Fluid dynamics of marine ice sheets
9th March 2020, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Fry Building, LG.02
Marine ice sheets flow on bedrock that is below sea level and terminate in floating ice shelves. Fluid dynamics controls the location of the grounding line, where the ice sheet detaches from the bed rock and starts to float, which in turn determines the rate at which grounded ice is transported into the ocean and contributes to sea-level rise. I will describe some simple laboratory experiments and associated mathematical models that capture the dynamics of marine ice sheets, highlighting the role of the floating shelves in buttressing the grounded ice sheet. I will also describe a novel fluid-mechanical instability of shear-thinning, radially extensional flows that may describe certain longitudinal fractures in ice shelves.
Grae Worster is a Professor at the Deparment of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, the American Physical Society and the European Mechanics Society, and an associate faculty member of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences.