Thursday, April 23rd, 2:00PM
Location: Revelle 4301
PhD Candidate, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA
Ocean-glacier interactions in Greenland: fjord dynamics and heat transport
Fjords form a key link in the climate system by connecting glaciers of the Greenland Ice Sheet to the ocean. The recent acceleration and retreat of many glaciers coincided with a warming of shelf waters around Greenland, suggesting that increased submarine melting may have triggered glacier retreat. However, there are no direct measurements of this melting, and little is known about the fjord processes that might affect melt-rates and that impact the export of glacial meltwater into the ocean. Here, we explore the drivers of fjord circulation and heat transport near two large outlet glaciers in East Greenland (Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq). We investigate the competing roles of buoyancy forcing from meltwater and remote forcing from the shelf. Building on estuarine studies of salt fluxes, we assess the flux of heat and salt through the fjord and develop a new framework for inferring submarine melt-rates from glacial fjord budgets.