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Basal drag of Fleming Glacier, Antarctica, Part A: sensitivity of inversion to temperature and bedrock uncertainty

Chen Zhao, Rupert M. Gladstone, Roland C. Warner, Matt A. King, Thomas Zwinger
2018 The Cryosphere Discussions  
Many glaciers in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula are now rapidly losing ice mass. Understanding of the dynamics of these fast-flowing glaciers, and their potential future behavior, can be improved through ice sheet modeling studies. Inverse methods are commonly used in ice sheet models to infer the basal shear stress, which has a large effect on the basal velocity and internal ice deformation. Here we use the full-Stokes Elmer/Ice model to simulate the Wordie Ice Shelf-Fleming
more » ... Shelf-Fleming Glacier system in the southern Antarctic Peninsula. With a control inverse method, we model the basal drag from the surface velocities observed in 2008. We propose a three-cycle spin-up scheme to remove the influence of initial temperature field on the final inversion. This is particularly important for glaciers with significant temperature-dependent internal deformation. We find that the Fleming Glacier has strong, temperature-dependent, deformational flow in the fast-flowing regions. Sensitivity tests using various bed elevation datasets and ice front boundary conditions demonstrate the importance of high-accuracy ice thickness/bed geometry data and precise location of the ice front boundary.
doi:10.5194/tc-2017-241 fatcat:ozuas4kgufg35bsodxu63uuopi