Collaborative Research: Role of Polyoxotungstates in Enhanced Solubility and Transport of Tungsten in the Environment
DESCRIPTION: The project team will conduct simulations, using a combination of ice-sheet and ocean models, to reduce uncertainties in projected ice loss from Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers by: (i) assessing how ice-shelf melt rates will change as the ice-shelf cavities evolve through melting and grounding-line retreat, and (ii) improving understanding of the sensitivity of sub-shelf melt rates to changes in ocean state on the nearby continental shelf. These studies will reduce uncertainty on ice loss and sea-level rise estimates, and lay the groundwork for development of future fully-coupled ice-sheet/ocean models. The project will first develop high-resolution ice-shelf-cavity circulation models driven by modern observed regional ocean state and validated with estimates of melt derived from satellite observations. Next, an ice-flow model will be used to estimate the future grounding retreat. An iterative process with the ocean-circulation and ice-flow models will then simulate melt rates at each stage of retreat. These results will help assess the validity of the hypothesis that unstable collapse of the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica is underway, which was based on simplified models of melt rate. These models will also provide a better understanding of the sensitivity of melt to regional forcing such as changes in Circumpolar Deep Water temperature and wind-driven changes in thermocline height. Finally, several semi-coupled ice-ocean simulations will help determine the influence of the ocean-circulation driven melt over the next several decades. These simulations will provide a much-improved understanding of the linkages between far-field ocean forcing, cavity circulation and melting, and ice-sheet response.