Antarctic Ice-Sheet Dynamics and Climatic Change: Modelling and Ice Composition Studies

Project Description
The main objective of the AMICS network proposal is to contribute to the international research effort leading to an improved understanding of the dynamic behaviour of the Antarctic ice sheet resulting from climatic change. More specifically it aims at a better knowledge of the internal dynamics of the Antarctic ice sheet and to a better assessment of the interactions of the ice sheet with its boundary conditions. The major components of this interdisciplinary research objective are modelling and ice composition studies.

The aim of this research network is to clarify the dynamic interactions between the ice sheet and its boundary conditions, such as the substratum, based on analysis of ice from the basal part of the Antarctic ice sheet and ice-sheet modelling. Results from the analyses will put constraints on the basal boundary conditions of the numerical model and will make validation of the model possible with regard to the melting and refreezing processes at the base. Further constraints come from radio-echo sounding (RES) surveys and SAR interferometric applications. For this purpose, the high-resolution numerical model of complex ice flow will be adapted to three-dimensions and refined. With the numerical model we hope to translate the results of the ice-composition analyses into physical processes, hence providing the scientific community with a model tool of complex basal interaction. As basal processes play an important role in the onset of fast-flowing areas such as ice streams, the role of ice streams, outlet glaciers and ice shelves in the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet and their influence on the variability of the ice sheet with changing climate will be investigated.