Subglacial Hydrology

The presence of water at the ice-bed interface changes the basal boundary conditions of the ice sheet and may be responsible to changes in ice flow speed through changes in effective pressure. The routing of meltwater to the ocean also controls the strength of the circulation of the ocean in Greenland fjord, which directly affects the rate at which outlet glaciers produce icebergs.

We are currently working on two different approaches to model subglacial hydrology: a dual continuum model (developed with Basile de Fleurian, now at University of Bergen), and a novel unified formulation (SHAKTI, developed with Aleah Sommers and Hari Rajaram).

Selected publications

    • A. Sommers, H. Rajaram and M. Morlighem, SHAKTI: Subglacial Hydrology and Kinetic, Transient Interactions v1.0, Geoscientific Model Development 11 (2018) 2955-74 [link]
    • C.F. Dow, M.A. Werder, G. Babonis, S. Nowicki, R.T. Walker, B. Csatho and M. Morlighem, Dynamics of Active Subglacial Lakes in Recovery Ice Stream, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 123 (2018) 837-50 [link]
    • B. de Fleurian, M. Morlighem, H. Seroussi, E. Rignot, M.R. van den Broeke, P. Kuipers Munneke, J. Mouginot, P.C.J.P. Smeets and A.J. Tedstone, A modeling study of the effect of runoff variability on the effective pressure beneath Russell Glacier, West Greenland, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 121 (2016) 1834-48 [link]


207 Fairchild Hall
Department of Earth Sciences
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755