Discharge of grounded ice to the ocean primarily occurs through fast-flowing glaciers that slide over their geological bed. I am investigating how changes in the glacial hydrological system affect this process.
As part of my postdoc, I am studying how surface meltwater drains through the Greenland Ice Sheet and affects basal sliding. To determine whether increasing surface meltwater levels will translate to higher subglacial water pressure and faster ice flow, we are monitoring supraglacial lakes that drain via englacial hydro-fracture with an array of on-ice GNSS stations, ice-penetrating radars, and in-lake pressure sensors, as well as modeling the englacial stresses and basal sliding associated with these processes.
Recent geophysical imaging of large volumes of water stored in the ground below Antarctica’s fast-flowing glaciers suggest that groundwater may also be an integral but previously overlooked component of subglacial hydrology. To assess the impact of subglacial groundwater on ice dynamics, I am also developing a model to study key hydro-mechanical couplings between the ice sheet, subglacial hydrology and aquifer systems involved.
Mentors & Collaborators: Jonathan Kingslake (LDEO), Meredith Nettles (LDEO), Laura Stevens (Oxford), George Lu (LDEO)