Where ice falls into the sea

Speaker: Ken Zhao
Institution: Oregon State University
Location: 7124A
Date: October 5, 2023
Time: 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm


This will be a talk for a general audience, structured as a (personally-biased) synthesis of recent observational, modeling, and theoretical progress at glacier-ocean interfaces near Antarctica, Greenland, and Alaska from 100s of kilometers to micron length scales. I will focus on the following topics:
– recent observations at LeConte glacier, Alaska of ice-ocean boundary layers.
– recent modeling work: Direct Numerical Simulations (micron resolution), and Large Eddy Simulations (meter resolution) of a glacier face.
– Theories of vertical ice-ocean interfaces do not work, often underpredicting direct observations of melt rate at icebergs and marine-terminating glaciers by up to a factor of 40. I will merge the recent work on simulations, observations, and laboratory experiments as a new ice-ocean boundary layer parameterization. I will discuss some implications of this new parameterization to glacier and ice-shelf scale dynamics as well as some complications: multiscale ice roughness and glacial bubbles.