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Like most ice caps and glaciers worldwide, Icelandic glaciers are retreating in a warming climate. Here, the evolution of Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, from 1980 to 2300 is simulated by forcing the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) with output from Regional Climate Models (RCMs). For climate simulations of the recent past, HARMONIE-AROME reanalysis-forced simulations are used, while for future climate conditions, high-resolution (5.5 km) simulations from the RCM HIRHAM5 are used in addition to available CORDEX simulations (12 km). The glacier evolution is modelled using the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios until 2100. To extend the time series, the 2081–2100 climate forcing is repeated until 2300. For RCP 4.5, the ice cap loses 31–64% of its volume and 13–37% of its area by 2300 depending on the used model forcing. For RCP 8.5, the volume decrease is 51–94% and the area decrease is 24–80% by 2300. In addition, the effect of elevation feedbacks is investigated by adding a precipitation and temperature lapse rate to the HIRHAM5 simulations. By 2300, the lapse rate runs have a 9–14% smaller volume and a 9–20% smaller area than the runs without a lapse rate correction.
Numerical ice-sheet models are commonly matched to surface ice velocities from InSAR measurements by modifying basal drag, allowing the flow and form of the ice sheet to be simulated. Geophysical measurements of the bed are rarely used to examine if this modification is realistic, however. Here, we examine radio-echo sounding (RES) data from the Weddell Sea sector of West Antarctica to investigate how the output from a well-established ice-sheet model compares with measurements of the basal environment. We know the Weddell Sea sector contains the Institute, Möller and Foundation ice streams, each with distinct basal characteristics: Institute Ice Stream lies partly over wet unconsolidated sediments, where basal drag is very low; Möller Ice Stream lies on relatively rough bed, where basal drag is likely larger; and Foundation Ice Stream is controlled by a deep subglacial trough with flow-aligned bedrock landforms and smooth unconsolidated sediments. In general, the ice-sheet model represents each ice-stream system well. We also find that ice velocities do not match perfectly in some locations, and that adjustment of the boundaries of low basal drag, to reflect RES evidence, should improve model performance. Our work showcases the usefulness of RES in calibrating ice-sheet model results with observations of the bed.
Ices of various compositions and in various phases and combinations with one another are found on planetary surfaces through remote sensing techniques, of which optical spectroscopy is the most powerful and diagnostic. Ices also are found in combination with minerals and organic materials; some complex organic materials are the result of energetic processing of ices, while some may represent organic matter from other sources. Remote spectroscopic observations from Earth-based telescopes and planetary probes are usually interpreted with the aid of radiative transfer models that account for the compositions, particle properties, mixing configurations and other parameters relevant to the materials under consideration. This chapter reviews the spectroscopic character of planetary ices in pure states and in combinations with one another, and with minerals and organic solid materials found by remote sensing techniques and by the analysis of analog materials, both naturally occurring and synthesized in the laboratory and thus available for analytical studies.
The near-infrared reflectance spectra of Pluto and its satellites are rich with diagnostic absorption bands of ices of CH4, N2, CO, H2O, and an incompletely identified ammonia-bearing molecule. Following years of investigation of the spectra of Pluto and Charon with ground-based telescopes, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft obtained spectral maps of these bodies and three small satellites on its passage through the system on July 14, 2015, showing the distribution of these ices, as well as a colored, non-ice component. Spectral modeling mapped the distribution of the various ices and showed their abundance and mixing details in relationship to regions of differing surface elevation, albedo, and geologic structure. Additionally, owing to their greatly different degrees of volatility, the ices of Pluto are distributed in patterns responsive to Pluto’s climatic changes on both short and long terms. The surface of Charon is dominated spectrally by H2O ice with one or more ammoniated compounds, and three of the four very small satellites show both H2O ice and the ammonia signature.
At its late Pleistocene maximum, the Laurentide Ice Sheet was the largest ice mass on Earth and a key player in the modulation of global climate and sea level. At the same time, this temperate ice sheet was itself sensitive to climate, and high-magnitude fluctuations in ice extent, reconstructed from relict glacial deposits, reflect past changes in atmospheric temperature. Here, we present a cosmogenic 10Be surface-exposure chronology for the Berlin moraines in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, USA, which supports the model that deglaciation of New England was interrupted by a pronounced advance of ice during the Bølling-Allerød. Together with recalculated 10Be ages from the southern New England coast, the expanded White Mountains moraine chronology also brackets the timing of ice sheet retreat in this sector of the Laurentide. In conjunction with existing chronological data, the moraine ages presented here suggest that deglaciation was widespread during Heinrich Stadial 1 event (~18–14.7 ka) despite apparently cold marine conditions in the adjacent North Atlantic. As part of the White Mountains moraine system, the Berlin chronology also places a new terrestrial constraint on the former glacial configuration during the marine incursion of the St. Lawrence River valley north of the White Mountains.
