Greenland Ice Sheet: Higher Nonlinearity of Ice Flow Significantly Reduces Estimated Basal Motion

P. D. Bons, T. Kleiner, M. G. Llorens, D. J. Prior, T. Sachau, I. Weikusat, D. Jansen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    ©2018. The Authors. In times of warming in polar regions, the prediction of ice sheet discharge is of utmost importance to society, because of its impact on sea level rise. In simulations the flow rate of ice is usually implemented as proportional to the differential stress to the power of the exponent n = 3. This exponent influences the softness of the modeled ice, as higher values would produce faster flow under equal stress. We show that the stress exponent, which best fits the observed state of the Greenland Ice Sheet, equals n = 4. Our results, which are not dependent on a possible basal sliding component of flow, indicate that most of the interior northern ice sheet is currently frozen to bedrock, except for the large ice streams and marginal ice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6542-6548
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Volume45
    Issue number13
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2018

    Keywords

    • Greenland Ice Sheet
    • basal melting
    • basal motion
    • ice flow
    • ice rheology
    • sea level rise

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