Statistical fracture model for Antarctic ice shelves

Date & time

4pm 8 May 2018


Jaeger 1 Seminar Room, RSES


Ms Veronika Emetc (RSES)

Event series


 Antony Burnham

Surface and basal crevasses are deep fractures in ice that are formed throughout the whole Antarctic ice sheet. They are a direct precursor of formation of rifts in ice shelves and a consequent calving or breaking of icebergs. Modelling of this process is crucial for better estimation of the ice mass balance in Antarctica. Whereas there have been a number of parameterisations that can describe calving in a simple way they do not include all the complexity of calving. A more comprehensive calving model needs to include not only parameterisation of calving at ice front but on the history of ice that lead to a calving event such as formation, propagation and advection of crevasses. Towards improving calving parameterisation in ice sheet models I implement a statistics-based method for formation of surface and basal fractures and their propagation. This method allows finding a better fit to observations and provides a stronger basis for a calving model. Combing a set of created sub-models with advection and spatial propagation of crevasses I develop a preliminary calving model. It is the first calving model that includes the full history of fractures, from their initiation to the final break off the ice front.

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