This project aims to improve our understanding of glacier and ice sheet dynamics in a warming climate, leading to a better forecast reliability for future sea level rise. The main objective is to provide more accurate estimates for the loss of grounded ice in the Antarctic Peninsula, caused by the melting and collapse of its ice shelves over the last decades. Increased losses of grounded ice have been observed at several places, in particular for the Larsen B Embayment glaciers which sped up and thinned after the collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf in 2002. In order to reduce the present uncertainty in Antarctic contribution to sea level rise, it is of the utmost importance to better understand the dynamics of such coupled glacier/ice shelf systems. This project will investigate this dynamics using a combination of improved datasets and improved numerical modelling techniques, available at the British Antarctic Survey. It will be the first ever attempt to simulate glacier response to ice shelf collapse beyond the flow-line approximation, providing a significant structural improvement towards more realistic simulations of such events. A comprehensive study of the Larsen B Embayment will be used to test the model, and numerical experiments will be performed to simulate similar events in the future. A prime study area will be the Flask and Leppard glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula, which feed the vulnerable Scar Inlet, and which are closely monitored by the British Antarctic Survey.
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