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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-121
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
17 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
Simulating ice thickness and velocity evolution of Upernavik Isstrøm 1849–2012 by forcing prescribed terminus positions in ISSM
Konstanze Haubner1,2, Jason E. Box1, Nicole J. Schlegel3,4, Eric Y. Larour3, Mathieu Morlighem5, Anne M. Solgaard1, Kristian K. Kjellerup6, Signe H. Larsen1,7, and Kurt H. Kjær2 1Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen, Denmark
2Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
3Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
4University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
5Department of Earth System Science, University of California-Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA
6DTU Space - National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Department of Geodesy, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
7Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Abstract. Tidewater glacier velocity and mass balance are sensitive to terminus retreat. Yet, it remains challenging for ice flow models to reproduce observed ice marginal changes. Here, we simulate the 1849–2012 ice velocity and thickness changes on Upernavik Isstrøm using the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM; Larour et al., 2012), by prescribing observed glacier terminus changes. We find that a realistic ISSM simulation of the past mass balance and velocity evolution of Upernavik Isstrøm is highly dependent on terminus retreat. At the end of the 164 year simulation, the 1990–2012 ice surface elevation and velocities and are within ±20 % of the observations. Thus, our model setup provides a realistic simulation of the 1849–2012 evolution for Upernavik Isstrøm. Increased ice flow acceleration is simulated during the 1930s, late 1970s and between 1995 and 2012, coinciding with increased prescribed negative surface mass balance anomalies and terminus retreat. The simulation suggests three distinct periods of mass change: (1849–1932) having near zero mass balance, (1932–1992) with ice mass loss dominated by ice dynamical flow, and (1998–2012), where increased retreat and negative surface mass balance anomalies lead to mass loss twice that of any earlier year. The main products resulting from this study are 1849–2012 reconstruction of surface elevation, velocity and grounding line position of Upernavik Isstrøm.

Citation: Haubner, K., Box, J. E., Schlegel, N. J., Larour, E. Y., Morlighem, M., Solgaard, A. M., Kjellerup, K. K., Larsen, S. H., and Kjær, K. H.: Simulating ice thickness and velocity evolution of Upernavik Isstrøm 1849–2012 by forcing prescribed terminus positions in ISSM, The Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-121, in review, 2017.
Konstanze Haubner et al.
Konstanze Haubner et al.
Konstanze Haubner et al.

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Short summary
We investigate the effect of neglecting calving on Upernavik Isstrøm, West Greenland, between 1849 and 2012. Our simulation is forced with observed terminus positions in discrete time steps and is responsive to the prescribed ice front changes. Simulated frontal retreat is needed to obtain a realistic ice surface elevation and velocity evolution of Upernavik. Using the prescribed terminus position change we get insight to mass loss partitioning during different time periods.
We investigate the effect of neglecting calving on Upernavik Isstrøm, West Greenland, between...
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