Presentation Title

Remote Sensing Mass Loss of Ice Sheet Outlet Glaciers: Comparing Greenland and Antarctic Outlet Glaciers

Abstract

The world’s ice sheets hold 69% of the world’s freshwater, and polar regions are warming at an accelerated rate threatening sea level rise that will affect millions over the 21st century. According to the 2019 International Panel on Climate Change, combined ice sheet mass loss is around 450 gigatons per year, increased from previous decades. Therefore, it is crucial to accurately track ice mass loss, and refine the errors within these studies to understand the rates at which climate change will affect sea level rise. High spatial and temporal resolution satellite imagery has enabled large scale projects analyzing glacier flow and mass balance. Patterns emerged, such as a 2020 finding of consistent retreat of Greenland outlet glaciers based upon normalized discharge values, unlike in Antarctica where ice shelves buttress the flow of ice. This project measures the ice discharge in the Larson B embayment, Antarctica, where a buttressing ice shelf collapsed near the turn of the century. By incorporating Landsat ice velocity measurements, subglacial topography, and satellite laser altimetry across multiple platforms, ice flux from the primary tidewater glaciers of the Larsen B embayment are compared with published analysis of Greenland tidewater glaciers at approximately the same latitudes. This yields insight onto the main controls of non-buttressed ice sheet glacial retreat.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Keith Klepeis

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Geology

Primary Research Category

Engineering & Physical Sciences

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Remote Sensing Mass Loss of Ice Sheet Outlet Glaciers: Comparing Greenland and Antarctic Outlet Glaciers

The world’s ice sheets hold 69% of the world’s freshwater, and polar regions are warming at an accelerated rate threatening sea level rise that will affect millions over the 21st century. According to the 2019 International Panel on Climate Change, combined ice sheet mass loss is around 450 gigatons per year, increased from previous decades. Therefore, it is crucial to accurately track ice mass loss, and refine the errors within these studies to understand the rates at which climate change will affect sea level rise. High spatial and temporal resolution satellite imagery has enabled large scale projects analyzing glacier flow and mass balance. Patterns emerged, such as a 2020 finding of consistent retreat of Greenland outlet glaciers based upon normalized discharge values, unlike in Antarctica where ice shelves buttress the flow of ice. This project measures the ice discharge in the Larson B embayment, Antarctica, where a buttressing ice shelf collapsed near the turn of the century. By incorporating Landsat ice velocity measurements, subglacial topography, and satellite laser altimetry across multiple platforms, ice flux from the primary tidewater glaciers of the Larsen B embayment are compared with published analysis of Greenland tidewater glaciers at approximately the same latitudes. This yields insight onto the main controls of non-buttressed ice sheet glacial retreat.