This chapter discusses the data and method applied in the present study. It gives a concise overview of the ICE corpus project and the ten national sub-corpora that enter the analysis as well as describing how the Twitter (TwICE) corpus was sampled. Following this, the catalog of 236 linguistic features extracted from the corpus data is introduced. The chapter concludes with a description of the individual steps and parameter settings of the statistical procedure and a bird’s eye view of the resulting space of variation.
The indirect cause of death of the three members of the Andrée balloon expedition on White Island in early October 1897 was the ice drift during their attempted retreat after the forced landing at 82°56′N 29°52′E. They initially tried to reach Cape Flora to the southeast of their current position in the Arctic pack ice even though they could deduce from prior explorers’ experience that the expected long-term direction of the ice drift in the area would be to the southwest. However, when they finally turned towards the Seven Islands in the southwest, the ice unexpectedly began to drift in a southeasterly direction. In this paper, trigonometrical methods are used to derive more precise measures of the ice drift the expedition members actually experienced, based on their own position fixes and their own descriptions of their marches. The results confirm that they were exposed to a southwesterly ice drift, on average, during the weeks they were trying to head southeast, and to a southeasterly ice drift, on average, during the weeks they were trying to head southwest. Hence, the disastrous ending of the expedition was, at least to some extent, a result of bad luck.
This paper provides an update and overview of the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) radars and platforms, including representative results from these systems. CReSIS radar systems operate over a frequency range of 14–38 GHz. Each radar system's specific frequency band is driven by the required depth of signal penetration, measurement resolution, allocated frequency spectra, and antenna operating frequencies (often influenced by aircraft integration). We also highlight recent system advancements and future work, including (1) increasing system bandwidth; (2) miniaturizing radar hardware; and (3) increasing sensitivity. For platform development, we are developing smaller, easier to operate and less expensive unmanned aerial systems. Next-generation platforms will further expand accessibility to scientists with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.
The high-Alpine ice-core drilling site Colle Gnifetti (CG), Monte Rosa, Swiss/Italian Alps, provides climate records over the last millennium and beyond. However, the full exploitation of the oldest part of the existing ice cores requires complementary knowledge of the intricate glacio-meteorological settings, including glacier dynamics. Here, we present new ice-flow modeling studies of CG, focused on characterizing the flow at two neighboring drill sites in the eastern part of the glacier. The3-D full Stokes ice-flow model is thermo-mechanically coupled and includes firn rheology, firn densification and enthalpy transport, and is implemented using the finite element software Elmer/Ice. Measurements of surface velocities, accumulation, borehole inclination, density and englacial temperatures are used to validate the model output. We calculate backward trajectories and map the catchment areas. This constrains, for the first time at this site, the so-called upstream effects for the stable water isotope time series of the two ice cores drilled in 2005 and 2013. The model also provides a 3-D age field of the glacier and independent ice-core chronologies for five ice-core sites. Model results are a valuable addition to the existing glaciological and ice-core datasets. This especially concerns the quantitative estimate of upstream conditions affecting the interpretation of the deep ice-core layers.
In the marginal ice zone, surface waves drive motion of sea ice floes. The motion of floes relative to each other can cause periodic collisions, and drives the formation of pancake sea ice. Additionally, the motion of floes relative to the water results in turbulence generation at the interface between the ice and ocean below. These are important processes for the formation and growth of pancakes, and likely contribute to wave energy loss. Models and laboratory studies have been used to describe these motions, but there have been no in situ observations of relative ice velocities in a natural wave field. Here, we use shipboard stereo video to measure wave motion and relative motion of pancake floes simultaneously. The relative velocities of pancake floes are typically small compared to wave orbital motion (i.e. floes mostly follow the wave orbits). We find that relative velocities are well-captured by existing phase-resolved models, and are only somewhat over-estimated by using bulk wave parameters. Under the conditions observed, estimates of wave energy loss from ice–ocean turbulence are much larger than from pancake collisions. Increased relative pancake floe velocities in steeper wave fields may then result in more wave attenuation by increasing ice–ocean shear.
