Howat Ian M.

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Ian M.

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  • Article
    BedMachine v3 : complete bed topography and ocean bathymetry mapping of Greenland from multibeam echo sounding combined with mass conservation
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-11-01) Morlighem, Mathieu ; Williams, Chris N. ; Rignot, Eric ; An, Lu ; Arndt, Jan Erik ; Bamber, Jonathan L. ; Catania, Ginny ; Chauché, Nolwenn ; Dowdeswell, Julian ; Dorschel, Boris ; Fenty, Ian ; Hogan, Kelly ; Howat, Ian M. ; Hubbard, Alun ; Jakobsson, Martin ; Jordan, Tom M. ; Kjeldsen, Kristian K. ; Millan, Romain ; Mayer, Larry A. ; Mouginot, Jeremie ; Noël, Brice P. Y. ; O’Cofaigh, Colm ; Palmer, Steven ; Rysgaard, Soren ; Seroussi, Helene ; Siegert, Martin J. ; Slabon, Patricia ; Straneo, Fiamma ; Van den Broeke, Michiel ; Weinrebe, W. ; Wood, Michael ; Zinglersen, Karl Brix
    Greenland's bed topography is a primary control on ice flow, grounding line migration, calving dynamics, and subglacial drainage. Moreover, fjord bathymetry regulates the penetration of warm Atlantic water (AW) that rapidly melts and undercuts Greenland's marine-terminating glaciers. Here we present a new compilation of Greenland bed topography that assimilates seafloor bathymetry and ice thickness data through a mass conservation approach. A new 150 m horizontal resolution bed topography/bathymetric map of Greenland is constructed with seamless transitions at the ice/ocean interface, yielding major improvements over previous data sets, particularly in the marine-terminating sectors of northwest and southeast Greenland. Our map reveals that the total sea level potential of the Greenland ice sheet is 7.42 ± 0.05 m, which is 7 cm greater than previous estimates. Furthermore, it explains recent calving front response of numerous outlet glaciers and reveals new pathways by which AW can access glaciers with marine-based basins, thereby highlighting sectors of Greenland that are most vulnerable to future oceanic forcing.
  • Preprint
    Fracture propagation to the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet during supraglacial lake drainage
    ( 2008-02-20) Das, Sarah B. ; Joughin, Ian ; Behn, Mark D. ; Howat, Ian M. ; King, Matt A. ; Lizarralde, Daniel ; Bhatia, Maya P.
    Surface meltwater that reaches the base of an ice sheet creates a mechanism for the rapid response of ice flow to climate change. The process whereby such a pathway is created through thick, cold ice has not, however, been previously observed. We describe the rapid (<2 hours) drainage of a large supraglacial lake down 980 m through to the bed of the Greenland Ice Sheet initiated by water-driven fracture propagation evolving into moulin flow. Drainage coincided with increased seismicity, transient acceleration, ice sheet uplift and horizontal displacement. Subsidence and deceleration occurred over the following 24 hours. The short-lived dynamic response suggests an efficient drainage system dispersed the meltwater subglacially. The integrated effect of multiple lake drainages could explain the observed net regional summer ice speedup.
  • Article
    Elevation change of the Greenland Ice Sheet due to surface mass balance and firn processes, 1960–2014
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2015-11-02) Munneke, Peter Kuipers ; Ligtenberg, Stefan R. M. ; Noel, Brice P. Y. ; Howat, Ian M. ; Box, Jason E. ; Mosley-Thompson, Ellen ; McConnell, Joseph R. ; Steffen, Konrad ; Harper, Joel T. ; Das, Sarah B. ; van den Broeke, Michiel R.
    Observed changes in the surface elevation of the Greenland Ice Sheet are caused by ice dynamics, basal elevation change, basal melt, surface mass balance (SMB) variability, and by compaction of the overlying firn. The last two contributions are quantified here using a firn model that includes compaction, meltwater percolation, and refreezing. The model is forced with surface mass fluxes and temperature from a regional climate model for the period 1960–2014. The model results agree with observations of surface density, density profiles from 62 firn cores, and altimetric observations from regions where ice-dynamical surface height changes are likely small. In areas with strong surface melt, the firn model overestimates density. We find that the firn layer in the high interior is generally thickening slowly (1–5 cm yr−1). In the percolation and ablation areas, firn and SMB processes account for a surface elevation lowering of up to 20–50 cm yr−1. Most of this firn-induced marginal thinning is caused by an increase in melt since the mid-1990s and partly compensated by an increase in the accumulation of fresh snow around most of the ice sheet. The total firn and ice volume change between 1980 and 2014 is estimated at −3295 ± 1030 km3 due to firn and SMB changes, corresponding to an ice-sheet average thinning of 1.96 ± 0.61 m. Most of this volume decrease occurred after 1995. The computed changes in surface elevation can be used to partition altimetrically observed volume change into surface mass balance and ice-dynamically related mass changes.