I've been involved in a few NSF-funded projects investigating the variability of Helheim Glacier, and other glaciers along the East Coast of Greenland (both as a student and now a PI). We have been deploying networks of high-precision GPS units on Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq Glaciers in East Greenland since 2005. The data derived from the GPS units allows us to compare glacier flow patterns with calving events, weather anomalies, melt pond drainage events, tidal fluctuations and glacial earthquakes.
Our projects consist of a team of glaciologists and oceanographers, jointly investigating the role of fjord circulation on glacier variability. Most of the rapidly changing glaciers in Greenland terminate in tidewater, and thus understanding ocean changes is an important part of the glaciology puzzle. Fjord measurements show >4ºC waters circulating near Helheim Glacier, which has the potential to dramatically melt the front. We hypothesize that atmosphere/ocean changes since the mid-1990s have resulted in the unprecedented inflow of warm, subtropical waters off the Greenland continental shelf. We are studying the effect that the circulation patterns in several fjords in East Greenland, and investigating the interaction between circulation changes and glacier flow.
This NSF project "Collaborative Research: Glacier-Ocean Coupling in a Large East Greenland Fjord" is with: