Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-166
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
22 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
Effects of undercutting and sliding on calving: a coupled approach applied to Kronebreen, Svalbard
Dorothée Vallot1, Jan Åström2, Thomas Zwinger2, Rickard Pettersson1, Alistair Everett3, Doug I. Benn4, Adrian Luckman5, Ward J. J. Van Pelt1, and Faezeh Nick6 1Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden
2CSC - IT Center for Science, Espoo, Finland
3Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway
4School of Geography and Geosciences, University St Andrews, Scotland
5Swansea University, Wales, UK
6Arctic Geology Department, University Centre in Svalbard, Norway
Abstract. In this paper, we study the effects of basal friction, sub-aqueous undercutting and glacier geometry on the calving process with six different models: a continuum-mechanical ice flow model (Elmer/Ice), a climatic mass balance model, a simple subglacial hydrology model, a plume model, an undercut model and a discrete particle model to investigate fracture dynamics (Helsinki Discrete Element Model, HiDEM). We also demonstrate the feasibility of reproducing the observed calving retreat at the front of Kronebreen, a tidewater glacier in Svalbard, during a melt season. Basal sliding and glacier motion is addressed using Elmer/Ice while calving is modelled by HiDEM. An hydrology model calculates subglacial drainage paths and indicates two main outlets at relatively different rates. Depending on the discharge, the plume model computes frontal melt rates, which are iteratively projected to the actual front of the glacier at subglacial discharge locations. This produces undercutting of different sizes, as melt is concentrated close to the surface for high discharge and is more diffuse for low discharge. By testing different configurations, we show that the geometry (frontal position and topography) controls the calving location while basal sliding controls the calving rate. Undercutting plays a key role in glacier retreat and is necessary to reproduce observed retreat in the vicinity of the discharge location.

Citation: Vallot, D., Åström, J., Zwinger, T., Pettersson, R., Everett, A., Benn, D. I., Luckman, A., Van Pelt, W. J. J., and Nick, F.: Effects of undercutting and sliding on calving: a coupled approach applied to Kronebreen, Svalbard, The Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-166, in review, 2017.
Dorothée Vallot et al.
Dorothée Vallot et al.
Dorothée Vallot et al.

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This paper presents a new perspective on the role of ice dynamics and ocean interaction in glacier calving process applied to Kronebreen, a tidewater glacier in Svalbard. A new coupled modelling approach has been developped including ice flow modelling, undercutting estimation by a combination of glacier energy balance and plume modelling as well as calving by a discrete particle model. Modelling undercutting is necessary to reproduce observed retreat in the vicinity of high discharge locations.
This paper presents a new perspective on the role of ice dynamics and ocean interaction in...
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