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Markus Reinert's presentation at GRC Coastal Ocean Dynamics 2023

Studying ice–ocean interactions in the 79°N Glacier fjord in Greenland with adaptive coordinate models

Read our preprint

Reinert, Markus, Lorenz, M., Klingbeil, K., Büchmann, B., & Buchard, H. (2023). High-resolution simulations of the plume dynamics in an idealized 79°N Glacier cavity using adaptive vertical coordinates. Authorea Preprints. DOI: 10.22541/essoar.167979227.75015410/v1

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Animation of my 79°N Glacier fjord model

Poster abstract

Accurate projections of sea level rise require a detailed understanding of ice sheet melting. The ocean plays an important role in the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, particularly under floating ice shelves and ice tongues. However, these parts of the coastal ocean are difficult to observe due to their remoteness and the extreme environmental conditions in polar regions. Therefore, numerical models are a necessary tool to study ice–ocean interactions under ice shelves and ice tongues. We present a coastal ocean model of the 79° North Glacier fjord, which is the glacier with the largest floating ice tongue of Greenland. Our regional model setup is characterized by a high horizontal resolution combined with adaptive vertical coordinates that zoom towards stratification. This zooming makes it feasible to achieve vertical resolutions on the order of 1 m in the subglacial plume, which is crucial for the correct representation of entrainment by turbulent mixing. The subglacial plume is a strong current on the underside of the ice tongue. This current is the main driver of basal melting, and it transports the meltwater out of the glacier fjord towards the open ocean. With our model, we can study the plume dynamics, the estuarine circulation in the fjord, and generally the interactions between the ocean and the 79°N Glacier in unprecedented detail. This will contribute to the understanding of the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet.