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Modelling the Impact of Submarine Frontal Melting and Ice Mélange on Glacier Dynamics : Volume 9, Issue 1 (09/01/2015)

By Krug, J.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004023179
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 39
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Modelling the Impact of Submarine Frontal Melting and Ice Mélange on Glacier Dynamics : Volume 9, Issue 1 (09/01/2015)  
Author: Krug, J.
Volume: Vol. 9, Issue 1
Language: English
Subject: Science, Cryosphere, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Durand, G., Weiss, J., Krug, J., & Gagliardini, O. (2015). Modelling the Impact of Submarine Frontal Melting and Ice Mélange on Glacier Dynamics : Volume 9, Issue 1 (09/01/2015). Retrieved from

Description: CNRS, LGGE, 38041 Grenoble, France. Two mechanisms are generally proposed to explain seasonal variations in the calving front of tidewater glaciers: submarine melting of the calving face and the mechanical back-force applied by the ice mélange. However, the way these processes affect the calving rate and the glacier dynamics remains uncertain. In this study, we used the finite element model Elmer/Ice to simulate the impact of these forcings on more than 200 two dimensional theoretical flowline glacier configurations. The model, which includes calving processes, suggests that frontal melting affects the position of the terminus only slightly (< a few hundred meters) and does not affect the pluriannual glacier mass balance at all. However, the ice mélange has a greater impact on the advance and retreat cycles of the glacier front (more than several 1000 m) and its consequences for the mass balance are not completely negligible, stressing the need for better characterization of forcing properties. We also show that ice mélange forcing against the calving face can mechanically prevent crevasse propagation at sea level and hence prevent calving. Results also revealed different behaviors in grounded and floating glaciers: in the case of a floating extension, the heaviest forcings can disrupt the glacier equilibrium by modifying its buttressing and ice flux at the grounding line.

Modelling the impact of submarine frontal melting and ice mélange on glacier dynamics

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