Sciences Seminar > Double bill: Modelling the evolution of supra-glacial lakes in the Russell glacier region of the Greenland Ice Sheet / IMBIE - Ice sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise

Double bill: Modelling the evolution of supra-glacial lakes in the Russell glacier region of the Greenland Ice Sheet / IMBIE - Ice sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise

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Modelling the evolution of supra-glacial lakes in the Russell glacier region of the Greenland Ice Sheet

We present a new 2 dimensional model of supra-glacial lake evolution at the western Greenland ice sheet margin which uses a digital elevation model (DEM) to route meltwater runoff simulated by the regional climate model MAR (Modele Atmospherique Regional) across the ice sheet surface. The resulting water drainage network and supra-glacial lake distribution are compared to optical satellite imagery derived from the MODIS satellite. Our simulations of lake evolution in 2003-2007 confirm that the locations of supra-glacial lakes coincide with intransient depressions in the ice surface topography, and that the onset date of lakes coincides with local runoff availability. We also attempt to constrain a practical limit to the area occupied by modelled supra-glacial lakes (6 ) in our simulation and volume which they contain (12 all runoff produced) which is not exceeded, even when double the estimated runoff amount is supplied.

IMBIE – Ice sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise

Accurate monitoring of ice sheet mass balance is critical for understanding the interaction of climate and ice sheets, and for forecasting sea level rise. Over the past 20 years or so the measurement of ice sheet mass balance has been revolutionised by the advent of three geodetic techniques- altimetry, gravimetry and the mass budget method. There are now more than 30 published results of mass balance for the Greenland and Antarctica Ice Sheets. However, disagreements between many of the published results have limited the confidence in the measurements. Over the past year, a group of over 30 scientists have worked together on the IMBIE project with the aim of understanding the causes for these disagreements and reconciling the measurements of ice sheet mass balance from the different geodetic techniques. In my presentation, I will outline the approach and experiments of the IMBIE group, and some of our key findings.

This talk is part of the Scott Polar Research Institute - Physical Sciences Seminar series.

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