Coupled Ocean and Land ice Dynamics

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing mass. Its margins, where ice meets the ocean, are changing. Warmer waters penetrate under the floating portions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, causing it to melt and thin. Large regions of the grounded ice sheet respond to this by accelerating and thinning. This, in turn, modifies subglacial conditions, hydrology, and glacier sliding, completing a complex three-way set of interactions between ocean, ice, and subglacial water. Increased freshwater flux from Antarctica impacts the surrounding coastal seas and the Southern Ocean, changing currents, hydrography and sea level, and hence affecting the global climate system.

The COLD consortium will both develop and apply existing state-of-the-art modelling tools, together with recent observations, to investigate ice sheet – subglacial hydrology – ocean cavity interactions and patterns of change in both landward and seaward directions. The project will examine ocean processes governing heat transport to the ice shelves, and inquire how Antarctic marginal processes impact large-scale ocean dynamics. It further addresses Antarctic Ice Sheet stability and its contribution to sea level by quantifying the wider impacts of Antarctic marginal processes over the coming century in a changing climate.

In COLD, CSC provides vital model components from Elmer(/Ice) software to model glacial and subglacial processes. CSC also contributes with computational expertise to enable those simulations, including big-data services and container environments.


This project has received funding from the Research Council of Finland.