Ice dynamics, calving and recession at Breidamerkurjokull, Iceland. Led by Dr. Adrian Luckman, Department of Geography, Swansea University, Swansea, SA2 8PP.
The process of calving at glaciers terminating in water accounts for a significant part of the flux of ice from the cryosphere to the oceans, and appears to be increasing as a result of climate change. There was an urgent need to better understand the mechanisms behind ice fracture, crevasse opening and calving events, so that the effects of climate change on the cryosphere can be better predicted. Breikull makes an excellent case study for such theoretical development and provides a community test site for a range of ice-dynamic and geomorphological investigations. This project directly addressed these topics by acquiring and analysing an unprecedented dataset for dynamic and volumetric analysis. In choosing Breikull, a lake-calving glacier, a large body of associated data becomes available including a bed DEM and historical topographic data. The ARSF AOI offered a unique chance to gain repeat lidar and aerial photograph datasets which are unlikely to become available by other means. The research team brought together a wide range of scientists to develop this community test site, and include experts in data processing and geophysics (Swansea), topographic change and geomorphology (Evans and Twigg), calving processes (Benn and Mottram) and glacier modelling (Aðalgeirsdóttir and Bjornsson).
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