loading page

Modeling ice melt rates from seawater intrusions in the grounding zone of Petermann Gletscher, Greenland.
  • Ratnakar Gadi,
  • Eric Rignot,
  • Dimitris Menemenlis
Ratnakar Gadi
University of California Irvine

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Eric Rignot
University of California, Irvine
Author Profile
Dimitris Menemenlis
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
Author Profile


Satellite radar interferometry data reveals that the grounding line of Petermann Glacier, Greenland migrates by several kilometers during the tidal cycle, bringing pressurized, subsurface, warm ocean waters in regular contact with a large sector of grounded ice. We use the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model in two dimensions to calculate the ice melt rates as a function of grounding zone width and ocean thermal forcing. Ice melt rates are found to be higher in the grounding zone cavity than anywhere else in the ice shelf cavity. The melt rates increase sub-linearly with the width of the grounding zone and ocean thermal forcing. The model results agree well with remote sensing estimates of ice melt. High basal ice melt rates in tidally-flushed grounding zones imply that marine-terminating glaciers are more sensitive to ocean thermal forcing than anticipated, which will increase their projected contribution to sea level rise.
17 Aug 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
17 Aug 2023Published in ESS Open Archive