'The quantification of changes in supraglacial conditions on the Greenland Ice Sheet and implications for surface drainage development'

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Environment


Lead supervisor: Dr David Rippin Environment Department, University of York
Co-supervisors: Dr Andrew Sole (Department of Geography, University of Sheffield) and Dr Stephen Livingstone (Department of Geography, University of Sheffield)
During the melt-season, extensive networks of supraglacial channels and lakes develop in the ablation area of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) as a consequence of surface melting. These drainage elements are important since they have the potential to transmit large volumes of water to the ice bed via moulins where it can impact on ice flow rates. However, how quickly these drainage elements evolve, and thus the efficiency with which water can be transited across and into the GrIS, is largely unknown, as to date, there have been no studies of sufficiently high temporal and spatial resolution to determine this. This proposal seeks to be the first to explore and quantify the nature of such drainage evolution through the use of a combination of remote sensing and field-based techniques. In this way, we will explore changes at the surface that take place over the course of a melt season and beyond. In detail, the aims of this project are:

To gather satellite images and airborne photography to explore the temporal and spatial variations in drainage development and evolution.
To use satellite imagery (MODIS) to explore variations in surface albedo and other parameters as potential controls on drainage development.
To use time-lapse imagery (field-based approaches) to explore evolution of surface conditions and drainage pathways
To quantify the changes that take place over the course of a melt season.
To explore the controlling mechanisms behind relative drainage stability or dynamics.

It is the intention to relate the high resolution record of evolving supraglacial drainage that will result to meteorological variables and an assessment of ice dynamics (via links with a White Rose Consortium that involves all of the supervisors)


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/S00713X/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2028
2211077 Studentship NE/S00713X/1 30/09/2018 31/12/2022 Lauren Rawlins