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Synthesis of Thwaites Glacier Dynamics: Diagnostic and Prognostic Sensitivity Studies of a West Antarctic Outlet System
Entry ID: blankenship_0636724

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Summary
Abstract: This award supports a three-year study to isolate essential physical processes affecting Thwaites Glacier (TG) in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) of West Antarctica using a suite of existing numerical models in conjunction with existing and International Polar Year (IPY)-proposed data sets. Four different models will be utilized to explore the effects of embayment geometry, ice-shelf buttressing, basal-stress distribution, surface mass balance, surface climate, and inland dynamic perturbations on the present and future dynamics of TG.

Purpose: This particular collection of models is ideally suited for the broad nature of this investigation, as they incorporate efficient and complementary simplifications of the stress field (shallow-ice and shelf-stream), system geometry (1-d and 2-d plan-view and flowline; depth-integrated and depth-dependent), and mass-momentum energy coupling (mechanical and thermo-mechanical). The models will be constrained and validated by data sets (including regional maps of ice thickness, surface elevation, basal topography, ice surface velocity, and potential fields) and geophysical data analyses (including increasing the spatial resolution of surface elevations, improving regional estimates of geothermal flux, and characterizing the sub-glacial interface of grounded ice as well as the grounding-zone transition between grounded and floating ice). The intellectual merit of the research focuses on several of the NSF Glaciology program's emphases, including: ice dynamics, numerical modeling, and remote sensing of ice sheets. In addition, the research directly addresses the following specific NSF objectives: "investigation of the physics of fast glacier flow with emphasis on processes at glacier beds"; "investigation of ice-shelf stability"; and "identification and quantification of the feedback between ice dynamics and climate change".

Related URL
Link: VIEW PROFESSIONAL HOME PAGE
Description: Investigator web page


Geographic Coverage
 N: -75.0 S: -80.0  E: -90.0  W: -120.0
 Max Depth: 2800

Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 2004-12-07
Stop Date: 2005-01-29


Paleo_Temporal_Coverage
Paleo Start Date: 1000 ybp
Paleo Stop Date: 600 ybp
Chrono Unit:


Location Keywords
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > POLAR


Science Keywords
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIERS    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >ABLATION ZONES/ACCUMULATION ZONES    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIER MASS BALANCE/ICE SHEET MASS BALANCE    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIER TOPOGRAPHY/ICE SHEET TOPOGRAPHY    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIER MOTION/ICE SHEET MOTION    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
CLIMATOLOGY/METEOROLOGY/ATMOSPHERE


Platform
FIELD SURVEYS    [Information]
LABORATORY    [Information]
FIELD INVESTIGATION    [Information]


Project
NSF/PLR >Division of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation    [Information]
AMUNDSEN SEA EMBAYMENT PLAN >Multidisciplinary Study of the Amundsen Sea Embayment    [Information]


Keywords
Thwaites Glacier
ice dynamics
West Antarctic
Amundsen Sea Embayment
surface mass balance
basal-stress distribution
embayment geometry
surface elevation
basal topography
ice surface velocity
numerical modeling


Originating Center
University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Geophysics


Data Center
National Snow and Ice Data Center    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://nsidc.org

Data Center Personnel
Name: NSIDC USER SERVICES
Phone: +1 (303) 492-6199
Fax: +1 (303) 492-2468
Email: nsidc at nsidc.org
Contact Address:
National Snow and Ice Data Center
CIRES, 449 UCB
University of Colorado
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA


NSIDC Antarctic Glaciological Data Center    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://nsidc.org/agdc/

Data Center Personnel
Name: NSIDC AGDC USER SERVICES
Phone: +1 (303) 492-6199
Fax: +1 (303) 492-2468
Email: nsidc at nsidc.org
Contact Address:
National Snow and Ice Data Center
CIRES, 449 UCB
University of Colorado
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA


Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas at Austin    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://www.ig.utexas.edu/

Data Center Personnel
Name: NSIDC AGDC USER SERVICES
Phone: +1 (303) 492-6199
Fax: +1 (303) 492-2468
Email: nsidc at nsidc.org
Contact Address:
National Snow and Ice Data Center
CIRES, 449 UCB
University of Colorado
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA


Personnel
DON BLANKENSHIP
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: (512) 471-0489
Fax: (512) 471-8844
Email: blank at ig.utexas.edu
Contact Address:
J.J. Pickle Research Campus, Bldg. 196 | 10100 Burnet Rd.
City: Austin
Province or State: TX
Postal Code: 78758
Country: USA


DUNCAN A. YOUNG
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Contact Address:
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
Bldg. 196
10100 Burnet Road (R2200)
City: Austin
Province or State: Texas
Postal Code: 78758-4445
Country: USA


Publications/References
Vaughan, D. G and Holt, J. W. and Blankenship, D. D.. "West Antarctic links to sea level estimation," Eos, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, v.88, 2007, p. 485.

Young, D. A. and Kempf, S. D. and Blankenship, D. D. and Holt, J. W. and Morse, D. L.. "New airborne laser altimetry over the Thwaites Glacier Catchment, West Antarctica," Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 2008.

Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2012-04-03
Last DIF Revision Date: 2016-01-27

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