AOSC Seminar by Dr. Becca Jackson, 11/11/2021
Dr. Becca Jackson
Title: Submarine melting and plume dynamics at a tidewater glacier
Around the globe, glaciers and ice sheets are shrinking and contributing to sea level rise. Ocean warming has been implicated as a driver of glacier retreat, with submarine melting as the presumed link. However, at the termini of tidewater glaciers, we lack observations of submarine melting or the oceanic processes that control melt. Instead, many studies rely on untested theory and parameterizations to estimate submarine melt rates. These frameworks often hinge on buoyant plumes, whose small-scale dynamics can modulate both the ocean’s impact on the glacier via submarine melting and the glacier’s impact on the ocean via buoyancy forcing. In this talk, I will present data collected near the terminus of LeConte Glacier, Alaska to probe the standard theory for plume-driven melt. In the first half, I will present surveys from autonomous kayaks that reveal ubiquitous meltwater intrusions along the terminus and suggest a mechanism to explain melt rates that are significantly higher than standard theory predicts. In the second half, the bulk fluxes of submarine melt and subglacial discharge are evaluated across a wide range of conditions in six field campaigns to test the theoretical relationship between these two sources of freshwater. Modifications to the standard melt parameterizations are explored, in an effort to work towards an updated representation of melt in ocean-glacier models.
I am an Assistant Professor of physical oceanography in the Department of Marine & Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University. Prior to starting at Rutgers, I was a NOAA Climate and Global Change postdoc fellow at Oregon State University, and I received my PhD in physical oceanography from the MIT-WHOI Joint Program. My research focuses on ocean-glacier interactions, coastal dynamics, and polar processes. Broadly, I am interested in how heat and freshwater are exchanged between the ocean and cryosphere, and I explore these dynamics across a range of scales, from the ocean-ice boundary layer to the continental shelf ocean.
Contact: Jacob Wenegrat
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Pre-seminar refreshment: N/A
Seminar: 3:30-4:30pm, Location Zoom
Meet-the-Speaker: 4:30-5:00pm, Location Zoom [For AOSC Students only]