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https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-875
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-875
15 Apr 2024
 | 15 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Importance of ice elasticity in simulating tide-induced grounding line variations along prograde bed slopes

Natalya Maslennikova, Pietro Milillo, Kalyana Babu Nakshatrala, Roberto Ballarini, Aaron Stubblefield, and Luigi Dini

Abstract. The grounding line, delineating the boundary where a grounded glacier goes afloat in ocean water, shifts in response to tidal cycles. Here we analyze COSMO-SkyMed Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar data acquired in 2020 and 2021 over Totten, Moscow University, and Rennick glaciers in East Antarctica, detecting tide-induced grounding line position variations from 0.5 to 12.5 km along prograde slopes ranging from ~0 to 5 %. Considering a glacier as a non-Newtonian fluid, we provide two-dimensional formulations of the viscous and viscoelastic short-term behavior of a glacier in partial frictional contact with the bedrock, and partially floating on sea water. Since the models’ equations are not amenable to analytical treatment, numerical solutions are obtained using FEniCS, an open-source Python package. We establish the dependence of the grounding zone width on glacier thickness, bed slope, and glacier flow speed. The predictions of the viscoelastic model match ~93 % of all the DInSAR grounding zone measurements and are 71 % more accurate than those of the viscous model. The results of this study underscore the critical role played by ice elasticity in continuum mechanics-based glacier models, and being validated with the DInSAR measurements, can be used in other studies on glaciers.

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Natalya Maslennikova, Pietro Milillo, Kalyana Babu Nakshatrala, Roberto Ballarini, Aaron Stubblefield, and Luigi Dini

Status: open (until 27 Jun 2024)

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  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-875', Tracy Moffat-Griffin, 17 Apr 2024 reply
Natalya Maslennikova, Pietro Milillo, Kalyana Babu Nakshatrala, Roberto Ballarini, Aaron Stubblefield, and Luigi Dini
Natalya Maslennikova, Pietro Milillo, Kalyana Babu Nakshatrala, Roberto Ballarini, Aaron Stubblefield, and Luigi Dini

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Short summary
Analyzing remote sensing radar data over three Antarctic glaciers, we observe short-term grounding line migrations. We simulate this phenomenon using viscous and viscoelastic continuum mechanics models. We quantify the sensitivity of the grounding zone width to bedrock slope, glacier thickness, and ice flow speed. Comparisons of the models’ predictions with the observations highlight the necessity of including ice elasticity in non-Newtonian models of glacier ice.