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Beatriz Margarita Recinos Rivas

Institution:University of Bremen
Room:FVG, room M2150
Phone:+49 421 218 - 67174
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PhD project:

Ocean-glacier interaction on the large regional and global scale

Glacier mass loss is a major cause of sea-level rise. During the 20th century, glacier mass loss and ocean thermal expansion caused about 75% of the observed global mean sea level rise. Therefore, improving the past and future knowledge of glaciers is an important task. The main obstacle to progress is a severe undersampling problem. There are roughly 200 000 individual glaciers in the world, and only ∼ 300 of them have direct glaciological measurements. Remote sensing data covers a great number of glaciers, but the data is only available for short and recent periods. Modeling glaciers in the global scale remains challenging and limited due to this undersampling problem.

Only six global-scale models have been reported in the last 10 years, and only one of these accounts for frontal ablation of marine-terminating glaciers. However, nearly 40 % of the global glacier area drains directly to the ocean, and frontal ablation is likely to present a significant part of the mass balance of many tidewater glaciers. In this project we will implement calving parameterizations into the Open Global Glacier Model (OGGM), starting with the simple version of Oerlemans and Nick (2005). OGGM is built upon Marzeion et al. (2012) and is currently in intensive development. The model accurately represents glacier geometry and explicitly models ice dynamics. It is designed to reconstruct and project mass-balance, volume and geometry of any glacier contained in the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI, currently version 5.0). Ice dynamics in OGGM are represented by a depth integrated, multi-branched flowline model which facilitates the representation of solid ice discharge. Frontal ablation will be computed as function of the height, width and estimated water depth of the calving front. Later on, more complex parameterizations will be implemented and validated.

Thesis committee:

Prof. Dr. Ben Marzeion University of Bremen
Prof. Dr. Shawn Marshall University of Calgary, Canada
Dr. Fabien Maussion University of Innsbruck, Austria
Dr. Martin Losch Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven


GLOMAR Research Theme A