Polar Glacier Change and Ice-Ocean Interaction: Case Study of Mertz and Drygalski Ice Tongue in Antarctica

Reporter::Xianwei Wang

Time:13:00-14:00 ,Friday,2020/6/5 

Location:SOO Room 120

ZOOM room:692 485 01401;Password:269186



Global warming and ocean circulation changes have posed substantial threat to Greenland and Antarctic glaciers, which are melting rapidly and have triggered 14 mm sea level rise from 2003 to 2019. Glaciers in Antarctica are losing ice to ocean primarily through two processes: iceberg calving and basal melting of ice shelves/tongues. Therefore, to better understand and predicate future sea level rise, it is urgent to monitor three-dimensional changes of glaciers in Antarctica. In this presentation, Mertz and Drygalski Ice Tongue will be taken as example to study an iceberg calving process and how ocean melts ice tongue respectively in East Antarctica. Remote sensing and satellite altimetry are primarily used to detect Mertz Ice Tongue changes before and after calving in 2010. By further investigation on the ice-seafloor interaction, a calving cycle of approximately 70 years caused by seafloor shore, Mertz Bank has been revealed. The ice-ocean interaction is conducted around a similar long ice tongue, Drygalski Ice Tongue which is close to China’s fifth Antarctic Research Station in Ross Sea. In-situ measurement from Global Positioning System (GPS), Autonomous Phase-sensitive Radio-Echo-Sounder (ApRES), oceanographic mooring and computer modeling are used to study the ocean forcing of Drygalski Ice Tongue. Rapid basal melting of Drygalski Ice Tongue front has been detected in austral summer, which is likely triggered by seasonal intrusion of Antarctica Surface Water to the cavity formed by Drygalski Ice Tongue and seafloor. Glacier calving and ice-ocean interaction are important processes to understand sea level changes, the rapid change of which can be shown from observations from space, land surface to ocean. However, to better understand the driving forces of the environmental changes, multi-disciplinary knowledge of remote sensing, computer science, glaciology, oceanography and atmosphere science are required.

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