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GROCE II: Greenland Ice Shield / Ocean Interaction - From process understanding to the assessment of a coupled regional system under change; Subproject 9: Process-based quantification of subglacial melt rates

The motivation of this joint project is to obtain more accurate predictions of climate and sea level changes, in order to provide political decision-makers and the society as a whole with the best possible expert knowledge as a basis for their actions.

The second project phase builds on the knowledge, results and collaborations that were developed and established during the first phase of GROCE. The overall goals are to improve our understanding of the dynamics of the changing Greenland system, and to quantify the current and future ice mass loss with greater reliability and accuracy.

To achieve these goals, GROCE-2 bundles the excellent expertise of German research institutions in the fields of oceanography, glaciology, geodesy and atmospheric physics, and combines in-situ observations, remote sensing methods, modeling of ocean and glacier dynamics, as well as processes in the atmosphere and the lithosphere over a large range of time scales (intraseasonal to a century) and space scales (few hundred meters to few thousand kilometers).

It is the goal of this subproject 9 to estimate melt rates at the water-ice interface below the 79°N glacier (79NG) by means of idealised and spatially highly resolved model simulations. Since the necessary resolution cannot be achieved in realistic coupled ocean-ice-shield models, physical parameterisations and numerical methods will be developed to be integrated in the coupled model of TP2 (ice-shield-ocean interaction – the future of the 79°N glacier).


  • Reinert, M., M. Lorenz, K. Klingbeil, B. Büchmann and H. Burchard (2023). High-resolution simulations of the plume dynamics in an idealized 79°N Glacier Cavity using adaptive vertical coordinates. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst. 15: e2023MS003721, doi: 10.1029/2023MS003721
  • Reinert, M. (2023). Setup files of the 2DV-model for the 79NG fjord, 10.5281/zenodo.7755753
  • Reinert, M. (2023). Output files of the 2DV-model for the 79NG fjord, 10.5281/zenodo.7755908
  • Burchard, H., K. Bolding, X. Lange and A. Osadchiev (2023). Decomposition of estuarine circulation and residual stratification under landfast sea ice. J. Phys. Oceanogr. 53: 57-80, doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-22-0088.1
  • Burchard, H., K. Bolding, A. Jenkins, M. Losch, M. Reinert and L. Umlauf (2022). The vertical structure and entrainment of subglacial melt water plumes. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst. 14: e2021MS002925, doi: 10.1029/2021MS002925