The prediction of future sea level rise due to dynamic changes of the ice flow in Greenland and Antarctica is one of the great outstanding problems of climate science. One reason why ice sheet models fail to provide this information is their lack of a realistic glacial drainage system model, providing basal boundary conditions. The applicant is currently developing such a glacier drainage system model (GlaDS-model), which incorporates, for the first time, both the channelised and distributed drainage system at the glacier bed in 2D. He is seeking support to apply and enhance this next-generation model, as well as couple it to an ice sheet model.
First, the GlaDS-model will be applied to Alpine glaciers, where there is an abundance of data to validate and test it. The model will be parallelised to run on larger domains which will allow to apply it to ice sheet catchment basins. The applicant will study the influence of higher water flux rates, due to climate change or subglacial lake drainages, on the drainage system. The GlaDS-model will then be coupled to a higher order ice sheet model and the effects on ice dynamics under above scenarios are studied. This will give invaluable results to asses the impact of climate warming on ice sheet dynamics and will contribute to future estimates of sea level rise.
The outgoing host, Prof.~Flowers (Simon Fraser University, Canada), has the unique background of having developed the most comprehensive glacier drainage system model to date. The applicant will profit from her experience, both for applying and enhancing the model. The return host, Prof.~Payne (University of Bristol), is a prominent ice sheet modeller, will propel the coupling the GlaDS-model to his ice sheet model and the interpretation of the model results. The completion of this project will make the applicant a matured, well rounded researcher, provide him with worldwide collaborations and leave him in a very strong position to establish his own research group.
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