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Modelling circulation within glacial fjords in south-east Greenland: Implications for sea-level rise predictions from the Greenland Ice Sheet
Department of Geography
Prof T Murray
Dr IC Rutt
No more applications being accepted
Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
This research project has funding attached. Funding for this project is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK). In most cases this will include all EU nationals. However full funding may not be available to all applicants and you should read the full department and project details for further information.
PhD Research Project
In the last two decades mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has doubled, and it is clear that this increase has been dominated by glaciers that terminate in deep fjords in contact with warm ocean waters.
Greenland’s glacial fjords continue out onto the shallow continental shelf as deep glacially-eroded troughs. Warm waters originating from the sub-tropics have been reported within the fjords and troughs at depth, and the delivery of this warm water to the glacier front is thought to cause melting and undercutting of calving cliff as well as a reduction in backstress by melting the fjord ice. Both are processes which could cause increased iceberg calving and hence drive increased ice sheet mass loss. However, no model has yet been published of water circulation within these fjords that would allow testing of these ideas. Despite this, hydrodynamic flow and wave propagation models that could be used for this purpose have been developed for use in coastal engineering applications and Swansea Glaciology Group’s recent fieldwork has produced the data needed to provide bathymetry and validation data.
This PhD is to develop models of circulation within two glacial fjords in south-east Greenland and to use these models together with field data to identify the key physical processes operating and test hypotheses of heat delivery to the glacier front margins. The student will concentrate on scientific applications based within the Glaciology Group and will work closely within a supervisory team crossing engineering and glaciology. A companion studentship based in engineering will concentrate on methods and model development.
The main software tool for this work is likely to be the Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model, FVCOM. The student will work on a state-of-the-art high performance computing platform, and collaborate with experts in modelling and oceanography.
This studentship would suit a creative student with a background in mathematical, physical or computational sciences with an interest in glaciology, environmental issues and the Arctic.
Applicants must complete and submit the following documentation to Sandra Kramcha, Recruitment & External Relations Manager, College of Science – email@example.com - by the closing date:
1. A completed research scholarship application form for the PhD Geography project ‘Modelling circulation within glacial fjords in south-east Greenland: Implications for sea-level rise predictions from the Greenland Ice Sheet’ (the application form can be downloaded from the Department of Geography website - www.swansea.ac.uk/geography)
2. Academic References – all scholarship applications require two references to be submitted in support. Please ensure that your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline, as we will be using these to help us evaluate your application.
3. Academic Transcripts –academic transcripts must be submitted along with the scholarship application by the funding deadline. We will be using these to verify your academic qualifications.
4. Applicants should use the Supplementary Personal Statement’ section of the application form to explain why the nominated award they have chosen particularly appeals to them and how they would choose to develop it.
Application closing date: 28 AUGUST 2012
This project is fully funded by a Swansea University scholarship The scholarship provides full fees and a stipend of £13,590. Please contact the supervisors for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Murray T, Scharrer K, James TD, et al. Ocean-regulation hypothesis for glacier dynamics in south-east Greenland and implications for ice-sheet mass changes. J. Geophys. Res., 10.1029/2009JF001522, 2010.
Straneo F, Hamilton GS, Sutherland DA, et al. Rapid circulation of warm subtropical waters in a major glacial fjord in East Greenland, Nature Geoscience, 3(3), 182-186, 2010.
Straneo F, Curry RG, Sutherland DA, et al. Impact of fjord dynamics and glacial runoff on the circulation near Helheim Glacier, Nature Geoscience, 4(5), 322-327, 2011.
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