The rapid warming observed in the western Antarctic Peninsula gives rise to a fast disintegration of ice shelves and thinning and retreat of marine-terminating continental glaciers, which is likely to raise global sea levels in the near future. In order to understand the contemporary changes in context and to provide constraints for hindcasting models, it is important to understand the Late Quaternary history of the region. Here, we build on previous work on the deglacial history of the western Antarctic Peninsula and we present four new cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages from Horseshoe Island in Marguerite Bay, which has been suggested as a former location of very fast ice stream retreat. Four samples collected from erratic pink granite boulders at an altitude of ~80 m above sea level yielded ages that range between 12.9 ± 1.1 ka and 9.4 ± 0.8 ka. As in other studies on Antarctic erratics, we have chosen to report the youngest erratic age (9.4 ± 0.8 ka) as the true age of deglaciation, which confirms a rapid thinning of the Marguerite Trough Ice Stream at the onset of Holocene. This result is consistent with other cosmogenic age data and other proxies (marine and lacustrine 14C and optically stimulated luminescence) reported from nearby areas.
We present a 3-year record of seasonal variations in ice speed and frontal ablation of 10 marine-terminating outlet glaciers along the coast of Prudhoe Land in northwestern Greenland. The glaciers showed seasonal speedup initiated between late May and early June, and terminated between late June and early July. Ice speed subsequently decreased from July to September. The timing of the speedup coincided with the onset of the air temperature rise to above freezing, suggesting an influence of meltwater availability on the glacier dynamics. No clear relationship was found between the speedup and the terminus position or the sea-ice/ice-mélange conditions. These results suggest that the meltwater input to the glacier bed triggered the summer speedup. The excess of summer speed (June–August) over the mean for the rest of the year accounted for 0.5–13% of the annual ice motion. Several glaciers showed seasonal frontal variations, i.e. retreat in summer and advance in winter. This was not due to ice-speed variations, but was driven by seasonal variations in frontal ablation. The results demonstrate the dominant effect of glacier surface melting on the seasonal speedup, and the importance of seasonal speed patterns on longer-term ice motion of marine-terminating outlet glaciers in Greenland.
Quarrying and abrasion are the two principal processes responsible for glacial erosion of bedrock. The morphologies of glacier hard beds depend on the relative effectiveness of these two processes, as abrasion tends to smooth bedrock surfaces and quarrying tends to roughen them. Here we analyze concentrations of bedrock discontinuities in the Tsanfleuron forefield, Switzerland, to help determine the geologic conditions that favor glacial quarrying over abrasion. Aerial discontinuity concentrations are measured from scaled drone-based photos where fractures and bedding planes in the bedrock are manually mapped. A Tukey honest significant difference test indicates that aerial concentration of bed-normal bedrock discontinuities is not significantly different between quarried and non-quarried areas of the forefield. Thus, an alternative explanation is needed to account for the spatial variability of quarried areas. To investigate the role that bed-parallel discontinuities might play in quarrying, we use a finite element model to simulate bed-normal fracture propagation within a stepped bed with different step heights. Results indicate that higher steps (larger spacing of bed-parallel discontinuities) propagate bed-normal fractures more readily than smaller steps. Thus, the spacing of bed-parallel discontinuities could exert strong control on quarrying by determining the rate that blocks can be loosened from the host rock.
We developed a tilt sensor for studying ice deformation and installed our tilt sensor systems in two boreholes drilled close to the shear margin of Jarvis Glacier, Alaska to obtain kinematic measurements of streaming ice. We used the collected tilt data to calculate borehole deformation by tracking the orientation of the sensors over time. The sensors' tilts generally trended down-glacier, with an element of cross-glacier flow in the borehole closer to the shear margin. We also evaluated our results against flow dynamic parameters derived from Glen's exponential flow law and explored the parameter space of the stress exponent n and enhancement factor E. Comparison with values from ice deformation experiments shows that the ice on Jarvis is characterized by higher n values than that is expected in regions of low stress, particularly at the shear margin (~3.4). The higher n values could be attributed to the observed high total strains coupled with potential dynamic recrystallization, causing anisotropic development and consequently sped up ice flow. Jarvis' n values place the creep regime of the ice between basal slip and dislocation creep. Tuning E towards a theoretical upper limit of 10 for anisotropic ice with single-maximum fabric reduces the n values by 0.2.
