I have just recently had an academic article accepted for publication in the Proceedings A of the Royal Society. I love the great history of this journal, by publishing here I am very pleased to be following a long line of illustrious scientists including Paul Dirac, Werner Heisenberg, James Clerk Maxwell, Ernest Rutherford, and Erwin Schrödinger. Within Glaciology itself many classic papers have been published in this journal such as those of John Nye. The title of my paper is:
A Numerical Study of Hydrologically Driven Glacier Dynamics and Subglacial Flooding
I aim to do some layperson posts on this work in future blogs, but for now here is a 100 word media summary:
In this study a numerical model is developed to explore interactions between glacier dynamics and subglacial hydrology. In line with recent observational evidence our findings suggest that subglacial drainage channels develop in response to seasonal increases in meltwater. Water from the rapid surface-to-bed drainage of meltwater lakes in Greenland likely encounter these efficient drainage channels. This work is an important step towards understanding the dynamic response of glaciers to changes in meltwater production and ultimately improving estimates of glacier and ice sheet contributions to current and future sea level rise.
The abstract reads as follows:
A hydrologically-coupled flowband model of “higher-order” ice dynamics is used to explore perturbations in response to supraglacial water drainage and subglacial flooding. The subglacial drainage system includes interacting “fast” and “slow” drainage elements. The “fast” drainage system is assumed to be comprised of ice-walled conduits and the “slow” system of a macroporous water sheet. Under high subglacial water pressures, flexure of the overlying ice is modelled using elastic beam theory. A regularised Coulomb friction law describes basal boundary conditions that enable hydrologically driven acceleration. We demonstrate the modelled interactions between hydrology and ice dynamics by means of three observationally-inspired examples: (1) simulations of meltwater drainage at an Alpine-type glacier produce seasonal and diurnal variability, and exhibit drainage evolution characteristic of the so-called “spring-transition”; (2) horizontal and vertical diurnal accelerations are modelled in response to summer meltwater input at a Greenland-type outlet glacier; and (3) short-lived perturbations to basal water pressure and ice flow-speed are modelled in response to the prescribed drainage of a supraglacial lake. Our model supports the suggestion that a channelized drainage system can form beneath the margins of the Greenland ice sheet, and may contribute to reducing the dynamic impact of floods derived from supraglacial lakes.
Please email me if you are interested in a pre-print of the full article.