Skip to main content

News & Events

Grad student talk - Modeling the effect of debris on valley glaciers

Thursday, November 20, 2014, 4:30PM - 5:30PM


Leif Anderson


RL-1 room 269

Debris cover can significantly affect the length and dynamics of valley glaciers. To improve our understanding of the effect of debris, we developed a 2D vertical plane long-valley numerical glacier model with which we explore the feedbacks between debris and ice dynamics. Debris input to the glacier in the accumulation zone emerges in the ablation zone, and is then advected along the glacier surface, damping melt rate. Steady state glacier length nonlinearly increases with debris deposition rate, though glacier surfaces can become saturated with debris. Debris cover reduces ice surface slopes, ice thickness gradients, ice discharge gradients, and englacial velocities in the ablation zone.