Mount Achernar moraine is a terrestrial sediment archive that preserves a record of ice-sheet dynamics and climate over multiple glacial cycles. Similar records exist in other blue ice moraines elsewhere on the continent, but an understanding of how these moraines form is limited. We propose a model to explain the formation of extensive, coherent blue ice moraine sequences based on the integration of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data with ice velocity and surface exposure ages. GPR transects (100 and 25 MHz) both perpendicular and parallel to moraine ridges at Mount Achernar reveal an internal structure defined by alternating relatively clean ice and steeply dipping debris bands extending to depth, and where visible, to the underlying bedrock surface. Sediment is carried to the surface from depth along these debris bands, and sublimates out of the ice, accumulating over time (>300 ka). The internal pattern of dipping reflectors, combined with increasing surface exposure ages, suggest sequential exposure of the sediment where ice and debris accretes laterally to form the moraine. Subsurface structure varies across the moraine and can be linked to changes in basal entrainment conditions. We speculate that higher concentrations of debris may have been entrained in the ice during colder glacial periods or entrained more proximal to the moraine sequence.
The retention of meltwater in the accumulation area of the Greenland ice sheet and other Arctic ice masses buffers their contribution to sea level change. However, sustained warming also results in impermeable ice layers or ‘ice slabs’ that seal the underlying pore space. Here, we use a 1-D, physically based, high-resolution model to simulate the surface mass balance (SMB), percolation, refreezing, ice layer formation and runoff from across the high-elevation area of Devon Ice Cap, Canada, from 2001 to 2016. We vary the thickness of the ‘impermeable’ ice layer at which underlying firn becomes inaccessible to meltwater. Thick near-surface ice layers are established by an initial deep percolation, the formation of decimetre ice layers and the infilling of interleaving pore space. The cumulative SMB increases by 48% by varying impermeable layer thickness between 0.01 and 5 m. Within this range we identify narrower range (0.25–1 m) that can simulate both the temporal variability in SMB and the observed near-surface density structure. Across this range, cumulative SMB variation is limited to 6% and 45–49% of mass retention takes place within the annually replenished snowpack. Our results indicate cooler summers after intense mid-2000s warming have led to a partial replenishment of pore space.
Predicting the isotopic modification of ice by melting processes is important for improving the accuracy in paleoclimate reconstruction. To this end, we present results from cold room laboratory observations of changes in the isotopic ratio (D/H and 18O/16O) of ice cubes by isotopic exchange between liquid water and ice in nearly isothermal conditions. A 1-D model was fit to the isotopic results by adjusting the values of two parameters, the isotopic exchange rate constant (kr) and the fraction of ice participating in the exchange (f). We found that the rate constant for hydrogen isotopic exchange between liquid water and ice may be greater (up to 40%) than that for the oxygen isotopic exchange. The range of the rate constant obtained from four melt experiments is from 0.21 to 0.82 h–1. The model results also suggest that f decreases with the increasing wetness of the ice. This is because with increasing water saturation in ice, water may be present only in the small pores or some of the water that was exchanged with ice may be bypassed, decreasing the effective surface area over which the isotopic exchange can occur. The relationship between the two water isotopes (δ18O vs δD) was observed and modeled and the slope was <8, which is significantly different from the slope of the meteoric waterline. We note that these slopes were obtained without considering the sublimation process.
Antarctic lakes with perennial ice covers provide the opportunity to investigate in-lake processes without direct atmospheric interaction, and to study their ice-cover sensitivity to climate conditions. In this study, a numerical model – driven by radiative, atmospheric and turbulent heat fluxes from the water body beneath the ice cover – was implemented to investigate the impact of climate change on the ice covers from two Antarctic lakes: west lobe of Lake Bonney (WLB) and Crooked Lake. Model results agreed well with measured ice thicknesses of both lakes (WLB – RMSE= 0.11 m over 16 years of data; Crooked Lake – RMSE= 0.07 m over 1 year of data), and had acceptable results with measured ablation data at WLB (RMSE= 0.28 m over 6 years). The differences between measured and modeled ablation occurred because the model does not consider interannual variability of the ice optical properties and seasonal changes of the lake's thermal structure. Results indicate that projected summer air temperatures will increase the ice-cover annual melting in WLB by 2050, but that the ice cover will remain perennial through the end of this century. Contrarily, at Crooked Lake the ice cover becomes ephemeral most likely due to the increase in air temperatures.