Modelling of the dynamics of Fimbulisen, Antarctica


Professorin Dr. Angelika Humbert 
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung 
Fachbereich Geowissenschaften

project description

The aim of the project is to gain an understanding of the present day dynamics of Fimbulisen, prognostic studies of the ice-shelf dynamics and its response to global, as well as local, warming. The Fimbulisen, situated along the coast of Dronning Maud Land, is the only ice shelf extending beyond the continental shelf. This exposed position presumably allows warm ocean water draining into the ice shelf cavity and produces high melt rates. The high melt rates likely cause the unusual temperature depth profile of the ice, with decreasing temperature towards the bottom, that is measured exclusively at this ice shelf. The temperature profile of the ice has a direct inuence on the velocity of the ow, because Glen's flow law exhibits a the strongly temperature-dependent flow-rate factor. The shape of the temperature profile itself is driven by surface and bottom accumulation rates. That requires knowledge of the melt rates beneath the ice shelf, and thus of the ocean dynamics. Therefore, the best procedure is a coupling between an ice shelf model and an ocean model. The elliptic boundary-value problem for the horizontal velocity in the shallow-shelf approximation (SSA) and the temperature and ice thickness evolutions will be solved by means of numerical solutions by finite element technique.


DFG-Verfahren: Infrastruktur-Schwerpunktprogramme

term from 2007 to 2011