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Inverse method for sliding coefficients at Vestfonna ice cap

Comparison between modelled (left) and observed (right) surface velocities

In a recent publication in The Cryosphere Schäfer et al. use a Robin inverse method  to infer the basal  friction from the surface velocities observed in 1995 for the Vestfonna  ice cap on Svalbard. The results demonstrate that especially the ice caps on Nordaustlandet,  with their mixture of static central parts and fast moving outlet glaciers, demand the correct spatial distribution of sliding coefficients and that  - in lack of  a complete understanding of the physics taking place at the bedrock - inverse models for the time being are the only means to deliver that spatial distribution. Further investigations of  comparison of sliding  coefficients  obtained  for datasets taken at different times shall shed further light on the nature of the sliding underneath Vestfonna ice cap.

Glacier Volume/Area relation

image SurenGRLIn Adhikari and Marshall (2012, Geophys. Res. Lett.), the 3D high-order Elmer/Ice model is used to investigate how different topographic and climatic settings, flow dynamics, and the degree of disequilibrium with climate systematically affect the glacier volume-area relation. Authors recommend more accurate scaling relations through characterization of glacier-specific morphology. This motivates a revision of global glacier volume estimates, of some urgency in sea level rise assessments.

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