Leigh Stearns

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Submarine melting is an important contributor to the mass balance of tidewater glaciers in Greenland, and has been suggested as a trigger for their widespread acceleration. Our understanding of this process is limited, however. It generally relies on the simplified model of subglacial discharge in a homogeneous ocean, where the melting circulation consists(More)
Large, deep-keeled icebergs are ubiquitous in Greenland's outlet glacial fjords. Here we use the movement of these icebergs to quantify flow variability in Sermilik Fjord, southeast Greenland, from the ice mélange through the fjord to the shelf. In the ice mélange, a proglacial mixture of sea ice and icebergs, we find that icebergs consistently track the(More)
Fjord-scale circulation forced by rising turbulent plumes of subglacial meltwater has been identified as one possible mechanism of oceanic heat transfer to marine-terminating outlet glaciers. This study uses buoyant plume theory and a nonhydrostatic, three-dimensional ocean–ice model of a typical outlet glacier fjord in west Greenland to investigate the(More)
Acknowledgements The measurements in Sermilik Fjord were made from the vessel Sabiina, and owe much to the able piloting of its owner and captain, Arqaluk Jorgensen, whose deep knowledge of the waters of Sermilik proved indispensable. Special thanks to Jim Ryder, John Kemp and his group at WHOI who made these measurements possible.
T he f looding of coastal cities by rising oceans is, in the public consciousness, perhaps the most vivid and dreaded effect of global climate change. Yet climate scientists cannot predict how rapidly melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will contribute to sea level this century (Joughin et al. 2012a). Global mean sea level has been increasing(More)
Submarine melt can account for substantial mass loss at tidewater glacier termini. However, the processes controlling submarine melt are poorly understood due to limited observations of submarine termini. Here at a tidewater glacier in central West Greenland, we identify subglacial discharge outlets and infer submarine melt across the terminus using direct(More)